MIX, WAIT, SHAPE & BAKE. That's all that's required for the most beautiful, golden crusty homemade loaf. Your nearest and dearest will think you've spent weeks nurturing a starter then half a day kneading and resting the dough. There is no need to tell them that you produced this wondrous bread on a spur of the moment whim, or that it took a mere 10-15 mins of your time to put together.
Your secret is safe with us.
Prep time: 15min (+2 hrs for rising)
Bake time: 40min
3 cups (450g) plain bakers flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp diastatic malt powder
1.5 cups (375 ml) of very warm water. Not super hot, not tepid. Think lovely bath water temperature. (50°c is perfect if you have a thermometer).
Extra flour for dusting.
Mix flour, malt, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water, then stir with spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Dough will be a splattery, gooey mucky mess – too wet to knead but not as runny as a batter. You may need to add a splash more water to get the right consistency.
Cover the bowl with wax wrap, cling film or plate. Now leave it somewhere warm to rise for about 2 hours, after which it will have doubled in volume. If it's not rising, move it somewhere warmer.
Place a dutch oven or casserole pot with a lid on into your cold oven. Turn on and heat the oven to 230°c (210°c fan forced). This also will preheat the dutch oven/casserole dish at the same time.
While it's heating shape the dough:
Place a large square of baking paper on your work surface and sprinkle a scattering of flour over it. Scrape the sticky dough out onto it using a spatula or scraper. Sprinkle a little more flour over the dough. Use your scraper or spatula to fold the sides of the dough in on itself to form a roundish mound. It doesn't have to look perfect; in fact the less smooth and round, the crunchier the crust!
Remove the piping hot dutch oven/casserole pot from the oven. Remove the lid. Lift corners of paper to place dough into the pot, paper and all. Place the lid on and put it in the oven.
Bake 30 minutes covered, then 10 minutes uncovered or until golden and crispy.
Cool on rack for 30 minutes before slicing. If you can. No judgement from us if you start whittling away at it immediately.
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