This is a bread I bake often. It is very easy to make and doesn’t require any special skills or technique. This was one of the first breads I attempted when I started trying to bake bread at home. Of course, my initial attempts were awful. I had to figure out that I needed to check the quality of my yeast.
Then, most cookbooks tell you to leave the dough to rise for about an hour or some such period. I found out the hard way that the time for the dough to rise depends on room temperature or where you place the dough. So, now I know that whatever time it takes the dough to roughly double in volume is the “time”.
I learnt many other things along the way and now am able to turn out a reasonably decent bread.
My daughter and husband call this my “unhealthy” bread. This is because I have a tendency to try and make most of my breads “healthier” by adding whole wheat flour, or bran, or wheat germ, etc.! I have to add that they seem to prefer this “unhealthy” version.
3 cups all purpose flour + flour for dusting
3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup warm water and add the yeast. Keep for about 5 minutes till the yeast froths.
Mix the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture, oil and enough water to make a soft and pliable dough. I do this in the food processor and then do a final kneading by hand.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to double in volume.
Now punch back the risen dough and gently shape into a round. Cut a cross on the top using a sharp knife. (I do this using a pair of scissors.) Dust the top of the bread with flour. Allow to rise. Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes. If tapped on the top the bread will sound hollow, once it is done. Cool on a rack.
This is a nice crusty bread with a soft interior and goes wonderfully with hot soup.