About this recipe:This is about as simple as a bread recipe can be. It's crusty, yeasty and satisfying. I'm a bloke, and I can make this perfect every time. It's easiest if you use a stand-type mixer with a dough hook.
2 tablespoons polenta
800g (1 3/4 lb) bread flour
15g (1/2 oz) quick yeast
2 teaspoons salt
600ml (1 pint) warm water (50 C)
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:30min › Ready in:45min
Heat oven to warm (about 45 C / 1/4 Gas mark). Lightly oil two 23x12cm (9x5 in) loaf tins; add just enough cornmeal to coat.
In the bowl of an upright mixer, combine the flour, yeast and salt; stir well to combine. Pour in the water; mix until a stiff dough forms. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into prepared tins. With very sharp knife, cut shallow slash in tops of loaves. Lightly dust loaves with flour, cover with towel, and put back in oven. Let rise until at least doubled, about 45 minutes.
Remove loaves from oven, keep covered, and preheat oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7.
Return uncovered loaves to preheated oven. Bake until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on the top.