About this recipe:Baking bread at home is foolproof with this recipe. You need a cast iron casserole. Baking the bread in the casserole is the secret to having a great crust. You also need a bit of patience - the dough should be left to rise for 10 hours, so it's best to set it up in the morning or even the night before. This recipe is for those who appreciate a loaf that's had a long, slow rise and time to develop its flavours. Enjoy!
1/4 teaspoon dried active baking yeast
200ml warm water (43 degrees C)
280g strong white bread flour
120g wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
90ml beer (room temperature)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
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Dissolve the yeast in water in a small bowl. Set aside for about 5 minutes, till foamy.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours and salt. Mix in the yeast mixture, beer and vinegar and work together till a ball forms. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for 8 hours at room temperature.
Line a dish that's not too deep with baking parchment. After allowing the dough to rise, knead the dough a dozen times into a firm ball. Lay it into the parchment-lined bowl and sprinkle with vegetable oil. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for a further 2 hours.
After 1 and a half hours, place a small cast iron casserole with a lid onto the bottom shelf of the oven and heat the oven to 240 C / Gas 9.
Remove the hot casserole from the oven and place the dough while still in the parchment into the casserole. Dust the top of the dough with flour and cut across it twice diagonally with a knife. Place the lid on top of the casserole.
Return to the oven. Reduce the temperature to 220 C / Gas 7 and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid after 30 minutes and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the tin straightaway and leave to cool on a wire rack.