About this recipe:An extremely simple recipe that produces delicious bread just the way you want it. This bread can withstand a fair bit of over cooking, it just makes it crustier, so bake it however you like it.
Add the yeast and olive oil to the water, do not stir.
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
After 3 minutes thoroughly stir the yeast mixture, it should appear milky, then add to the flour.
Initially stir with a spoon but when it has combined take it out and knead on a board or work surface, and use olive oil to prevent sticking, not flour. After approximately 10 minutes of kneading you will feel the dough change as the gluten builds up, you should have a smooth stretchy dough.
Grease a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with a cloth or cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. I place mine in my fan oven on its defrost setting and it takes about an hour.
When doubled in size throw a little flour on a flat roasting tin, remove the dough and knead it for 2 minutes to knock the air out of it, then shape the dough into an oval shape (but don't worry what shape it is, it will turn out good either way). Place back in the warm place uncovered until it has risen to a large size.
Preheat an oven to 200 C / Gas 6 and score the dough a few times with a sharp knife, then bake for approximately 30 minutes. It takes 27 minutes in my oven for a soft loaf and 32 for a crusty loaf. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Came out looking like the picture. Really liked the tips about using olive oil instead of flour for the first knead, and using the defrost function of the fan-assisted oven (learned something new about my oven, too!). Will definitely use this recipe again. - 25 Sep 2016
As a winemaker, I do not think the sugar is for the taste as much as it is for the yeast to convert to alcohol and Carbon Dioxide (it is the CO2 that Raises the bread). I use different "sugars" to change the final bread eg honey, demerara and muscovado.
(the five stars are because I have to, not that I have made this particular loaf) - 23 Oct 2015