Now you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to try your hand at a classic bread – a light brown loaf, from Simon Thomas’s Staff of Life.
300g white breadmaking flour
300g wholemeal flour (preferably stoneground)
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
450ml warm water
1 tablespoon honey
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil, honey and 400 ml of the water. Mix into a dough, adding more water as necessary, until you have a smooth texture and all the liquid is absorbed. You may not need all the water. Set aside for 10-15 minutes and check hydration, adding more water if needed. Cover the bowl and put it to prove in a warm place for three hours or halve the yeast and prove at room temperature for 12 hours. Turn out onto a ?oured surface and knead until ?rm and elastic. Divide in two and knead brie?y then shape and place in oiled tins or on an oiled baking sheet and prove in a warm place for one hour. Heat the oven to 220ºC. Slash the crust with a sharp blade, transfer to the oven, turn the oven down to 180ºC and bake for 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
This dough is great for playing around with. Add fruit, nuts, spices and grains to make it more interesting as you feel suitable.
This is the perfect sandwich bread for lunchboxes when you want a little more substance to your sarnies. It works with everything.
Staff of Life, by Simon Thomas and published by RMC Books, is out now priced £14.95.