Fresh country bread

With fresh yeast, Italian 00 flour and semolina, this long-lasting loaf is gratifyingly easy to make
Fresh country bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 2 loaves
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1 hr rising
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 700 ml lukewarm water
  • 800 g '00' flour, or strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200 g semolina flour
  • 20 g salt

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water in a small bowl or jug.

2. On a clean work surface or in a large bowl, mix together the flour, semolina and salt then pour in the yeast liquid. Mix well with your hands to give a soft, but not sticky, dough.

3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and knead the dough well for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough on a clean tea towel, brush the top with water to prevent it drying out, then cover with another clean tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

4. Shape the dough into two loaves (or whatever shape you wish) and leave to rise in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 250C/230C fan/gas 9. Turn the risen dough onto a flour-dusted baking sheet and reduce the oven temperature to 240C/220C fan/gas 8.

6. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. To test if the bread is ready, gently tap it on the bottom: if it sounds hollow, it is done.

7. Remove the bread from the oven and leave to cool. The bread will keep for about a week.

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