Makes 1 loaf
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast plus 60 ml warm water
- 250 – 500 ml warm water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- olive oil
- water and extra flour for dusting cups
- Preheat oven to very hot, approx. 240°C
- Dissolve the yeast in the measure of warm water (stirring with a teaspoon), until frothy.
- Sift flour into a bowl.
- Add water and salt to flour.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast. Stir into flour until thickened.
- Knead by hand until smooth and elastic and not sticky on your hands. Add a generous splash of olive oil at this stage and an extra handful of flour if you need it to pick up the residue from the bowl (the bowl should be clean).
- Shape dough into ball, put onto a plate lined with a floured tea towel and allow to prove. Cover the dough ball with the ends of the tea towel and leave in warm place (i.e. at 25°C room temperature) to rise and until doubled in bulk.
- Place dough on a flat baking tray and put in pre-heated oven to cook. Reduce temperature to moderately hot (200 – 220°C) after 5 – 10 minutes. Cook for another 25 – 35 minutes. When the loaf is cooked the crust will be hard, and the loaf will feel light in your hands.