Delicious Home-baked Crusty Bread
500g strong white bread flour, plus a little extra flour for finishing
40g soft butter
12g / 2 sachets fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp salt
About 300ml / 10¾fl oz tepid water (warm not cold – about body temperature)
Add the flour and butter to a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other (keeping them separate stops the salt from killing the yeast) then combine using a spoon.
Use your fingers to mix in half of the water. Keep adding water a little at a time until all of the flour is combined and your dough is soft but not sticky or soggy (you might not need all of the water).
Use your fingers to make sure that the ingredients are all combined and the bowl is clean.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead well.
Put the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth for its first prove.
Once the dough has doubled in size place it on a floured surface and knock it back by kneading firmly and then shape the loaf.
Place inside the bread cloche for the second prove for about an hour – or until the dough has doubled in size.
Pre heat the oven to220°C (200°C Fan assisted)/ 425°F / Gas mark 7.
Make several shallow cuts to the top of the loaf using a lame or sharp knife and replace the lid.
Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes or until it is risen and golden.