Not many things beat devouring freshly baked bread, right? In episode seven of HBTV's web series Cooks Co-op, chef Martin Boetz meets up with local Hawkesbury region baker, Lynne Trappel. With over 30 years of baking experience under her belt, Lynne shows Marty her tips and tricks for perfecting a lovely loaf in an outdoor wood-fired or indoor domestic oven. And the results are nothing shy of heavenly! So, inspired by Lynne's baking expertise, a little rummaging through the HB archives revealed this classic, quick-to-make bread recipe. Perfectly suited to beginners, you can bake this bread in a Dutch oven or heavy cooking pot with oven-safe lid. Bake on!
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1kg plain flour, extra for kneading
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
2¾ cup cool water
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add yeast, salt and rosemary. Make a well in the centre and pour in water. Mix with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to clump together.
Use your hand to mix in any flour in bottom of the bowl. Knead mixture roughly into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 12 hours (ideally overnight) to prove until tripled in volume.
Use a floured hand to scrape dough from bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Cut in half. Scatter plain flour into 2 clean tea towels. Put each piece of dough onto a tea towel, wrap up and rest in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Place a 20cm (2.4L) or 22cm (3.3L) cast-iron pot with lid into oven and preheat for 15 minutes. Lift out of oven with thick oven mitts. Dust some flour into bottom of the pot.
Unwrap one of the doughs and drop into pot, smooth side down with creases from underside facing up. Cover with lid and bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden. Uncover and bake for an extra 10 minutes or until golden.
Use oven mitts to tip out bread and repeat with remaining dough (see tip). Serve.
"Tip: If you have two pots, both doughs can be baked together at the same time."