• 500g/1lb 1oz strong white bread flour, plus a little extra flour for finishing

  • 40g/1½oz soft butter

  • 12g/2 sachets fast-action dried yeast

  • 2 tsp salt

  • about 300ml/10¾fl oz tepid water (36oC)

  • a little olive or sunflower oil


Preparation method

  1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Add the yeast at one side of the bowl and add the salt at the other, otherwise the salt will kill the yeast. Stir all the ingredients with a spoon to combine.

  2. Add half of the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add water a little at a time, combining well, until you’ve picked up all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all of the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want a dough that is well combined and soft, but not sticky or soggy. Mix with your fingers to make sure all of the ingredients are combined and use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl. Keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

  3. Use about a teaspoon of oil to lightly grease a clean work surface (using oil instead of flour will keep the texture of the dough consistent). Turn out your dough onto the greased work surface (make sure you have plenty of space).


  4. Fold the far edge of the dough into the middle of the dough, then turn the dough by 45 degrees and repeat. Do this several times until the dough is very lightly coated all over in olive oil.

  5. Now use your hands to knead the dough: push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading in this way stretches the gluten and makes the dough elastic. Do this for about 4 or 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands – if it does get too sticky you can add a little flour to your hands.


  6. Clean and lightly oil your mixing bowl and put the dough back into it. Cover with a damp tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and set it aside to prove. This gives the yeast time to work: the dough should double in size. This should take around one hour, but will vary depending on the temperature of your room (don’t put the bowl in a hot place or the yeast will work too quickly).

  7. Line a baking tray with baking or silicone paper (not greaseproof) and dust the paper with rice cones.

  8. Once the dough has doubled in size scrape it out of the bowl to shape it. The texture should be bouncy and shiny. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back by kneading it firmly to 'knock' out the air. Use your hand to roll the dough up, then turn by 45 degrees and roll it up again. Repeat several times. Gently turn and smooth the dough into a round loaf shape.


  9. Place the loaf onto the lined baking tray, cover with a tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove until it’s doubled in size. This will take about an hour, but may be quicker or slower depending on how warm your kitchen is.

  10. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7. Put a Roasting tin in the oven and allow it to heat.

  11. After an hour the loaf should have proved (risen again). Sprinkle some flour on top. Use a large, sharp knife to make cuts (about 1cm/½in deep) across the top of the loaf to create a diamond pattern.

  12. Remove the roasting tin and place your loaf in to it, put some cold water into the roasting tin lid and place onto the base (this creates steam which helps the loaf develop a crisp and shiny crust) now put the Lid and base back into the oven on the middle shelf

  13.  Remove the roasting tin lid after 20 minutes, and put back into the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes 

  14. The loaf is baked when it’s risen and golden. To check, take it out of the oven and tap it gently underneath – it should sound hollow. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Bread Recipe Number 2  

To make a 24hr Sponge (Stage 1)


160gm Flour

1gm Yeast

115gms Water


Mix all the ingredients together by hand in a bowl, Cover loosely with a cloth or Clingfilm.

Leave at room temperature  for 24hrs, after 24hrs store in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

To make the Bread dough (Stage 2)


270gm     Flour
8gm         Salt
10gm       Yeast

255gm Sponge dough

145gm Water


•Add all the Ingredients into a bowl and mix / knead to a clear dough(20 Minutes)

•Electric mixer 3 minutes on low speed 7 minutes on medium speed

•Tip onto a lightly flour dusted work bench and take 255gms of dough for your next batch and store it in the fridge

•The dough you have left, mould round and rest for 15 minutes

•After 15 minutes re-mould and place in your basket and cover with a plastic bag


•Leave for 1hr or until the dough has doubled in size

•While your dough is proving, Pre heat the oven to 230 degrees. Place your oven proof Roasting pot into the oven without  the lid

•Add cuts to the dough

•Place into your oven proof roasting pot and put on the lid

•Reduce your oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or brown; after 20 minutes remove the lid for the remaining  10 minutes of baking.