White Bread Dough

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour resting
  • Total time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour resting 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10g yeast or 7g dried easy-blend yeast
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 10g salt

Method

  1. Rub the yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble (if using easy-blend, just mix it in). Add the salt and 350ml water. Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other hand or with the rounded end of a plastic scraper for 2–3 minutes, until the dough starts to form. Pour the dough onto an unfloured work surface. It will feel soft and moist, and look like sticky porridge.
  2. Forget the way you might think you knead dough. Don’t pummel it with the heels of your hands: instead slide your fingers under it like two forks with your thumbs on top, swing it upwards and slap it back down away from you. Stretch the front of the dough towards you, then lift it back over itself in an arc. Repeat until the dough feels smooth, silky and elastic. Allow 5–10 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and fold the edges over to make a ball. Turn it over so the top is smooth. Lightly flour a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.