Basic bread dough

Prep Time:
Cooking Time:
  • 2 x 10g - sachets instant yeast
  • - about 600ml lukewarm water
  • 1kg - flour
  • 30ml - sugar
  • 10-15ml - salt
  • 60ml - olive oil
Johané says I find baking bread very therapeutic; preferably, it shouldn’t be undertaken if you’re in a hurry. Enjoy the process and, of course, the delicious result – with real butter.

Dissolve the yeast in about 50ml of water. Sift the flour, sugar and salt and make a well in thecentre with your hand. Add the yeast mixture, the rest of the water and the oil and sprinklea little flour on the surface. Set this aside to rest in a warm spot for about 15-20 minutes oruntil the mixture bubbles on the surface (this step is optional, but improves the flavour of thebread).

Mix the flour, little by little, with a circular movement from the outside to the insideuntil the dough is too stiff to mix further. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and kneaduntil smooth. Put the dough in a clean, floured mixing bowl, cover with a cloth or clingwrapand let this rise in a warm spot until it doubles in volume (about 1 hour).

Punch down the dough, divide itin half and shape into loaves. Put the dough in greased loaf tins and let these rise again until they double in volume (this time about 45 minutes). Preheat the oven. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the bread dough and sprinkle with flour. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Test by tapping the bottom of the loaf – if it sounds hollow, the bread is cooked.

Why do I use two packets of instant yeast?

Readers often ask: "Why so much?". The 10 g Anchor yeast packet indicates that it's enough for 500g to 1kg of flour. Some recipes need more air than others, and beginners often don't knead the dough for long enough. The bread then has an unappetising texture after all that work! 

You can start with 1 x 10g packet of instant yeast with 1kg of flour. Remember to knead the dough for long enough and leave it to rise to double the volume. Enjoy the flavours that linger through the house while the bread is in the oven and of course the first bite! – Johané Neilson, food editor

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April 2023

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