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Crusty White Bread

Preparing time: 20 minutes              Rising: 2 hours 
Baking time: 40 minutes in the gas oven
15 g fresh yeast or 4 g instant yeast (1 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbls lukewarm (not hot!) water
In a small bowl dissolve yeast in water, add sugar and set aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast activate.
500 g strong bread flour eg. Allisons
300 ml tepid water
1 tbls salt
Sticky bread dough after kneading in the stand mixerSticky bread dough after kneading in the stand mixer
Pour the flour into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the dough hook. Add the dissolved yeast, salt and water. Mix until soft dough forms. The dough will be shiny but quite sticky. Put the dough in an oiled glass bowl, cover with cling film. 
Bread dough before first risingBread dough after first rising
Put the dough in an oiled glass bowl, cover with cling film and set aside for at least one hour and a half or until it doubles. 
Bread dough after first risingGenerously floured proven basketBread dough in the proven basket before second riseProven dough in the proven basket after second rise
Place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and preheat it to 230°C, gas Max. It can take about 30-40 minutes. The pot must be very hot. My oven needed about 25 minutes.
Turn out the dough on the generously floured surface and form a nice ball. Transfer it gently to a proven basket (or the oiled glass bowl if you don’t have the basket) and cover with  a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise 30 minutes.
Hot pot and lovely pink glovesDough in the pot

Remove a kitchen towel or plastic wrap from the proven basket or the bowl. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and the lid from the pot. Place the dough inside the pot – the best way is to remove it quick directly from the basket or the bowl to the pot. Cover with the lid and return the pot in the oven. 

Crusty white breadSlice of bread Polly Eats London
Bake 25 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes. You can also remove the bread from the pot and bake on a baking rack for the last 15 minutes.
Cool on the wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Serve with home made butter and orange marmalade.

Crusty Bread Polly Eats LondonCrusty Bread Polly Eats London

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