Bread and Bruschetta


500g plain flour
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
375mls lukewarm water

Grab a loaf pan of around 10cm x 20cm (I'm using three different sizes, two small & one medium) brush with melted butter to lightly grease.  Measure out all your ingredients.

Place your plain flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix until combined.  Make a well in the centre and add the lukewarm water. If the water is too hot then it will kill the yeast - test it first.  Use a wooden spoon to combine, then use your hands to bring the dough together. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 - 10 minutes, if the dough springs back when you push your finger into it, then it's been kneaded enough (first knead).

Shape the dough into a ball and place into large bowl, brush top with a little bit of melted butter and cover with gladwrap or a damp tea towel, this will stop the dough from drying out.  Place bowl into a draught-free warm spot and leave for up to 1hr to double in size (proving stage).   Once it's doubled in size, punch it down with your fist - this releases excess carbon dioxide produced by the yeast (punching or knocking down)

Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead again, until it returns to it's original size.  Preheat oven to 200oC.  Place dough into your loaf pans (divide your dough first if you are using more than one) brush with melted butter again and place back into that draught-free, warm position for up to 30 mins.  Pop into the oven, cook for 30 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.

Turn loaves out onto wire rack and let cool.

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

2 handfuls of mixed ripe tomatoes
1 small bunch of fresh basil, tear leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
good quality white wine or herb vinegar

Chop tomatoes removing the seeds, mix together with all the other ingredients.  Toast your bread, rub with a cut clove of garlic, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and then place your bruschetta on top.