Home chefs are baking up a storm while sticking closer to home during the coronavirus pandemic – and pantry staples are flying off store shelves. With that inspiration, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has shared an easy recipe to bake bread with just two main ingredients.
In a recent episode of the television show “Keep Cooking and Carry On,” the British chef made a “basic bread” using only yeast and flour.
“There’s thousands of different bread recipes out there, with different flours, some have fresh yeast, some have dried yeast, some have no yeast,” Oliver explained. “There’s so much choice but I want to give you the most basic one because there’s so many of you that have never made bread before.”
To prepare, gather dried yeast, strong bread flour, and tepid water. The recipe will produce enough dough for two loaves of bread.
“All the different flavors you can do, the shapes, the sizes, in a tin, on a tray, in a cheesecake mold, little ones, big ones,” Oliver exclaimed of the versatile recipe, in a YouTube video that has since been viewed over 640,000 times. “Do you flavor it? Do you take leftovers and put it inside a bread? Do you do pizzetta, focaccia, calzone?”
“There’s so many different things you can do, and I think now more than ever, it’s quite nice to do this.”
2 teaspoons of dry yeast
4 1/2 cups of strong flour
2 3/4 cups of tepid water
Dash of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 F
Pour water into mixing bowl, then add yeast and mix with a fork for a few minutes. At this point, the celebrity chef suggested adding a “pinch of sugar or a little honey to “help wake the yeast up.”
Add in most of the flour and a dash of sea salt. Mix together until dough forms.
Using your hands, mix the dough together to form a ball of dough. Add flour to your hands if the dough is especially sticky.
Move dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead for at least five minutes to create an “elastic” dough
With the dough in a ball-like form, put it back into a bowl, covering the top with flower and a clean, damp towel. Let it sit for between an hour to an hour and thirty minutes, or until it doubles in size.
After dough expands, knead it again for 30 seconds. Separate the dough into two shapes and set them on flour-dusted baking sheets, sitting again for a second time – between 30 minutes to an hour.
Place baking sheets in an oven and bake dough for about 25 minutes, cooking into a golden bread.