No Need to Knead Two-Hour Bread. Picture by Jane-Anne Hobbs

Makes 1 big loaf

Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients

  • 500g cake wheat flour
  • 250g brown bread wheat flour
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1 x 10g sachet instant yeast
  • About 550ml warm water

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, brown flour, salt and yeast.  
  2. Add the warm water and stir very well to form a sticky dough. You may need a bit more or less than 550 ml, depending on how ‘thirsty’ your flour is, so add the water a little at a time.  Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Generously flour your counter and scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Gently form the dough into a thick disc, and flour the top of the disc.
  4. Take the edge of the disc furthest away from you, stretch it firmly outward and upwards, then fold it in towards the middle.  Give the dough a quarter turn, and repeat the stretch-and-fold. Continue this process until you have folded the dough a total of 12 times all the way round.
  5. Flip the dough over so the ‘seam’ is on the underneath. Gently turn and tuck the ball to form it into a taut round loaf. Place a big sheet of baking paper (parchment) into a bowl and add the dough ball, seam-side down. Cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Now put a big cast-iron pot (with its lid on) in the oven and turn the temperature up to 245 °C. The oven and pot should heat for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Dust the top of the loaf with flour again. Using heavy oven gloves, take the cast iron pot out of the oven and remove the lid. Pick up the ball of dough by grasping the edges of the baking paper, and place it in the pot along with the paper. Using a razor blade or very sharp knife, cut two or three slashes across the top of the ball.
  8. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the edges of the baking paper, replace the lid and return the pot to the oven (the water will create steam that helps the dough rise).
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid, turn down the heat to 225 °C and bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and crusty.

Serve warm, with lashings of butter.