Professional baker Taryn Smith of KZN prefers her entertaining casual, relaxed and outdoors. Pick up the May 2018 issue for Taryn’s full menu.
4 cups strong white bread flour
10g instant yeast (1 sachet)
1T unsalted butter, heaped
1½ cups cool water
1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl adding the salt to one side and the yeast to the other, stir together.
2. Add the butter and 1 cup of the water and mix with your hands or in an electric mixer using a dough hook. Add the rest of the water until all the flour has been combined.
3. Continue to knead until the dough has a soft smooth skin (about 5 minutes in the mixer or 10 if you are doing it by hand). Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm spot to rise.
4. When it has risen to at least half its size and is shiny and bouncy it’s ready: this could take up to three hours if it’s a cold day. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it again until all the air has been knocked out and the dough is smooth.
5. Place in an oiled and floured large bread tin and shape the dough to fit. Place in a large clean plastic bag and leave to rise for about 1 hour. It should double in size again.
6. Whilst the dough is proving, heat the oven to 230°C. Place a separate baking tray at the bottom to heat up as well.
7. Dust the dough with some flour and bake for 30 minutes, or until it’s cooked and sounds hollow when you tap it underneath. Just before shutting the door, poor cold water into the baking tray at the bottom to create steam that will help with a crispy crust.
COOK’S NOTE* Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood’s white cob