500g strong white bread flour, plus
extra for dusting
1 tsp fine salt
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in 300ml warm water
and the oil until the dough comes together – add a dash more water if it seems dry.
2. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth. Shape like a rugby ball and put onto an oiled, large baking sheet. Set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. This is known as proving or rising.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Make deep slashes with a sharp knife in the top of the dough and dust with flour. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and cooked. To test if it’s ready, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow. Cool
on a wire rack and slice to serve.