I love making my own bread. This recipe is easy and rather fast (total: less than two hours including “temps de repos” of one hour). I do not use a baking machine and I like kneading the bread, having good thoughts for the ones who shall be sharing it.
1- In a small bowl mix one cup of tepid water with one envelope of rising baker’s yeast. Mix with a spoon until the yeast is diluted.
2- In a large bowl place three cups of flour (white or whole or mixed) and one teaspoon of salt. Mix well (the salt can have a contrary effect on the yeast so make sure the salt is well mixed with the flour). Add one tablespoon of olive oil and mix by hand.
3- Slowly add the cup of tepid water and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. Make sure you insert pockets of air as you work the dough so that it may rise faster. If you feel it is too dry, add a little bit of water. If you feel it is too wet, just add a bit of flour.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl covered with a clothe. You can use a humid clothe if you want, but it is not necessary.
5- After one hour, knead the dough on a floured surface in the shape of a baguette and cut sideways into smaller size baguettes or just leave it as it is if your pan is big enough. Make sure you make a few cuts on the dough with a knife so that the bead may breath as it bakes.
6- Place in a pan (I used a regular oven pan covered with aluminium foil) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated 220º C. oven.
Tip: you can keep the bread by freezing it when it has slightly cooled. Make sure you rub the bread with a little bit of water, that will help it stay crispy as you re-heated it in a small or conventional oven.