Mix all your ingredients together in a large bowl.
Once the dough starts coming together, pour it all out onto the countertop and start kneading!
There is no specific technique, apparently… You are just trying to stretch the dough as much as possible. I knead with my left hand and keep a spatula in my right to keep scraping the dough back into the ball.
15 minutes of kneading gives you great bread. Nigel Slater (whose recipe I am pretty sure this originated from) says you only need 10 minutes. Other bakers say without doing 20 minutes you won’t get a great rise. 15 minutes seemed like a good compromise and works every time!
Once you’re done kneading, put the dough back in the bowl, lightly dusted with flour. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for around 1 hour.
Knead the dough again after this – it should have risen to around twice its original size.
This time put it in a loaf tin lined with baking parchment (you can lightly dust this, but it’s not crucial). Leave to rise again for 45 mins to 1 hour, covered with a tea towel and in a warm place. Pre-heat your oven to 240˚c.
Once risen again – your loaf should look good already – sprinkle a little flour over it. Throw a mug of water into the oven before you put your loaf in and put the timer on for 15 minutes. After this, turn the oven down to 200˚c and give your loaf another 30-35 minutes, by which point it should be looking truly scrumptious.
It should sound hollow (ish) when you tap the bottom of the loaf. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes or so to make sure it slices properly – and enjoy!