Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Basil, Chilli and Lemon Loaf

Makes 1 medium loaf.

For the loaf:
500g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
400ml milk
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for greasing

For the decoration (optional):
Fresh basil leaves
Olive Oil

Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt, oil, dried basil, chilli, lemon zest and milk and combine until the mixture forms a dough (you may need to add more milk if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until it feels soft but not sticky.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the loaf has risen, shape it into a ball and place it onto a lined baking tray.
Cover the baking tray with a tea towel and leave to rise again, for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the loaf has risen, take a few fresh basil leaves and press them into the dough, for a little decoration. 
Brush some oil over the basil, to help it stick, and then bake the loaf for around 25 minutes, or until the crust has turned a nice golden brown and the bottom makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Leave the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack, before tucking in.

Little tip: Different flours will absorb different amounts of liquid, so I would add ¾ of the suggested liquid to the mixture at first and then if the dough feels a little dry, you can always add some more.

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