The one big, big caveat I would set against bread making is this….forget about it if you are in a bad mood. Seriously…leave it and do something else…your dough wont rise properly, it wont prove and it wont bake well. Now this might sound a bit airy-fairy but yeast picks up on bad vibes and gets negatively affected by it resulting in bad bread – bake with a smile…and or a beer.
So this recipe is a bit of a faff, it’s a show off thing but it’s a bit of fun and it will look well on your table….which is why it’s baked in a flower pot…………
Kick things off by getting the bread dough together – combine the oil, flour, salt, sun-dried tomatoes and paste in as big a bowl as you can muster. In a separate bowl mix the water with the yeats and allo wto stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast dissolves and you have a bubbly mix – then sling it into the flour mix and go in with you hands.
Bring everything together with your hands to form a rough dough then turn it out onto a floured surface and get kneading – 15 minutes minimum – fold, pull, push, stretch – you want to get the gluten moving at this stage so treat it nasty.
The dough should begin to take on a smooth feel and be ‘airy’ if not light! form into a ball and back into the big bowl with a few glugs of olive oil. Leave it in a warm dark place for a couple of hours to rise, it should grow at least twice in size.
Next turn it out and ‘knock it back’ ie hit it and get the air out of it – another 5 minutes kneading then form it into another ball
At this stage you can liberally oil the flower-pot and drop the dough into it – cover then leave to prove for about 60minutes.
Sling into a pre-heated oven (200c) for about 40minutes or until it rises and browns up.
To remove the loaf, let it cool completely and tease out with a little sharp knife if needed.