Neglect Sourdough Bread
4 cups plain flour 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon instant dried yeast granules 2 cups tap water (not warm - just straight from tap) 1: Mix ingredients together with a spoon till flour is all absorbed. You may need an extra tablespoon or two of water - some flours are more absorbent than others - but no more than this. 2: Cover bowl with a plastic bag or cloth and leave on the kitchen counter at room temperature for between 12 and 24 hours. The flavor is better developed after 24 hours but 12 hours will do. 3: Remove the sticky dough from the bowl, plop onto a flour-dusted baking sheet and shape into a loaf or round with your hands. Add sesame seeds or rosemary sprigs or Maldon salt etc. 4: Bake at 210 C for approximately 30 minutes till lightly golden. See below for 'how to' images of this less-than-60-seconds-prep bread.
COOK'S NOTES: You don't need to activate the yeast beforehand with warm water 'n sugar etc. Just add it to the flour just as described. This is why it's called instant dry yeast. You could use half wholewheat or rye flour here but combine with white flour or it will be too heavy. Feel free to include cranberries or walnuts or olives or sun-dried tomatoes in the bread batter.This wonderfully versatile dough can also make the most delicious foccacia. 1: Make the dough exactly as described and wait up to 24 hours till risen. 2: Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a baking tray, plop the dough onto the tray, and press down with your fingers to make a rectangle. Press the surface down with fingers so you have all these little indentations all over as these hold the oil and flavor. 3: Drizzle over a little extra oil, sprinkle well with Maldon salt, and bake at 210 C for approximately 20 minutes till golden.