Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Rub the fresh yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble, or stir in the dried yeast. Add the salt andwater.
Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other (or use the rounded end of a scraper) for 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form. Tip onto a clean workspace (don’t flour it first).
Begin to work the dough. Once you have worked your dough you can flour your work surface lightly, place the dough on top and form a ball by folding each edge in turn into the centre and pressing down with your thumb, rotating the ball as you go.
Turn the whole ball over and stretch and tuck the edges under. Rest in a bowl in a warm place under a tea towel until doubled in volume.
With the help of the rounded end of a scraper, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in three. Take the pieces one at a time, and flatten them with the palm of your hand into a rough rectangular shape. Spread about 2 tbsp of the paste over each piece of dough.
Fold one side of the flattened dough into the middle and press down firmly enough to leave finger indents. Now fold in the other side followed by the bottom and top, pressing down firmly. Fold in half and press down firmly to seal.
Put the loaves (seam down) onto a lightly floured tea towel, flour the top of each and pull the tea towel into low ridges between the loaves so they don’t touch as they rise.
Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hour or until they have nearly doubled in volume. Heat the oven to 250C/fan 230/gas 10 (or as high as your oven will go) an hour in advance and put in a baking stone, flat baking sheet or upturned roasting tin.
Transfer the loaves to a flat-edged baking tray and make a single cut down the middle of each with a razor blade or very sharp knife. Open the oven and mist the inside with a water spray (about 15 squirts), then quickly slide the loaves onto the preheated baking stone or tray and close the door.
Bake them for 18-20 minutes.The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.