Zopako Bread With A Deliciously Hard Crust

I am running a hard race at the moment with my blogging as I still have not caught up from when we were overseas. I seem to be chasing my tail and moving papers around my desk. I still have to finish our blog of our holiday – the last two days have not been written up and the photographs have not yet been transferred to my computer. I have left my sourdough starter in the freezer as I have a few bread recipes to try that do not use sourdough. My weekends have been full and I must admit that instead of getting into my kitchen every day for my blog, I have been watching Master Chef Australia. We are only watching season 3 now so please, no spoilers! I am looking forward to our annual shut down in December as by then I should have caught up with everything and I can dedicate loads of time to my kitchen. I needed to bake bread for a recipe and I decided to try one of Dan Lepard’s recipes as I have read across the blogs that they really work. I did not have time to waste and when we got home on Saturday night I got the ingredients together. What I really like about this Zopako bread is that it takes no effort to make. There is very little kneading involved and I am sure that I can adapt this to try with my sourdough starter. It has a deliciously hard crust and dipped into a bit of bisque, made the perfect end to our dinner last night.

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Zopako Bread

Recipe Category: Bread
All Rights Reserved: Recipe adapted from Dan Lepard


  • 175 mls warm water
  • 0.625 mls instant dried yeast
  • 288 g 00 flour, plus extra for shaping
  • 5 mls fine salt


  • Pour the water into a large bowl and stir in the yeast
  • Add the flour and salt
  • Mix to a firm dough, then knead lightly for 10 seconds, until evenly mixed
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave at room temperature for 12 hours, until it has doubled in volume; if not, leave until it does
  • Shape the dough into a stick about 15cm long with tapered ends
  • Lay diagonally on a tray lined with a silpat or baking paper
  • Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes
  • Uncover and dust liberally with flour
  • Press a rolling pin firmly down the centre, so that you almost split the loaf in two, leaving it joined only by a membrane of dough right down the middle
  • Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 240° Celsius
  • Bake for 20 minutes, along with a small tray of boiling water on the lowest shelf to make the oven slightly steamy Reduce the heat to 200° Celsius and bake for 20 minutes, until crisp

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