For many years I was afraid to attempt bread making. Honestly, the first couple of loaves I made could have cracked a sidewalk. Being the stubborn lady I am, I was determined to succeed. I tried various recipes before I found one that worked for me! This recipe is a result of the basic recipe I first used.
1 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups bread flour (more or less)
1 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl add the water, honey, and the yeast. Mix and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast activates and becomes frothy.
Add the olive oil, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix well but don’t be concerned if you don’t get all the lumps out. Add the salt and 1 cup of flour and continue to mix.* Your dough should begin coming together into a workable dough. If it is still too wet add additional flour one tablespoon or so at a time but don’t add too much. Dry bread is the result of adding too much flour. As you combine the dough it will begin pulling away from the sides of the bowl. When this happens you know it’s time to knead.
On a well-floured surface and with well-floured hands, turn out the dough and begin kneading. To knead, fold the dough towards you and with the palm of your hand push the dough away from you. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat the kneading. It will take approximately 10 minutes to achieve a smooth, elastic dough that springs back when pressed. You may need to add a little flour to your board and/or your hands as you knead. Once again, don’t overdo it with the flour.
In a large bowl add about one tablespoon of olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn over to coat the dough in oil. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise until double in size. The length of time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen but should take an hour or so.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down with your fist. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times. Divide into half and form into the shape of a loaf. Place into lightly greased loaf pans. (This will make two medium loaves.)
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and it sounds hollow when thumped. Brush with melted butter for even more deliciousness!
* If you wish to add herbs or spices to your bread, this is the time to do it. For this recipe, I added Italian Seasoning and garlic.
This is a very light bread that I use as a base for many of my recipes. It’s perfect for toast or sandwiches. I also use it for pepperoni rolls. I used half this recipe to make meat pies for dinner. They were delicious!