I just thought I’d add the beautiful picture and the video first, even before words. This right here is my favorite bread. It’s chewy and soft and perfectly tearable. Most people are extremely intimidated by making bread. It’s actually very simple.
This recipe especially, you don’t even need a bread pan and you really don’t want one. Free formed ball of bread is where it’s at.
There is quite a bit you can do with this. You could split the dough in half and make two bread bowls. You can slice it or you could hollow it out and put a dip in the center. We really like to just tear it off and dip it in olive oil – the best way to eat if, if you needed an opinion.
To make good bread, all you need is a little time. This is one piece of bread perfection that should not be rushed. The rise is so important, but doesn’t take any work on your part. Let the yeast take care of that.
What else do I love about this? The ingredients. Minimal. 6 ingredients and one of those is water. You won’t find a bread boule in the store with only 6 ingredients. I love any food with minimal ingredients.
I once thought I would challenge myself to only eat foods with 5 ingredients or less. Then, as I was going through my refrigerator, I realized that I would probably go hungry. Even yogurt has more than 5 ingredients. That worried me a little. It’s nice to know that “from scratch” cooking is making a comeback!
And this bread is good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try your hand at it, you might surprise yourself!
- 1 and ¼ cup very warm (not boiling) water
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour + a little more for kneading
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- non stick cooking spray
- In a medium to large bowl, add water, yeast and sugar - stir to combine
- Let rest for 5 minutes
- Add flour and salt
- Knead for 5 minutes on a well floured board, adding a little bit of flour to ensure dough does not stick to board
- Dough will be ready when it no longer sticks to your hands and is tacky, but not super sticky
- Place back in bowl and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size
- Uncover and remove dough from bowl, reshape into a ball and place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray or oil
- Cover and let rise for an additional 60 minutes or until it has doubled again
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Place baking sheet with dough in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown
- Optional Step: When placing dough in the oven, place 3 large ice cubes on the bottom of the oven - this creates steam and gives the bread a nice crust
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting