This was my second attempt at making a yeast bread, and I found it a little harder than the rolls, but not too bad. The kneading is really the worst part! One day I’ll have a mixer to do the dirty work for me… a girl can dream can’t she?
- 1 1/2 C hot water – see below for temp
- 1 TBS honey
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp or 1 pkt. yeast
- 3 – 3 1/2 C flour, more for dusting surface and hands
Baker’s note: I used a little whole wheat flour, and the rest all purpose, but you can really use anything you want, including bread flour.
Measure your water in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, microwave about 30 seconds until it’s the temp of hot bath water, about 102-108 degrees. Pour the water into your large mixing bowl, and drizzle in your TBS of honey, mix with whisk. Sprinkle your yeast on top of water, do not stir though, let sit for 5 minutes so it activates (it will puff up on top of the water). If using rapid rise or instant yeast it will not puff up, just let it dissolve in the water for 5 minutes.
If you’re confused about the different types of yeast like I was, and wonder what the difference is, or whether they are interchangeable, see this link for helpful reading!
Next add in 1/2 C whole wheat flour and mix with whisk until frothy. Or like I mentioned before, any kid of flour you want to use really. Add in 1-2 tsp salt, depending on your taste. Add in your 1 TBS olive oil and continue whisking this all together. Start adding in the rest of your flour in
1/2 C increments. If you want to add in rosemary or anything else, do it after you’ve put in 1 C of flour total to mixture. I added rosemary from my rosemary bonsai bush! Isn’t she cute?
But you can really do anything here – rosemary, basil, sun dried tomatoes, raisins, pumpkin puree, etc. Or you can leave it plain.
If you want chewier bread put an egg in now also. I did not do this step.
Keep adding your 1/2 cups of flour, then use wooden spoon and mix until you can no longer use the spoon.
Flour your work surface & hands, then dump out dough onto it and start to combine with hands, if it’s sticking to you use more flour, push it into dough with hands, keep folding dough from outside in. Knead 100 times and keep adding flour if still sticky to the touch.
Form dough into a smooth ball.
Use a clean bowl and put a drizzle of olive oil in it and rub around with fingers, put your dough in and swirl the ball around on both sides to cover w oil. Cover with a clean towel or cling wrap and rest for 40 min in a warm, draft-free environment. I put mine in either the oven or microwave, with them turned OFF of course.
After the 40 minutes check the dough, it should’ve about doubled. Punch it down with your hand, it’ll deflate, then cover again for it to rise another 40 min.
After the second rise, flour surface and dump out dough again, knead it to get air out, adding flour again if sticky. You only have to knead a few minutes this time.
Now cut or separate into rolls or loaves, or make one big loaf. You can cut slits for a decorative touch.
Set tray of loaves or rolls aside to rest while your oven preheats to 375. You can brush an egg wash (one egg scrambled with 1 TBS water) over top of each loaf/ roll if you want, to get that shiny crust on top.
Bake on parchment paper for about 35 minutes, less for all rolls, more for one big loaf of bread.
After allotted bake time, check to make sure the bread is cooked by tapping the underside to see if it sounds hollow. Store in an airtight container after cooling completely, put in refrigerator or freezer if not eating within a few days.
I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did!