This is my basic bread recipe that I can vary according to my mood or our meal. It can be used to make pizza crusts, focaccia, sandwich bread for slicing…the possibilities are endless! I most often bake it in a “brownie pan” drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt and fresh rosemary. It freezes beautifully.
Servings: about 8Prep Time: about 3 hours Cook Time: Varies
2 c bread flour
2 c all-purpose flour (or 1 c AP flour + 1 c whole wheat flour)
2 pkg active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
Combine yeast and sugar in about a cup of warm water and set aside until yeast begins to foam and smell “yeasty”, usually about 10 minutes, maybe longer if the room is cool.
Combine flours, salt and olive oil in a very large bowl or on a clean, smooth surface and add foamy yeast mixture. Add warm water a little at a time until the dough comes together – if it gets a little too wet, just add more flour.
Knead for at least five minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Oil the inside of a large bowl, place the dough in and cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm (not hot!) spot until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and shape into desired shape or place into your pan of choice. Oil the top of the loaf and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise once more – about 15 minutes for a pizza crust or as long as an hour for a lighter loaf.
Bake at 375 degrees until lightly brown on top and cooked through – baking times will vary according to loaf shape.
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