The quickest way to a man, woman, or child’s heart!
The most basic food that we can prepare, and yet the most decadent when it has been prepared by YOU!
I can think of nothing I cook in the kitchen that is easier than bread. You don’t believe me? I will promise you, that if you take the time to follow these simple steps, with simple ingredients, watch the video clip above to be certain you know exactly what to do, you will ask yourself why you ever feared to attempt making your own bread by hand.
This basic bread recipe and preparation makes the most delicious bread, and yet it is also the same recipe that can be used for:
– Meat Pie
– Vegetable Pie
– And anything else you might encase in a bread dough
With the addition of a little sugar, butter (in place of oil) and your favorite spice, you are equip with all you need to switch over from a basic bread or savory pie, and make a sophisticated breakfast bread or sweet bun!
Be brave, be daring, get a little flour on your nose, and let’s do this!
– Yeast – 2 teaspoons
– Sugar – 2 teaspoons
– Salt – 1 tablespoon (plus coarse salt for crust)
– Olive Oil – ¼ cup (plus a little for the bowl)
– Flour – 3 ¾ cups (give or take a little – plus some for surface)
– Water – 1 ½ cups (not hot, not cold, just tepid)
– Egg wash – 1 egg mixed with a little water or milk to thin
Pour water in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar on top, and let sit 5 minutes to form a foam. Sprinkle salt, add oil, and a little flour. Stir. Add a little more flour. Stir, and stir until it begins to get thick and difficult to stir. Now it’s time to get a little messy. With your hands, begin to press the flour into the dough, add more flour, and keep pressing, folding, and adding flour until it forms a lovely plump ball. (There is no need for strenuous kneading. Just a simple “press, fold, flour, press, fold, flour” is all you need do.
In a clean bowl, pour a little oil to glaze the bowl. Place dough ball in oiled bowl, cover, and let it sit in a warm (not hot) place to rise. It can rise anywhere from one hour to 2 depending on the climate.
Once it rises, punch the dough once to release air. Place on a floured surface and shape. (Log, round, rolled out into a pizza, or what ever you desire.) Place on a baking sheet. (I prefer parchment paper under it, but not necessary.)
Mix egg wash and baste the top. (This adds golden color and crunch. If you are out of eggs, you can baste with more olive oil.) Sprinkle coarse salt on top, or sesame seeds, or any other topping you prefer.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 for 18 – 20 minutes until golden.
Done and DELICIOUS!