Embark on a journey to the heart of your kitchen with our Bread Recipe. This timeless and essential creation, designed to serve four appreciative souls, is an invitation to the world of homemade bread. The process of crafting your own loaf is a culinary adventure that fills your home with warmth and the irresistible aroma of freshly baked bread. With a few simple ingredients and a dash of patience, you’ll soon enjoy the pride of presenting a homemade bread that’s as delicious as it is rewarding.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (approximately 110°F or 45°C)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional, for added flavor)
- Cornmeal (for dusting the baking surface)
Step 1: Activate the Yeast
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. The mixture should become frothy, indicating that the yeast is active.
Step 2: Combine Ingredients 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. If you wish to add extra flavor, incorporate the olive oil at this stage.
Step 3: Form the Dough 3. Pour the activated yeast mixture into the flour and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Step 4: Let the Dough Rise 5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Step 5: Shape the Loaf 6. After the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Then, shape it into a loaf by folding and tucking the edges underneath.
Step 6: Prepare for Baking 7. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place a baking stone or an overturned baking sheet inside to heat.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking peel or an inverted baking sheet. This will prevent the bread from sticking.
Step 7: Final Rise and Bake 9. Place the shaped loaf onto the cornmeal-covered surface. Cover it with the kitchen towel and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, allowing it to rise again.
- Right before baking, slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor.
- Slide the loaf onto the heated baking stone or baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Step 8: Cool and Enjoy 12. Allow the freshly baked bread to cool on a wire rack. Once it’s cooled, slice and savor the homemade goodness.
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