This bread is soft and fluffy and the perfect in between of not a light yet not a dense bread. It's great for breakfast, sandwiches, or as a side with spaghetti and meatballs, or just simple bread and cheese. This recipe makes two loaves and the rise time is about an hour.
In the past I feared baking bread because the thought of working with yeast intimidated me. Also the amount of time needed to knead felt much. But after several years of making pizza dough and getting comfortable with that basic yeast bread, I ventured into the carbohydrate addict's dark side …. a loaf of freshly baked bread.
After mixing the ingredients and the initial kneading of the dough—which is really all of 5-10 minutes—let it rest for 10 min and then knead again. Knead for a minute or five—it's really up to you. So knead, rest, repeat for a total of 5 times. However, it is not an exacting recipe. If you remember to knead it after 20 minutes it is ok. If you let it rise for an hour and a half, it won't turn around and hate you.
– 2 1/4 c warm water
– 2 T sugar
– 1 T yeast
– 1 T salt
– 2 T oil
– 5 1/2 – 6 cups flour¹
DirectionsIn a medium bowl with 2 1/4 cups warm water dissolve 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon yeast.
In a separate large bowl, add the 5 1/2 cups of flour, 1 Tablespoon salt and mix.
Once the yeast has activated make a well in the bowl with the flour and combine with the yeast-water. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and knead for a few minutes until smooth and springy.
Leave the dough to rest and rise for 10 or more minutes. Cover with a wet tea towel or cling film to prevent it from drying out and getting that hard skin on the surface.
Gently knead again and allow to rest another 10 or more minutes.
Knead, rest, repeat for a total of 4-5 times. The dough is ready when you touch it and it almost but not completely springs back.
Sprinkle some of the remaining half a cup flour on your work surface. Turn the risen dough from the bowl onto the floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a rectangle. Roll like a swiss roll or chapati. Repeat with second part of dough.
Arrange seam side down on a baking tray that’s been sprinkled with flour. Leave enough room for both loaves to expand.
With a sharp knife, cut gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes.
Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten lightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds or oats.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180ºC /375°F. Serve warm and enjoy!
3 cups brown bread flour and 2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rye flour and 4 cups all purpose flour