- 6 Cups Bread Flour
- 4 ½ tsp Active Dry Yeast (2 packets)
- 2 Cups Water
- 4 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tsp Salt
- 2TBS Sugar
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Sometimes, with no warning, you wake up with an insatiable craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sometimes you get into the kitchen, only to find out that there isn’t a slice of bread for literal miles around. Sometimes you turn into a crazy person and decide to make a couple of loaves of bread from scratch just to eat a stupid little sandwich. Desperate times, right?
I don’t have a whole lot of experience with bread, or baking in general. But what I lack in experience, I make up for with enthusiasm. Bread is an absolutely fascinating thing. To think that someone, thousands of years ago, decided to grind up some little grass seeds, mix in some water, and put the mixture into a hot place to create the cornerstone of human civilization makes me positively giddy. And while this recipe isn’t really all that fancy or impressive, it’s a cool thing to smell the same aroma wafting out of my oven that people have enjoyed for thousands of years.
So, back to my sandwich dilemma. I, at least in theory, love the idea of diving head first into some kind of insanely labor intensive bread project, complete with fermented starters and overnight rises, but the reality of having a baby roaming around the house makes it hard to keep up with projects like that. So, I opted for the simplest and quickest white bread recipe that I could. I poured through a few cookbooks and google results, and came up with some decent ratios that are capable of creating a perfectly serviceable loaf.
So, to start, here’s what you’ll need to knock this easy recipe out.
To start, mix all dry ingredients, either in a mixing bowl, or using a stand mixer with a dough hook. This recipe doesn’t require proofing the yeast, so no worries there. Next, slowly add the water and oil while mixing. Knead and mix until fully incorporated, and keep kneading for 6-7 minutes. You’ll want to end up with a nice, firm ball of dough that isn’t overly sticky. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, flipping once to make sure the oil covers all sides of the bread. Lightly cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until the ball of dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and cut into two equal portions. Using a rolling pin and a lightly floured surface, roll into a rectangular sheet of dough about an inch thick. Roll the dough back up into itself, and pinch all seams off on the bottom side to seal. Repeat for the other portion. Place both finished portions into standard loaf pans (9”x5”). You’ll want to grease the pans if they aren’t non-stick. Lightly cover and let rise again for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has filled the pans and reached the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you hear a hollow sound when tapping on the upper crust.
And there you have it. This recipe is a perfectly simple and delicious way to make your house smell absolutely amazing. It also made a top-notch PB&J.