Baking bread takes me to faraway places, like the time we traveled to England, and scones, biscuits, and homemade bread were a part of every meal and table. It takes me to my favorite Italian restaurants, the crispy yet chewy crusts that absorb those delicious oils and sauces or my favorite butter dense with fresh herbs.
It is the mainstay of my favorite breakfast, avocado toast. A hearty piece of bread perfectly toasted, with smashed ripe avocado, olive oil, and salt and pepper sprinkled liberally over all. The textures, the aroma, the taste buds smiling really big!
I found a recipe on Pinterest for a 5 ingredient bread made in an hour. Of course this caught my attention and I have tried it several times. I have made adjustments the recipe based on my personal experiences. Here you go.
Easiest Bread Ever
2 small envelopes of fast rising yeast
1 T good honey
2 c warm water (as for a baby's bath)
4 c flour
1 1/2 t salt
Preheat oven to 375.
Pour water in a glass bowl. Add honey and whisk until incorporated. Add yeast and stir. Let yeast activate, about 10 minutes.
Sifting the flour isn't necessary, but you might want to stir the flour if it has been sitting in a canister for awhile. Measure 4 cups into the bowl of your mixer that has been fitted with your dough hook. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl and begin mixing on low speed. Let the dough hook do it's work for about ten minutes or until all flour is incorporated.
Bring the dough to your surface and knead four times, and on that fourth time, form into a long loaf. (I always mess this up and make a round ish loaf, which takes more time to rise and bake!) Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let rise 20 minutes. If the bread doesn't look like it has at least doubled in size, let it rise 10 minutes more. (I take a photo of it before it rises so I can compare)
With a knife, cut slits on top of the bread. You can brush it with melted butter or olive oil if you want. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Insert a long toothpick to check for doneness. It should come out clean. Remove bread from the oven and let cool on the counter. Slice and serve.
It is delicious.
I have added in herbs in a batch, in another I added in garlic powder. Both were amazing.
I feel like a baker now! I can make the bread without a recipe and I love that you can knead it a little. It turns out every time I make it!
Give it a try, and feel yourself transported to Italy and a baker's shop. You deserve that!