This is honestly one of the most fool proof and tasty bread recipes I've ever come across. This recipe yields a really soft bread with a crunchy exterior. It's perfect for french toast and sandwiches, bread puddings and grilled cheeses. :D
This is also a great bread recipe for beginners - because we'll be weighing all the crucial ingredients, there's less chance of things going awry.
P.S. Want something super yummy to put on your bread? Try my strawberry butter!
Step 1: Ingredients + Tools
- 500 grams all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 grams of active dry yeast
- 3 T olive oil
- 300 mL warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- small kitchen scale
- mixing bowls
- parchment paper
- probe thermometer
Step 2: Initial Mixing
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and set it aside. Then combine the flour and salt together - I just mix these together with a fork. :)
Step 3: Forming a Dough
This is a very loose and sticky dough - don't be alarmed! :D
Make a well in the flour, and pour in the water/yeast/sugar mix and the olive oil. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to mix it all together. It will begin to clump up and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Make sure you're stirring so you're pulling the flour from the bottom up - otherwise you'll be left with lots of flour on the bottom!
I don't recommend adding any extra water at this time - you might think you need it, but I promise it will pull together.
Step 4: Kneading
This bread kneads up really quickly - I can't speak about doing it in a food processor or stand mixer because I only do it by hand.
I'd say it takes 4-5 minutes, normally.
Flour your work surface, and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Keep adding more flour as it gets sticky. You can see in the first photo how smooth the dough should be when you're ready to go!
Step 5: First Rise
Form your dough into a ball. Sprinkle some flour in you mixing bowl and set the dough in on top. Cover with a towel or some plastic wrap and set in a warm spot.
Let the dough rise for at least 30 minutes until it's doubled in size. At that point, you'll want to punch it down by pressing on it. Don't go all out - you just want to get the major air bubbles. :)
Step 6: Forming + Second Rise
You'll want to preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Brush off the excess flour and form your dough into a loaf - either oval or round. Sometimes you might need to knead it a little to make it do what you want. :D
Once it's formed, score down the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Cover with a towel and let it rise again until it's doubled - 30 minutes or more!
Step 7: Baking
Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 200 F. I use a probe thermometer to test this. It works much better than tapping the bottom or judging it by the color of the outside. :D
The loaf will rise more while baking - this bread always turns into a bit of a monster and that's why I love it! It's nice and crusty on the outside and soft inside.