Using five everyday ingredients and following simple instructions, this recipe is great introduction to bread baking, I use this recipe on Fridays before Shabbat when I do not feel like baking challah. You may copy this recipe and add your own steps to it. Be sure to share this around! Enjoy.
2 Cups of bread flour. I personally recommend flours from King Arthur.
1 Tablespoon of raw honey. This is optional. If this is used, the dough will be sticky.
2 Teaspoons of instant yeast.
2 1/2 Teaspoons of kosher salt.
1 2/3 Cups of warm water. I enjoy using filtered water!
1 Tablespoon of pure olive oil.
Pour some of the warm water into a mixing bowl, then add instant yeast. Wait 2-3 minutes, the instant yeast will dissolve and the water will look bubbly.
Add bread flour in the mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients except leftover water.
Stir together (by hand or using an electric mixer). If the flour does not come together, you may add a little water until everything begins to stick. Continue to stir until everything becomes a shaggy mass of dough. If you are kneading the dough by hand, placing it on a slightly floured surface, fold the dough over itself towards you, then press it away from you using the heels of your hands. See example here.
When fully kneaded, the dough should be bouncy and smooth. If not, that is okay. Place the dough in a bowl that’s been lightly greased with olive oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a cloth, and the let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours. If your kitchen cold (below 65°F), place the bowl of dough in your turned-off oven with the oven light on.
After the dough doubles in size, gently deflate the dough and cut it in half. You will have two loaves.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, grab one side and fold it into the center, and the other side over it. Gently pat and roll the dough as long as your bread pan is.
Prepare bread pan(s) with parchment and place loaves inside. Set aside let both rise for 30-45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.
For a golden crust, glaze the loaves in egg wash. Beat 1 large egg and brush the risen dough with the egg wash.
Place the bread in the oven and bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack. It’s best not to cut into the bread until it’s cooled down a bit.
Storing instructions: store bread, well wrapped, at room temperature. You may freeze it for longer storage.