You don’t need a machine to make this bread. This is an old fashioned recipe that requires only 6 ingredients along with a dose of labor, love and patience.
- 3 cups white or whole wheat flour, or 1 1/2 cups of each plus a little extra for kneading
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet or 2 tsp yeast
- 1 T sugar, brown sugar or honey
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 cup warm water (not hot)
- Measure in the oil and add the warm water (not hot otherwise you will kill the yeast). Stir together until dough gets sticky and stiff.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, sugar (we prefer honey) and yeast.
- Now for the fun part; using your hands, work the dough into a ball. If it is too dry, add more water (1 tsp at a time) or if it’s too sticky, add more flour.
- When you get a nice ball of dough, scatter a bit of flour onto the counter or a sil-pat. Now work that dough; stretch it, knead it, fold it, turn it until your arms burn! Do this for at least 5 minutes.
- In a clean bowl, add about 1 T of olive oil, and roll your ball of dough evenly in the oil.
- Place dough in a warm spot covered in plastic wrap or a tea towel.
- Now this is the part where you practice patience…let it sit for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
Now take your fist and punch the dough down! Smash it down to force all the air out of it!Knead it again for about a minute.
Let the dough rest up for a minute while you grease a loaf pan (a 1 lb pan will suffice).
Coax the dough into the shape of the pan and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel again.
Again, we practice patience, this time for an hour to an hour and a half as we wait for the dough to double in size again.
Set the oven to 350 or 375 (no need to pre-heat).
Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown, the bread is well risen and crusty.
Remove the bread from the oven and turn it over onto a dishtowel on the counter.
Give it a “thump” on the bottom with your finger. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. If it doesn’t, bake it a little more.
Allow your bread to cool a little before slicing, but not too much, because you want the butter you’re going to put on it to melt!