I love bread, almost as much as I love chocolate. I don’t know why I haven’t baked bread sooner, but now that I am somewhat serious about actually cooking/baking all the recipes I have collected over my entire lifetime, I wanted to give the bread baking a try, especially since I wanted to make my own Garlic Bread and not buy that super soft stuff in the silver bag in the store. I was very pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make bread and how tasty it was. The bread tastes best though the first day. If you have left over bread, make sure to toast it or use it for bread pudding or cheese fondue.
Here a very basic recipe for a crusty white bread.
- 3 cups of flour
- 2,5 teaspoons yeast (or one package)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1,5 cups warm water (110 degrees)
- Mix the water with the oil, honey and yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom the yeast. After 5 minutes you should see some foam on top of the water.
- Mix the flour with the salt and pour the yeast/water/oil/honey mixture into it. If you have a Kitchen Aid mix everything with the hook attachment on low for 5-10 minutes. If you don’t have one of those handy electrical aids, just knead the dough by hand. The dough should come off the hook and bowl very clean – just a tiny bit sticky. If its way sticky, just add a little bit more flour (1/4 cup), incorporate it well and if its still too sticky, add a little bit more. The trick is to get the dough to be soft but not too sticky.
- Oil a bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover and let rest at a warm place for 1 hour (until the volume has doubled).
- Take the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead it a couple of times, form a nice round ball and place the ball into an oiled cast ironed pot or cast iron pan or on a greased baking sheet and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
- Bake the bread in the preheated oven (425 degrees) for 40 minutes.
Voila – home baked bread!
Notes: In the photos you see that one of my breads (above) has salt on top and looks a little bit more glossy than the cast ironed baked bread (below). I experimented and glazed my first bread with an egg wash and sprinkled sea salt on top. The cast iron bread does not have any wash on top, it just comes out that way naturally.
If you would like to make your own home made garlic bread proceed as follow:
- While the bread is resting for the second time, put an entire Garlic head onto some aluminum foil, cut off the top and pour some olive oil on top, then wrap it up in the aluminum foil.
- Bake the wrapped Garlic at 350 degrees in the oven for 1 hour (I have a little toaster oven, if you don’t have a toaster oven you would have to bake the garlic prior or after the bread baking or try to bake with at 425 with the bread together and check after 30 minutes if the garlic is done. (it should be super easy to squeeze the garlic out of each individual garlic clove, it will have the consistency of “paste”.
- Once the bread is cooled out, cut it into thick slices, butter it, squeeze some of the baked garlic onto the bread slice and sprinkle it with salt.
- Put the bread slices on an oiled baking sheet and broil the slices for 2 minutes (or until they start to brown). You have to really watch the broiler so that your bread doesn’t burn, like mine in the below photo – it was still very good though :-).