Slowly but surely, I’m getting over my fear of yeast. It really isn’t as intimidating as I originally thought it was. Which is a good thing and a bad thing.
It’s good because now I’m happy to take on new challenges in baking with it.
It’s a bad thing because then I’ve got stuff like this hanging around the house.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Italian bread, until you do it yourself. Unreal!
slightly adapted from Southern Living
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
2 to 3 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine yeast, sugar and water in mixer bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, oil and salt and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, about one minute.
Gradually add additional flour until dough starts pulling away from sides of bowl (the dough will take on a “shaggy” appearance as you add the flour…consistency is right when it’s soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or dry and rough).
Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area free of drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down and let stand for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and shape into a 12″ loaf. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Cut 3 (1/4 inch deep) slits diagonally across top of loaf with a sharp knife.
Bake for about 16 minutes. Cool on wire rack.