There is nothing quite like a house filled with the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. Especially on a cold, overcast, and rainy Spring day like today. Here’s my favorite recipe.
Simple Yeast Bread
- 2¼ cups warm water (105° to 115° – ∗see note at bottom)
- 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast (or 1 package)
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. oil (I prefer avocado oil, but you can use olive oil)
- 6¼ cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water for about 10 minutes (until foamy). Once yeast is dissolved, add the honey, salt, oil and 3 cups of flour. With the paddle attachment, beat until smooth. Add in remaining flour ½ cup at a time until the dough is elastic. (note: dough should not be sticky. If it is, add a little more flour. If dough is too dry, add a little water).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and turn it once to make sure both sides are greased. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours.
Punch dough down. Divide in half and place into two greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes. You will know the bread is done when it sounds hollow when thumped and is golden brown. Let pans cool on wire racks.
∗A note about yeast. Temperature is important when activating yeast. If the water temperature is not warm enough (below 105°), the yeast will not grow (activate). If the water temperature is too warm (above 115°), the yeast will die – you’ll kill it.
(recipe adapted from Taste of Home)
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