So my sister and I have been experimenting with bread recipes lately and I think we have found the easiest and yummiest one yet! In our recipe we added Chia seeds, Flax, and Rosemary from my garden. It will take about 10-15 minutes to prepare the dough, an hour and 20 minutes of rising time, and 35 minutes to bake. So give yourself enough time, I cleaned my kitchen and did a load of laundry while it rested. Alrighty, let’s get started!
- 1 1/2 cups hot water (between 103-108)
- 1/2 tsp agave, sugar, or honey
- 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (instant didn’t work for me)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil (your choice)
- flour of your choice (I used whole wheat and added vital gluten)
- extras (herbs, spices, dried fruit, grains, oats)
- parchment paper
In a measuring cup add sweetener to hot water and stir to dissolve, then add the yeast and gently whisk to incorporate. Cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes, it should double in size and be very frothy. While it is activating, prepare your flour and other ingredients.
Pour yeast mixture into a glass bowl and add 1/2 cup of flour and whisk well to activate the gluten. Then add the salt, oil, and another 1/2 cup of flour. Once you mix that together, now is a good time to add any extras you might want; the dough is still liquidy enough to properly incorporate but not so thin it all sinks to the bottom. Continue adding flour and stirring until it starts to thicken, you’ll want to switch over to a wooden spoon at this point. Just alternate adding flour and stirring; eventually, you’ll want to retire the wooden spoon and use your hands. When the dough stops sticking to your hands, it is ready. Dust a flat surface with flour and gently knead the dough to really get the gluten proteins activated, approximately 100 times. rinse out your bowl and coat with whatever oil you used in the bread, place dough ball into bowl and flip to coat ball in oil.
Allow dough to rest for 40 minutes, covered with a dish towel in a warm area. It should rise significantly, doubling its size. All you have to do at this point is “punch” the dough down a few times and then cover again and allow it to rest for another 40 minutes. At this point, you want to place dough onto a flat dusted surface and knead out the air. If it sticks, just add a little four.
Now you can cut your dough into separate pieces and shape into “logs” or balls. Let your creativity shine through, make into fun shapes or add to a loaf or bundt pan. I used parchment paper, but you can use a Silpat or simply spritz the pan with oil. You can use an egg wash or if vegan, you can spritz with water and add seeds, herbs, or spices to the tops of your loaves; I also like to cut slits into my dough. When the dough is placed on baking sheet, allow it to rest for a few minutes. This is when I like to get the oven preheating. Set to 375 and once it is heated, the dough should have risen a little more. Place on the center rack of your oven and set the timer for 35 minutes. Toggle your time based on the size of your dough, a little more for larger loaves. If you’re unsure whether the bread is fully cooked, you can knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow it’s ready to go!