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Homemade Bread

There are many different techniques to make bread and many kinds of breads – but I stick to this recipe because it's pretty simple and quick. 
My favorite add-ins are rosemary and poppy seeds. I also like to mix into the dough all kind of seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and flax; fruits like nectarines or apricots; or raisins and walnuts; black olives are delicious; and even spices like coriander and rye.
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Shelly
Cost: $3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional

Instructions

  • Put the flour, the yeast, and salt into a big bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add in half of the water, using one hand, working it into the flour. Then add the rest of the water a little at a time, and keep working it in with one hand, until the the mixture becomes a slightly sticky dough. If it feels too sticky, add a little more flour. If the dough is not moist and soft, add a little more warm water.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Dust it a little, and knead it for a few minutes. The dough should remain a bit sticky, so don't dust it too much. This is the time to add seeds and/or herbs or both to the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a moist, clean kitchen towel, and put it in a warm place. (Not too warm – not on top of a radiator or in the sun. If your place is cold, cover the bowl with a folded table cloth (over the plastic wrap) – like a blanket – it keeps the dough warm. Let it rise until it doubles its size – about 1 - 2 hours.
  • After the dough has doubled in size, put your palm in the center of it and knock the air out. Knead it for 20 seconds then shape it into a ball or log (to make a loaf) and Put it into a small dutch oven or a loaf pan lined with baking paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise and double its size in a warm place – about 45 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 420°F.
    You want to keep all the air inside the bread, so don't knock it. Gently place it in the preheated oven. Don't slam the door! Bake for 40–45 minutes. To check if your bread is ready, take it out of the pan and tap on the bottom. If it makes a hollow sound, it's done. If not, put it back in the oven for a little longer.
  • Let it cool completely on a cooling rack before you slice it.