|Fresh out of the oven! Yum!|
I've finally found the perfect recipe for bread. Seriously, this stuff is SO good we hardly buy bread anymore. Besides, few things are as good as fresh, hot bread right out of the oven!
Believe me, I've gone through my share of recipes. A lot of recipes. This one is super easy and does not require much attention at all. You can simply toss the ingredients together and put it in the oven. We've also used it to make pizza crust, rolls, cinnamon rolls.... it is very easy to modify to suit your tastes. It's what we always bring to cruiser's potlucks and we get asked for the recipe so often, I decided to just post it on the blog. =)
1 package yeast (or 2 tsp yeast)
2.5 cups hot water
1/4 cup sugar
6 cups flour
1/4 cup oil (whichever type you prefer/ I use olive oil, but only because that is what I have in the galley)
1 T salt
1 egg (egg wash: crack an egg into a cup or small dish. Use a pastry brush or whatever similar tool you have in the galley and mix the egg a little. No pastry brush: Use a spoon or something to create a light coating of the egg wash on the loaf. You will brush this onto the loaf before baking).
1 small handful of flour to sprinkle on a clean surface for shaping the loaf.
optional: parchment paper
1. In a large mixing bowl: add the yeast, sugar, and water. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add 3 cups flour and mix. (I hold the bowl with one hand use my other hand to mix the dough, as it is faster and easier than using a spoon).
3. Add in 3 more cups flour, oil, salt, and mix.
4. Cover with a clean towel and let rise.
**In a rush? Sometimes, (mostly because I need it fast) I have simply mixed it all together, shaped it into two loaves, and baked it right then, without waiting for it to rise. It tastes just fine.
5. Set aside and wait for it to rise (maybe 20-30 min or so, depending on the temp of your galley--or set it in the sunshine on the deck), give it a stir with your hand to mix it down a bit.
6. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface (I use parchment paper for fast and easy clean up).
7. Take 1/2 of the dough out of the bowl and shape into a loaf. Transfer to your baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper for easier clean up)
8. Cut 3 slashes in the top surface of the loaf.
9. Brush the top with an egg wash, if desired.
10. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden and you have that delicious fresh bread smell coming from your oven.
11. Repeat for the other 1/2 of the dough.
Other ideas for this dough:
1. roll it out thin for pizza crust (we do this a lot) or make empanadas/calzones
2. form into dinner rolls
3. add various things to it: olives, jalapeno and cheddar, cinnamon and sugar, etc. Whatever floats your boat. =)
4. Only need one loaf? Put the other half into a ziplock bag and place in the fridge. It will get a more sour/yeasty taste the longer it sits. It is fine for up to one week this way.