Simple Herb Bread / by Rachel Nordgren

Linking up with the Bread and Wine Project from Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts!

There are five words in the English language that can instantly make you more awesome.

"I make my own bread."

Impress your friends, astound your in-laws, and tantalize your tastebuds with this super simple (as in, under one hour) herb bread recipe! I've been using this recipe for years and it's never failed me. I almost always make it when we are have people over for dinner, because it's ridiculously fast and easy, and a definite crowd pleaser.

If you've never made bread before, don't fret! This recipe is very forgiving and very easy.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbs. active dry yeast
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tbs. fresh basil (use 1-2 tsp. dried if needed), minced
  • 1-2 tbs. fresh rosemary (use 1 tsp. dried if needed), minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs. olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 c. warm water (slightly warmer than room temperature)

If you don't have all of those spices on hand, no worries. Simply throw in what Italian spices you have sitting around. You can always play around with the spice combinations to find what you like best, too! It's flexible.

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.

1. Mince the garlic, basil, and rosemary. Mix together.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, minced spices and dried spices.

3. Mix in the olive oil and water.

4. Stir until the dough "pulls together" - no more bits of dry flour hanging around. This will take a couple minutes. Feel free to add a splash more water or olive oil if the dough is too dry.

5. Plop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

6. Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, adding more flour if it gets too sticky.

Psst! Need to know how to knead? Check out this video. It'll look like this when you're done.

7. Lightly oil a large bowl and put the dough in it. Turn the lump of dough around until it's coated in oil.

8. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth (the moisture will help keep the heat in) and place the bowl in your preheated oven.

9. TURN THE OVEN OFF.

10. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for 20 minutes, or until it's roughly doubled in size.

11. After the dough has risen, remove the bowl, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

12. Punch the dough down. Literally. Just press your fist into the risen dough.

13. Grease a round 9 inch baking dish with the olive oil. You can also use a square one...again, this is a flexible recipe!

14. Pat the dough into the baking dish until it's an even thickness.

15. Using a knife, make shallow slashes in a criss-cross pattern across the top of the dough. This will make it easier to break the bread into chunks after baking.

16. Bake yo' bread for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Ta-da! That's it, folks! I told you it was easy!

Tearing the bread into chunks makes it easy for guests to grab a piece or two as they're eating dinner. We also like to serve it with a mixture of dried spices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a shallow dish for dipping.

Have you ever made your own bread?

Under Grace, Rachel