Classic Crusty Herbed Dinner Loaf
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Serves: 1 loaf
 
Delicious crusty dinner bread loaded with olive oil and herbs. Perfect with every meal and makes a great grilled cheese! If you are not an experienced yeasted bread baker this recipe is a perfect place to start! The 40 minute prep time listed includes proofing. This recipe was originally written by Chef Madeleine Dee and has been slightly adapted to account for my own trials and experience with making it.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (a fast rising yeast is best!)
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups warm water (read the yeast package for the best temperature recommendation, but typically you want it just slightly warmer than body temperature.)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to brush over the loaf
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 2 teaspoons fresh herbs OR ½ teaspoon dried (I opted for rosemary - it is the most versatile, but if you have an herb garden or a favorite blend switch it up!)
  • nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the active dry yeast, light brown sugar, and warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes -- the yeast will bloom in the bowl.
  3. Add the flour, olive oil, salt, and herbs. Stir until the flour is mostly incorporated and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It will be mostly smooth -- you can use your fingers to press in any remaining flour bits, but DO NOT KNEAD yet.
  4. Lift the dough out of the bowl and make a rough ball (this keeps it from sticking to the bowl too much while proofing). Place it back in the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and place the covered bowl on top of the stove above the preheating oven. See note. Let it proof for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Scatter flour on a clean work surface. Turn the proofed dough out onto the flour and knead only 3 or 4 times. Shape the dough into an oval.
  6. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment. Place the loaf on the prepared pan.
  7. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut 3 or 4 slashes across the top of the loaf.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The outside will be a pretty golden color.
  10. Let the bread rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  11. Best served warm but will keep, tightly wrapped, for 1-2 days (if it lasts that long)
Notes
Placing the bowl on top of the warm stove will help the bread to proof quickly. If your stovetop does not warm with the oven (if you have wall oven units, for instance) you can also place the bowl in the microwave with a cup of HOT HOT water and close the door (make sure the microwave is OFF!). This will proof the bread in about 15 minutes.
For original fast-proofing tips, visit the original recipe by Chef Madeleine Dee
Recipe by Sugar Dish Me at https://www.sugardishme.com/classic-crusty-herbed-dinner-loaf/