So, about a week ago Andrew asked me if I could try making homemade bread. Well, I tried and we have now consumed 8 loaves in a few days. It really isn’t that hard (just time consuming) and it is soooo worth it. I think I’m going to step back about 50 years and start making all our own bread.
This kind is supposed to resemble the bread from Andrew’s favorite restaurant in Michigan, Kruse and Muer. I found this recipe to make it. I did cut down a LOT on the oil and salt; it just seemed a little ridiculous for a recipe to need 1 cup of oil and 1/4+ of salt to be a little excessive. The restaurant version, in all its oily glory, probably does taste better. But for the quantities that we were consuming at a time for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack, this one seems a lot more appropriate.
The base dough is pretty much all that is important. You can play around with the spices on top (though I am a huge advocate for the garlic since they get all toasted and crispy and delicious). My cousin Leila discovered giant rosemary bushes growing outside our apartment; I may steal a few sprigs for the next batch. Garlic/butter/parmesan would also be delicious.
This bread is best eaten hot with butter. Which is also a reason where you don’t really need a whole cup of oil as well.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
- 1.5 cups warm water (but not hot)
- 1 T sugar
- 2 T olive oil + more to brush bowl
- 1 T salt
- 4 cups bread flour (all purpose will probably work as well
- 2 T poppy seeds
- few pinches of kosher or sea salt, depending on your tastes
Blessing (I had never heard this term before but apparently it’s what the oil + spices you brush on top is)
- 2-3 T olive oil (I just poured a little more than enough to cover the bottom of a little ramekin)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- 1/8 tsp salt
In a mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes bubbly. Add the oil, salt, and sugar and mix well. Using a dough hook on low speed, slowly mix in the bread flour. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more flour. When it is all added, raise the speed to 2 and beat for a few minutes until the dough forms a ball and is smooth and elastic. Knead by hand for a couple minutes. Brush the sides of the bowl with oil, roll the dough around to coat it, then cover with a towel and leave it to rise for 30 minutes. (More or less- the dough should double).
Mix your sprinkle mixture on a cutting board. Mix your blessing in a little bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Once the dough has risen, break it into 4 equal pieces. Shape each into a loaf shape, roll it in the sprinkle, and place it on the cookie sheet. When you have done all 4 rolls, use kitchen shears to cut 5 equidistant slits in the top of each loaf. Brush each loaf generously with the blessing. If you want to sprinkle more seeds or salt you can do so now. Cover the tray with plastic wrap, and leave it to rise for 30 minutes. (If you make these ahead, you can stick them in the fridge now for up to 8 hours).
When there’s about 15 minutes go to, preheat your oven to 450°. It should be done heating just about when the bread is done rising. Bake for 1o minutes at 450°, then turn it down to 400° and bake until golden brown (anywhere from 5-10 minutes). Let it cool slightly and then serve warm.
*Each time I make a batch, I bake 2 and freeze 2. I put 2 loaves on each cookie sheet; after the loaves have finished the second rise I stick them in the freezer, still wrapped. Once they are frozen, I wrap each one individually. When we are ready to bake (which apparently is the next day so freezing them probably isn’t that necessary), I just add a couple minutes to the baking time. (12 minutes, then 10 as opposed to 10, then 6 or 7). They don’t last long in this house so I really can’t stay how long they will stay fresh in the freezer….