I stopped buying bread from the grocery store about a year ago after watching a few videos, and reading a few recipes on how it's made. I've usually made a batch of 3 loaves every couple weeks since then. Super easy, and so yummy!!
1. Start by mixing 1/2 cup flour with the 3 tbsp yeast in a large bowl along with 1 cup warm water.
2. While the yeast is doing its thing, mix 6 cups flour, the sugar, salt and butter or olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
3. Once the yeast has risen (10 - 15 mins), add it to the mixing bowl along with the remaining water and get mixing.
4. I use a stand mixer to knead the dough for a good 10 minutes or so.
5. You want to end up with a dough that is dry enough not to stick to the sides of the bowl, yet is wet enough to be soft and pliable.
6. Spray the dough with some cooking spray and cover the bowl with cling film. You need to let it rest.
7. Put the bowl in a warm place for 45 minutes, for it's first rise. I usually stick it in the oven with the oven light on.
8. While waiting on the dough to rise, prep 3 bread pans by spraying them with cooking spray.
9. Here's what the dough looks like in 45 minutes.
10. Flatten the dough and take it out of the mixing pan onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into 3 equal parts and shape them into rough loaves.
11. Roll the dough into loaves and place them into the bread pans.
12. Spray lightly with cooking spray again and place back into the oven for the second rise. 30 minutes or so!
13. After 30 minutes, pull the loaves out of the oven and heat up the oven to 400* F (200* C).
14. Place the loaves into the oven at 400* F for 10 minutes and then drop the temperature down to 375* F (180* C). Bake for a further 15 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on them.
15. Once done, cool the loaves on a wire rack before cutting into it.
16. This recipe can also be used to make yummy Dinner Rolls by using 1.5 - 2 tbsp of yeast instead of the 3 used for loaves. All other ingredients stay the same. Shape the dough into 12 rolls after the first rising, and then proof again as per the recipe up top. Enjoy!!