Soft Homemade Italian Bread
Nothing beats fresh bread from the oven. The smell of baking bread is good, I even have a candle that smells like it.
We all love bread in this house but the girls don't love really crusty breads like baguettes or a french loaf. And I wanted to make a really warm, soft loaf that would be perfect for sandwiches, dinner sides, or just with a slab of butter.
This bread can be made by anyone. No joke, if you want to start baking, this is the way to start. It only uses a few ingredients that are household staples and unlike a lot of breads, doesn't require much work or fragile handling. Italian bread is pretty resilient.
Soft and Buttery Italian Bread
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups warm water
5 tsp active yeast
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, oil, and yeast. Let sit for about 10 minutes to get frothy.
Whisk in 2 cups of flour and sit in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly.
Add the salt and remaining flour to make a soft dough. *Be careful to not over-mix the dough.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Return to bowl, cover, and let rise in an off oven with the oven light on, for about an hour.
Divide the dough in half and on a floured surface, roll each half into a 12" log. Place both loaves on a greased baking pan.
Let loaves rise until doubled in size. Cut shallow diagonal slits across the top of each loaf
Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the crust has a nice golden glow.