Nothing smells better than fresh bread baking in the oven. And nothing tastes better than ripping a big hunk of that bread apart and eating it while it's still warm. I love baking my own bread, although these days, it takes more than just one loaf to satisfy all six of us. Here's my favorite, most basic, bread recipe.
2 tsp Active Dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In an electric mixing bowl, using a ball-bearing whisk, mix yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup of warm water. Set out until doubles in size and yeast is activated-- about 5 minutes.
Whisk in salt and 1 1/4 cups of water. Add flour. Using a dough hook, mix on medium speed in your electric mixer... 5 minutes. Dough should be gathered on the hook, and relatively sticky to touch. Remove dough, and coat the mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Replace dough. Cover bowl loosely with a kitchen towel. Let sit for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Line a baking pan with parchment, and sprinkle bread flour on it. Remove dough from bowl, and press out any air onto the baking pan. Shape dough into a rough loaf, or circle... depending on what you want your bread to look like. Let sit for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400. Bake bread for 45 minutes. You want the bread to be golden brown, but not burnt.
Best if served immediately, but will last up to 3 days. But trust me... you won't be able to keep it around that long.