This is a quick and easy yeast bread that doesn’t require a traditional starter (fermented dough used in place of yeast). Starters can add depth of flavour to bread; although, I believe when it’s made with love it’ll always be flavourful! Since there are so few ingredients required, seek out the best quality you can find. Nowadays, we’re fortunate to have access to great sources of local wheat flour, unpasteurized honey, and excellent extra virgin olive oil. Have fun making bread and enjoy the delightful smell permeating your home.
MAKES ONE 9 x 5 -INCH LOAF
Use organic ingredients when possible
1 cup very warm (105° to 115°F) filtered water
1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry or quick-rise yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp raw honey
2 cups bread flour
1 to 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or whole grain sprouted flour
1 ½ tsp sea salt
Place the warm water and yeast into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. To the bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil and honey (oil first, honey second so it comes off of the spoon easier). With clean hands, mix everything together until the yeast and honey dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 3-5 minutes.
Gradually add the bread flour to the bowl and mix by hand or with a dough hook in the stand mixer at low speed for 1 minute. Then add the sea salt. Next, add ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour at a time until the dough is moist but not sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or on low to medium speed with the mixer. You’ll know the dough is ready when it is smooth and springs back when you poke it.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, thinly coating the top of the dough with a bit of oil too, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, 40 minutes to 2 hours (the longer you let it rest, the more the flavour will develop).
Grease a standard loaf pan. Punch down the dough (fun part!), form it into a loaf, and place seam side down in the pan. Lightly oil the surface and cover loosely with the plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20 to 45 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the loaf for about 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove the loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely (granted it’s highly enjoyable to tear right into the fresh loaf while it’s still warm!).