Half Day Homemade Fresh Bread

This recipe lends itself to so many variations just by adding ingredients in the first mixing step.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 packets of rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • **at this step any additions may be added, such as 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese for a cheese bread. 1/4 cup seeded mix for a sesame or grain bread. A mix of fresh or dried herbs for an herbed loaf. See pictures below
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in a push, pull and fold over fashion for just a few minutes. Dough may still be a bit sticky. Shape into a loose round ball.

Place the dough in a bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 2-3+ hours. When dough has doubled in size, it is time to heat the oven. Place a dutch oven with the lid on in the oven and heat to 500F. While the oven is heating, scrape down the dough with a spatula and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper. I like to transfer the dough in the parchment back into a bowl at this step to maintain the round boule shape. Allow to rest while the oven is heating.

Once the oven has reached 500F, set a timer for another 15 minutes to be sure the Dutch oven has been significantly heated as well. Carefully remove the lid and place the dough in the parchment inside the Dutch oven. Replace the lid and bake for about 35-40 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown when the lid is removed. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Enjoy warm or cooled.