Nothing makes us feel more accomplished than creating a loaf of bread out of yeast, flour, salt and water. And a round, artisan-looking loaf brings glittery tears of joy to our eyes.
Here's what you need and how you do it
1 packet yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Water (about 2/3 cup)
Heat 1/4 cup of water a few seconds in the microwave. Until it's warm, but not hot. Stir in sugar and yeast. Let sit (proof) for about ten minutes. Once it's puffy, dump into a large-ish bowl and add flour, salt and remaining water. Mix with your hands or, if you're lucky enough to have a stand mixer, blend together ingredients with the paddle attachment or dough hook on low speed.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for five to ten minutes (or you can use your dough hook for this, which we highly recommend, as we're not partial to crampy hands).
Grease a glass 3- or 4-quart Pyrex bowl and transfer dough.
It should be quite gooey.
(read: hard to work with, but, just deal. It's worth it).
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place. We heat our ovens up to 100 degrees, turn it off and let our dough rise there.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down.
Cover loosely with a dish towel and let it rise again, until about double.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread until it turns golden and sounds hollow when you tap it, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, turn onto a cutting board and serve right away.
Mmm. Warm bread slathered with melty butter. The ultimate comfort food.