This is a nice recipe for first time bread bakers like me.
Yields 1 loaf
2 teaspoons of instant active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups of water (warm)
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
3 tablespoons of of butter (melted)
3 tablespoons of fresh herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, basil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (i didn’t use it, its optional)
If you don’t have bread flour then use 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon of wheat vital gluten flour. This will rise your flour well and you won’t feel doughy while eating the bread.
I use vital gluten whenever I am substituting all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit 2 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a food processor or a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, fresh herbs, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough several times. Tear off small pieces of dough (tiny balls), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a pie pan (or any). Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have two layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size. Almost an hour.
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Bake it for almost 30 minutes, till the bread is lightly golden brown. Sprinkle garlic and herbs mixture. Serve it hot with marinara sauce or herbed olive oil, or basil pesto.
Note: If you want the bread to have more garlicky flavor then add 1 teaspoon of finely minced garlic in the dough. Also herbs can be added in the dough to give a flavorful taste. Moreover, add mozzarella cheese on top of the baked bread and put it under the broiler for 3 minutes.