Homemade Bread with Herbes de Provence

So I did it!! My first time breaking yeast bread and I’m so excited.  I’ve always wondered if all-purpose flour can be used instead of bread flour and finally found this great and simple recipe from The Culinary Chronicles.  I made some adjustment as follows:

Ingredients:

5 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Herbes de Provence (optional)
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
Sea Salt (optional)
2 Cups Hot Water (120-130 degrees F.)
A pan of hot water

Mix 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, herbs and salt.  Pour in the hot water and beat 100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer).

Stir in the remaining flour until the dough loses its stickiness.  Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 8 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth.  Let rise for 15 minutes in a warm spot (away from drafts).

Punch down and divide the dough into two pieces.  Shape into round loaves and place on a greased baking sheet.  Cut an “X” one-half inch deep in each of the loaves with a wet sharp knife. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt.

Place baking sheet with loaves in the middle of a COLD oven.   Place a pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake 40-50 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely before wrapping and/or storage.

Since this is my first time, it’s hard to determine if the bread is done.  And I found great advice on how to check if the bread’s doneness at theKitchn.  I just tapped the bottom of the bread and check for hollow sound.

Once the bread is out of the oven, I couldn’t wait and had to have a bite.  It tastes wonderful.  I’m so proud of myself 🙂