I recently rediscovered this recipe for Italian Herb Bread in one of my Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. (Homemade Harvest, Gooseberry Patch)
It is a wonderfully quick and easy recipe, it uses all pantry ingredients and it makes two loaves. Also, you do not need a mixer or a bread maker to prepare this bread--just a bowl, a spoon and and oven (plus 2 loaf pans!) Have I sold you yet?
Try this out next time you are making Italian for dinner! It also makes a great accompaniment to Beef Stew, Vegetable or Tomato Soup or a Big Salad!
Italian Herb Bread makes 2 loaves
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast (Not instant)
1 3/4 Cup Warm Water (110-115 degrees)
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp. EACH of Dried Oregano, Dried Basil and Dried Parsley
Garnish: 2-3 tbs. Melted Butter
Add yeast to warm water in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve and wait 5 minutes. Blend in all remaining ingredients, (except butter) and stir until smooth. Cover with a thin towel and set aide to rise or double in bulk, (about an hour and a half.) Punch Down and turn dough out into lightly floured counter or board. Knead until smooth and large bubbles have disappeared. (Don't fret too much about this step. Just fold your bread over and press down and then fold it over the other way, trying to get out large bubbles of air. It will still be airy and fluffy, this is a good thing.)
Divide Dough into 2 loaves and place in 2 lightly greased 9x5 loaf pans. Cover and Let rise again with Towel until double (about another hour)
Bake at 350' for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pans and brushed tops with melted butter. Allow to cool slightly before slicing your husband a piece so he can see how awesome you are.. don't tell him how easy it was.
** I do both my rises in the microwave, (off of course.) it guards against drafts and doesn't take up room on my counter!