I've made my share of fancy loaves - mustard-flavored,veggie-based, saffron-infused, long-rising sourdoughs - but it doesn't always need to be that way. Over the weekend, I felt strongly that I was ready to take it back to basics. It doesn't get much simpler than a nice white bread, and before you think "but that's the unhealthiest of them all!" - this isn't the preservative-laden version that's so common on store shelves. Real ingredients make real bread, albeit really simple bread.
1/4 cup water
4 tsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
3 and 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
As is my standard, this makes a 1.5 pound loaf, and is of course baked on the white bread cycle on your machine (what else would you use it for?). It may originally look pretty dry when it's mixing up, but it quickly turns into the perfect ball of dough, and bakes in to a light and fluffy loaf. It's a Wonder, when you think about it! ;)
It's ok to make bread simple, and to just have something relatively plain (yet familiar) to enjoy in the simple ways we've become accustomed to throughout our lives. Cold and hot sandwiches, breadcrumbs in meatloaf, toast, slathered in butter - you have a blank canvas and ideas from your childhood to work with! A minor obsession of mine is the tuna melt. I had one for dinner tonight and I'll probably have 3 more as the week goes on. How's this for screen-licking goodness?