So many of us are spending a lot more time at home due to social distancing. What a perfect time to do more "from scratch" cooking and baking! Don't depend on restaurants for your meals - there's at ton of food prep and cooking you can do right at home that is so much cheaper, healthier, and oh-so-good! If the grocery store runs out of bread, easily make your own. And I mean EASILY. There's something so comforting about the smell of fresh-baking bread, and what a feeling to pull that loaf out of the oven. If you have children at home, get them involved in the process - you are teaching them such important life skills!
A very important thing to know about homemade bread is the yeast. First make sure your yeast is ready to go by combining it with warm water (105-115F) and sugar or honey. If you see bubbles and foam after 10 minutes, then you're good to go. After kneading, it's critical to allow the yeast plenty of time to do its thing, which is creating flavor! Let it do its work until your dough is doubled in size, then punch it down and let it rise again. For those of you at higher altitude, it's not necessary to put your dough in a warm place because there's less air pressure and the yeast will work just fine at cooler temps. Putting it in the refrigerator works great as well, because then the yeast activity is slowed way down and it will be producing even more flavor.
This recipe will make 2 loaves, and you can freeze one while you enjoy the other.
Happy bread baking!