Italian Peasant Bread

2 cups bread flour
1 pkg FAST RISING or regular yeast (FRESH!)
3 tbsp sugar
warm water to suit
3 tbsp FRESH rosemary
1 tbsp FRESH oregano or marjoram
1 tbsp FRESH thyme
1 tbsp FRESH garlic
Olive Oil

Note: For Dried herbs, substitute tsp for tbsp.

Start your yeast in a cup with 1 tsp flour, 1 tsp sugar and warm water. When the yeast is foaming – You’re Ready!

Put the flour in a large bowl, make a pocket, add foaming yeast. Chop 1 tbsp rosemary and add to flour. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Begin mixing flour with a wooden spoon, add warm water gradually until you have a good firm dough ball.
You can add a little more flour if necessary to correct. Dust the bowl and dough ball with flour. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled. Turn out the dough on a board and take out your anxieties for 5 minutes, kneading and sprinkling on enough flour to keep the board dry.

Now, roll the dough to about 3/8 inch thick. Shape it to fit your pan(s). Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle on chopped herbs. Place in a barely WARM oven until it rises to suit you. We like it about 3/4 inch thick. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees and WATCH IT! About 15 minutes – until it is nicely browned. Cut into wedges and dip in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Italian Butter).

Yumm, Yumm!!!

Notes: Once you get the hang of it for your altitude and taste, you can knock this out pretty quick. Great for after work when you aren’t too hungary. We sometimes add a little tomato sauce to a half,
and find that LESS is MORE! Experiment! Here in our are, we have lots of fresh herbs year round, but yeast and flour are always a problem, and baking times at sea level are freaky. You may be able to skip the yeast in a cup step.

Good Eating! I wish you many happy meals.

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