Gnocchi, Spinach, Italian Bread

Gnocchi, Spinach, Italian Bread

Now, I’ve blogged about gnocchi before, but I really just wanted to talk about this bread.

This bread, you see, has revolutionized my bread-making abilities. Ok, revolutionized may be a bit strong, but it certainly has changed how I’ve made bread going forward. What was the big discovery? Dried herbs.

It sounds so simple, no? It is, but you get such an amazing effect from them it’s almost a waste not to use them. They’re cheap, don’t go bad (well, eventually) and pack a ton of flavor.

That also leads me to the perfect bread recipe. I mean perfect.

6.5 cups of flour (use any kind you want, just make sure that 4 cups of it is high gluten – whole wheat or even all purpose. The full 6.5 cups of something like spelt flour or barley flour just won’t work).
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 tablespoons of salt
.5 cup of olive oil (or any kind of oil, flavored or otherwise)
3 cups of water (lukewarm, but don’t stress the temperature too much)
Seasonings to taste – I’ve yet to add too much

Combine all ingredients and store in a non-reactive container (I use a stainless steel bowl) lightly covered. On the day you want to bake, just pinch off the size of loaf you want and form into the shape you want. Bake on 400 degrees until it’s nice and dark on the outside. If the bread is sticking to your hands while you’re shaping, add more flour (whole wheat or all-purpose) until it stops doing so. You should let the bread rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into it – no matter how tempting it may be.

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