Betsy’s Bread

by Betsy Carnie

A favorite indulgence of mine is a hunk of crusty bread smothered in aioli. Any crusty bread will do; slice it up or, in the spirit of sans souci, let diners break off pieces for themselves. Here’s a recipe for the bread I like to make for friends and family.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce of fresh yeast (about 1 inch square)—look for it in your grocer’s refrigerated section
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 5 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Betsy’s Bread

Elizabeth Cecil

In the standing mixer, add water, sugar, and crumbled fresh yeast, mix briefly together and let stand for about 10 minutes to proof. Then add olive oil, and the flour one cup at a time, mixing in between. Then salt and mix with the dough hook on low for about 10 minutes. Move the ball of dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place, like the oven of a stove lit by a pilot light. Leave to rise until double in size, about 45 minutes. Then punch it down and shape into two oiled loaf pans. Let the bread rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes (until the loaves rise about two inches over the top edge of the loaf pans). Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to
350°F and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from loaf pans and check to see if they’re done by tapping the loaves; they should have a hollow sound. If they need a little more time, return to the oven without their pans and check every 5 minutes. Cool for at least a half an hour before serving.