This herb bread recipe is easy to make and versatile in both form and flavor. Delicious as either rolls or in a traditional bread loaf, you can use the herbs and seasoning of your liking or none at all.
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in the dry active yeast and allow the yeast to “proof”. It will become foamy and will bubble. If it does not do this, then your yeast is no good or your water is either too hot or too cold.
Add the Italian seasoning and mix in the oil and salt and add one cup of flour at a time combining until a dough forms
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for several minutes until the dough becomes less sticky. You may need at add a pinch or two of flour during this process. Lightly grease a large bowl and place your dough into this bowl. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm area and allow the dough to double in size. This will take approximately an hour. If you choose to cover with plastic wrap, grease the plastic wrap with oil so that it does not stick to the dough.
Once the dough has doubled in size, “punch” the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. Again, you may need to add a pinch or two of flour so that the dough does not stick to your hands as you knead. Divide the dough in 2 equal pieces. Place in either 2 well greased loaf pans, or make into rolls by cutting into equal pieces and rolling in small balls and putting in well greased muffin pans. Cover loaf pan, or muffin pans, and allow to rise again until the dough is about 1 inch above pan. This can anywhere between 30 minutes and could be as much at 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F.
Boil 3 cups of water and pour into an oven safe pan and place on the lowest rack in your oven, This will create steam while your bread is baking and will make for a crustier loaf of bread. You can omit this step if you prefer. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes for a loaf of bread and approximately 18-20 minutes for the rolls.
Half way through the baking process, brush melted butter on the bread/rolls. Bread is done when golden brown and will sound hallow when you give it a little thump.
Optional to brush a little more butter on bread when you remove from oven (why wouldn’t you?) Allow to cool for a few minutes on wire rack before serving.