Our neighborhood has several bakeries, excellent bakeries from what we have tasted. However, when my husband tasted his first bite of this bread, he said, and I quote:
"Mmmm, where did you get this bread?"
To which I replied, "I made it."
The rest of the conversation was inarticulate, a series of grunts and groans and happy husband sounds. I think that I heard "make again" somewhere in there.
Herbes de Provence Bread
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (or italian herbs, or a mix of italian herbs and rosmary, or whatever herbs you like in your bread)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups flour
Using a dough hook, mix the water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Add 1/2 cup flour, the salt, olive oil, herbs and pepper and mix, on medium speed, for a minute or two. Gradually add the rest of the flour, mixing on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, and the dough starts to pull away from the bowl, about 6 minutes. Grease a clean bowl, and transfer the dough to the greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour. Press the dough down, and transfer to a baking sheet (or a pizza stone, your call). Form the dough into a loaf shape, cover with the towel, and let the dough rise for another hour. Carefully remove the towel (some of the dough may want to cling to it), and bake the dough at 375° for about 30 minutes.