For my first recipe, I'd like to bring out a staple recipe that I use. Eighteen months ago I bought a 2lb bag of yeast at Costco (for $3, totally worth it), and thus my career as breadmaker was born. This is my most tried-and-true recipe, one that is both easy to make and easy to alter.
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 c. warm water
shredded Italian cheese (parm, mozzarella, romano, etc.)
cookie sheet or pan (any size and shape will do, as long as it is more than 12in square/in diameter)
large mixing bowl
optional: dredge for flour (can be bought at restaurant supply stores)
1. Mix flour, spices, and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Make a well in the center of the bowl (by pushing the flour up to the sides).
3. Add the yeast and sugar to the well.
4. Pour the water into the well.
5. Wait for the yeast to react (about 5 minutes - it will look like small explosions).
6. Mix dough. Turn out on a lightly floured cutting board/surface.
7. Knead for ~10 minutes, until the dough is "smooth and elastic" - about the texture of a small child's skin.
8. Rinse and dry the bowl, then pour in ~2 tbs of olive oil and swirl around so the bowl is coated.
9. Add the dough to the bowl, then turn it once to coat it with oil.
10. Cover with saran-wrap or a wet cloth.
11. Let rise for 30min - 1hr (until doubled in size).
12. Heat oven to 450 and grease a pan.
13. Squish dough into a round or square shape, depending on your preferences. The dough should be about 3/4 of an inch thick all around. Pour cheese on top, also depending on your preferences. (about 1 c. is usually sufficient.)
14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese browns nicely.