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This bread originally was meant to go with an Italian dinner, but I found it goes well with steak or chicken. You can adjust the amount of basil and rosemary and garlic to your personal taste.
Add sugar to 1/2 cup of the water and then add the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast in the water. Let it sit until it bubbles and doubles in size, about 10 minutes.
Pour oil in a bowl with the rest of the water, the regular salt and the yeast mixture. Mix. Add the flour a little at a time. Add the garlic and herbs at this point to get them mixed into the dough. If you are using a Kitchen Aid mixer, put it on medium for about five minutes with the bread hook. You can add more flour as necessary to get the right consistency. It will be done when it isn’t sticking to the hook.
Coat a cookie sheet or shallow pan in olive oil and cut the dough into two balls. Set them on the pan and cover. Let them stand for about 20 minutes, then punch down the dough and mold them into two loaves. Put them in two loaf pans coated generously with olive oil. Cover and let sit until they double in size. This can take about an hour depending on humidity levels. When they are doubled, put a few pats of butter on the top of the loaves and salt the tops with the sea salt. Bake in a 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes.
You can adjust the spices to your liking. My husband isn’t a big fan of rosemary, so if he is eating it I will add less of that.