This bread comes together very easily, boasting the perfect crumbly crust and chewy center that is kept moist by the ricotta cheese.
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 3–1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1–1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 12 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a cup, pour water with sugar and yeast. Give it a mix, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes to activate.
- Add flour, salt, cheese, oil and chopped sage leaves in a bowl. Give it a mix. Make a well in the center and pour the activated yeast. Using a rubber spatula, give a mix to form rough dough.
- Now, if you are using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead at speed 2 for 12 minutes. If you kneading by hand, scrape the dough in a lightly floured counter top or wooden board and knead until it’s smooth and elastic. It should take about 15 minutes.
- Once the dough is ready, make a rough round ball of the dough and place it on a bowl that’s lightly brushed with oil. Cover it with clear wrap/kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place. Give it a couple of hours to rise and double in size.
- Once done, scrap the dough from the bowl to a wooden board or kitchen counter. Using a knife or a bench scraper, divide the dough in half. Gently flatten one part of the dough into 8-inch square. Make a light dent across the square and gently fold the dough over itself, pressing lightly on the edges. Lift it and place it on the loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat the same with the second half of the dough.
- Cover the loaf pans with clear wrap/kitchen towel and let it rise once again for an hour.
- Bake it in a preheated oven at 375F for 40 to 45 minutes. It will get a beautiful brown crust and when you knock in the center, it should feel hollow.
- Remove bread from the loaf pan and put in on a wire rack to cool down. Give it about an hour before you slice the bread.
If you are using whole-wheat flour, you might need 2 tablespoons more water and 1 tablespoon more oil while kneading. Depending on the weather and temperature inside your home, bread might rise sooner or later. You can also slow rise the dough by keeping it covered in the fridge overnight. Next day, allow it to rest for an hour at room temperature before you shape the bread and keep it for a second rise.
- Prep Time: 4 hours
- Cook Time: 45 mins