3 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife (or 12.75 ounces)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk (I use whole buttermilk and it's incredible)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cornmeal for sprinkling in pan
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast. Set aside.
Lightly grease an 8.5x4.5" bread pan and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.
Combine milk, water, and olive oil in a small saucepan and heat to about 110-115 degrees, stirring very frequently (it will heat up quickly, so don't go far.) It should be warm enough for a hot shower but not so hot you wouldn't want to wash your face or hair in it. Remove from heat.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat on high for 1 minute. Spread the dough (it will be very wet and sticky, like on the verge of being pourable) into the prepared pan. Cover and allow to rise in a warm area for 45-60 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1/4" out of the pan. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
When the dough is done rising, bake for 22-26 minutes or until the top is golden and the bread sounds hollow when you tap on it. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the bread out of the pan onto the cooling rack and allow to cool completely. When ready to serve, cut into 1/2" slices.
This bread is delicious with sweet OR savory toppings--try it with butter and jam or butter, ham, and a fried egg.