On the jar of my yeast, it recommended checking 2 things: first, make sure you bring the yeast to room temperature before adding it and second, you can test to see if the yeast is still good by adding it to water & then adding sugar (check your labels).
You can mix it up a little by adding some parmasan cheese and dried rosemary to the top; check it, as it might require an additional 5 minutes bake time to bake-in the cheese and rosemary. A killer combination would be pairing this bread with a fine extra virgin Olive oil … or a selection of cheeses and a goblet of nice wine … to complete this little feast.
4 Tbsps Sugar
2 Tbsps Butter (melted; can substitute with Vegan Butter)
3 tsps Kosher Salt
1 1/2 C hot water
2 Tbsps of rapid rise yeast*
5 Cups of flour (+ or -)**
Put all ingredients but the flour into the mixer (KitchenAid) and let sit for a few minutes so the yeast can do it’s thing. Add the flour in small batches and mix with a dough hook for 8-10 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl that has been greased. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size (about 30 minutes). Punch down the dough, then divide it in half into 2 rounds; place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut decorative slits on the tops of your dough rounds. Let the dough rise again. Rub an egg white wash (1 egg white + 1 tbsp water) over the top and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Add the dried rosemary and parmasan here. Bake at 400 degrees for 17-25 minutes.
*I used regular (non-rapid rise) yeast and so it took longer for the dough to rise- a few hours.
**You can also use wheat flour, or do half and half.