For years, I’ve been making homemade bread for my family.
Since carbs constitute my most favorite food group, there’s nothing as yummy as steaming hot bread fresh out of the oven. Can you smell it? Is your mouth watering? How about slathered with butter?
Ok, I’ll stop. It’s mean to tempt you all, and then leave you with nothing.
Right now, most of you are thinking about how labor-intensive homemade bread can be, making it more of a special treat than a daily enjoyment.
Well, I want you to put aside any preconceived notion you have about homemade yeast bread because I am going to show you how it’s no big deal to make fresh homemade bread whenever you desire, because it only will take you about five minutes a day.
In my years of baking, I’ve often used my beloved Kitchen Aid to mix up homemade French Bread in minutes. It’s just so simple that I have even done a Bread making video tutorial for you all just to see how easy it is to make. Many don’t have the luxury of a mixer, but honestly, even though I do, one of the amazing things about this recipe is that you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and have a new loaf on command. This quick homemade bread recipe is by far the easiest way to get fresh bread, and have it often.
Many of my friends were raving about the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and how it’s totally changed the way they bake bread. (Or most likely, how they made their first ever loaf of yeast bread.) There’s no kneading. No bowls to wash. And it only takes five minutes of active preparation when one wants to make a loaf of fresh bread.
I loved being able to walk my daughters through the process. It’s a perfect way to introduce anyone to the art of homemade yeast breads, and who knows, you may just decide you want to graduate onto additional recipes.
Are you ready to become famous in your own home? They will rise and call you blessed.
Homemade Bread in Five Minutes
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T salt
1 1/2 T granulated yeast *
6 to 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling
* any kind of yeast may be used, but I prefer either instant, rapid rise, or active dry.
5 to 6 quart container
wooden mixing spoon
pizza peel (optional)
pizza stone (again, nice to have, but not absolutely necessary)
metal pan with raised edges (such as a jelly roll pan)
Mix the lukewarm water, yeast, and salt in the container.
Add the flour and stir until blended. (This part is so easy, my eight-year-old did it for me.)
Cover the container with plastic wrap or a loose-fitting lid making sure you do not put the lid on tight, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled. It may be left room temperature to rise and will take about two hours.
After it is doubled, do not punch it down like you do with other bread recipes. Let it settle by itself.
Then you may bake the dough right away or refrigerate the dough for up to 14 days, again making sure the lid is not completely air-tight. Even though it is delicious made right away, note that the beauty of this recipe is the ease of refrigerating it and baking it when desired. The dough is easier to handle once it’s been chilled, and the flavor will deepen over time, gaining some sourdough tendencies.
On baking day, sprinkle the dough with flour, and cut off a one pound section (about the size of a grapefruit.)
Form the dough into a ball by rolling the edges under, turning the dough a quarter turn each time, until the dough is smooth (or simply smooth-ish as my dough is in the picture.)
Let the dough rest for 40 minutes on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal (or if you don’t have a pizza peel, I can attest to the fact that a place mat of our grand 50 states will do just nicely as well. )
Slash the top of the loaf three or four times using a sharp knife just before baking.
20 minutes before baking, place the pizza stone on the middle rack, the metal pan on the bottom rack, and then preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Use the pizza peel to slide the bread onto the pizza stone. Immediately add 1 cup hot water to the metal pan, then shut the oven door. (This steam gives the bread a wonderfully crisp crust.)
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
The experts say to let the bread cool before slicing it, and I’m sure they’re right, but I’ve never been able to wait that long.
- Spray your knife with non-stick spray before slicing the dough to allow the knife to cut more easily.
- You can shape the dough into any shape you’d like. We prefer to make baguettes, which also allows us to cut the resting time down to only twenty minutes. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day gives specific directions, rest times, and bake times for different loaf shapes.
- You can double, triple, quadruple, etc. the recipe if you have a large enough container to store the dough.
- There’s no need to wash the container in between every batch. Once you empty the container, simply mix up another batch of dough in the same container.
- I often use only 6 cups of flour in each batch instead of 6 1/2 as I find my dough is sometimes too dry.
With over 100, 5 minute bread recipes, this Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
book is amazing, really. With gift giving season around the corner, add in a pizza stone and baking peel and this would make an amazing gift basket.