Friday, May 20, 2011

The Easiest Bread Yet

Matt and I found a bread recipe which is truly changing our lives.  Fresh bread every single day!   Am I in heaven?!?!  I believe I am.  Soft, fluffy, butter-covered heaven.

So, I was going to call this post "The Easiest Bread Ever," but since I just learned about it within the last month I figure there might still be an even easier recipe out there that I have yet to discover.  (If you have it please send it my way.)  Also, maybe there is one out there that isn't written out like a novel (seriously, nine pages?!)  I assure you that though it is wordy in all reality it is quite simple.  Or maybe, like usual, we didn't follow the rules (I know we didn't) so we made it easier to suit our liking.  Please feel free to follow Mother Earth News' recipe to the letter, but that is not really our style. 
Veggie soup with bread is an unbeatable rainy day lunch in my opinion.
Here is our much simplified variation on the recipe:
6 1/2 C Flour
3 C Water
1 1/2 T salt
1 1/2 T yeast
Dissolve yeast and salt in water.  Stir in flour.  Let rise in the bowl for 2 hours.  Shape loaves.  Raise again for 20-60 minutes.  Slice the tops.  Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 - 45 minutes.

Here is the very best part:  This is no-knead-keep-the-dough-in-the-fridge-so-it-is-ready-to-go bread.  You can let it raise the first time and then put it, covered, in the fridge (for up to two weeks) until you are ready for it.  Then just take out a chunk and let it go through the second raising before you bake it.  The longer it sits in the fridge the more sourdough like the bread becomes though I confess I have always just used up all the dough within a week.  What can I say, I am a bread-a-holic.  This recipe is so super, duper easy.  Why didn't I discover this years ago?!?!  Why have we been mixing, kneading, waiting, and baking every weekend to enjoy bread all week?!

I have seriously, SERIOUSLY, enjoyed having a fresh loaf of bread within a half hour without any more work than:
take bowl out of fridge.
Cut off chunk of dough.
Form into loaf or ball shape.
Bake 30 minutes.
Eat.
We've made both free formed and pan loaves and both seem to work swell.  Once again Mother Earth News and fresh, home-baked bread rock my socks off.  Blessed be the simple pleasures in life.

6 comments:

  1. It looks really good along side that soup as well. HAPPY BAKING!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise," I am doing this tonight! Ooops, what kind of yeast? Packet kind? I hate kneading. The last no-knead recipe I found had one set of measurements in the article and another set of measurements on the video. It was not nine pages, but it was confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ooh, thanks so much for this. I even get Mother Earth News but failed to catch the part where you can start the bread and then refrig the dough 'til needed. LOVE that part! thanks so much for sharing, Beth; I'll be bookmarking this page!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am mixing up a fresh bowl of dough tonight as I just polished off yesterday's loaf with breakfast! Happy baking indeed!

    Yes, Parsimony, just your standard yeast. We buy the Red Star kind in bulk. I hope this recipe turns out with less confusion. I have a hard time kneading and was glad to give it up.

    Dmarie- That is the best part, isn't it!?!

    Thanks for stopping by and happy baking to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. well, cool. I was just talking to a friend about bread yesterday and we agreed that making bread is WAY more flexible than most people make it out to be. Shame, too, because fresh bread smells like heaven and tastes like heaven too. lovely photos, too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is totally a shame! I suppose that's why folks like us have to keep letting the secret out: making bread is cheap and easy!!! Man, I wish someone had told me that sooner.

    Oh well, now that I know I've been experimenting with variations of this recipe. Adding sunflower seed or flax. Different kinds of flour. Adding vital wheat gluten. Brushing with milk and topping with seeds. So far they have all been awesome.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!