Easy Peasy Homemade Bread (Never buy bread again!)
Homemade Bread (Not Sourdough!)
Have you ever dreamed of waking up every day to warm, homemade bread? Oh, the smell filling your house. Well, with very few ingredients, you can have it every single day. I am no baker, but ever since I learned how to make my own bread, I can assure you that my favorite bread comes out of MY oven. It is delicious.
It is easy! I know people say it is easy and then the recipe gets so complicated that you give up on trying another recipe. But this one is truly EASY PEASY and so forgiving! If you try it and it’s not, butcher me in the comments below if you want. But I’m sure you will love this one.
Not My Recipe, But I’ve Made It Mine
So, the original recipe comes from Caroline from Homesteading Family. She has a great video with all the steps to make this delicious homemade bread. She was the one that got me into baking my own bread.
Well, I quickly realized I didn’t have the dutch oven or the basket she uses. So, I improvised and used what I had. Guess what? It came out delicious.
Then I started looking for other recipes and came across Artisan Bread with Steve. He has a ton of recipes and variations for bread (and pizza dough!) And he doesn’t use a dutch oven. He created a Poor Man’s Dutch oven. THAT I could make!!! Yay! So, I tried one of his recipes, the Multigrain Bread. Yum!
By this time, I had baked a number of no-knead bread loaves and was pretty comfortable with the process. These recipes are VERY forgiving!
Equipment You’ll Need
8-Qt bowl for preparing, storing, and proofing the dough
A big spoon for mixing the dough (or your hands work fine as well)
3 cups of water at 100 degrees. Basically, this is the temperature of bath water. Not too hot. Not cold. (You know… like Goldilocks!) Test water temperature on the wrist.
6.5 cups of flour. You can use All-Purpose White, Wheat, Bread flour, or a combination of any of them. I like to use 3.5 cups of Wheat Bread flour and then 3 cups of either of the other two flour options. It makes the bread lighter, and not so dense.
2 Tablespoons of Active, Dry yeast. Do not use Instant Yeast. Active Dry yeast will work best with this recipe.
1.5 Tablespoons of salt. Any salt will work, sea salt, Himalayan, iodized, etc. I use regular iodized salt, but Carolyn uses and recommends Kosher Sea Salt.
2 Tablespoons of a fat source. This is totally optional and isn’t part of Carolyn’s basic recipe. I use olive oil, but you can use shortening, other oil, or even butter. Sometimes I use my rosemary and garlic-infused olive oil. I just love the taste it gives the bread. Yum!
Instructions for Making Homemade Bread
1. In a large bowl add water and mix in the yeast. Mix well and let it sit for about 5-7 minutes to dissolve.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. As Steve from Artisan Bread with Steve recommends, use the handle of the spoon you are using to mix instead of the actual spoon part. It creates less of a glob. I love this idea! Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate it into the dough.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it proof (rise) for anywhere from 8 – 24 hours. The first two hours should be on your kitchen counter. After that, I’d put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Take it out of the refrigerator about an hour and a half or so before you want to serve it.
4. I spray nonstick oil onto my bread pan. This is optional as well.
5. Put a sprinkle of flour on your work surface. Remove dough from the bowl onto a work surface. Put some flour on your hands as well. Fold from bottom to top around 10 times shaping the dough according to your pan.
6. If using larger bread pans, divide the dough in two. If using smaller ones, divide it into three equal parts. Carolyn divides hers into 5. I haven’t been able to get that much dough though.
7. Place dough in pan and let it sit for 45 minutes. Cover it with a towel so nothing falls into it.
8. I use a Poor Man’s Dutch Oven, which is basically two bread pans of the same size. One to place the dough into and the other is inverted on top of the one with the dough to use as a cover. I hold them together with metal clips. I got this tip from Steve from Artisan Bread with Steve.
9. I put a timer on for 20 minutes. When this timer goes off, then I turn my oven on to begin the pre-heat process.
10. Preheat oven to 425. When it has preheated, place your covered bread pan in the center of the oven.
11. Bake for 35 minutes with the cover on. Then remove the cover and bake for anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes based on how brown you want your bread.
12. When done, I know you want to dig into it, but give it at least 20 minutes to continue finishing up its process or you may get some gooey stuff in the center. (It has happened to me!!)
After 20 minutes, dig in! Yum!
See how easy it is to bake your own homemade bread! I like to prepare mine at night and then bake it in the morning, especially on weekends. Preparing the dough takes about 5 minutes once you gather all the ingredients and equipment.
This recipe is also great for making sandwich bread.
When the bread gets a bit harder and older, I use it for french toast. Yum! But my family rarely lets it get to that stage. Boy, did I find a GREAT recipe for French Toast Casserole! If you are interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll write a post on it.
Take Action Today
Have you baked bread before and how does it compare to this method? Have you tried this recipe and how did it turn out?