When homemade bread comes to mind, do you picture hours of waiting and work ala The Little Red Hen? Picking up a bag of bread from the grocery store for you and your family probably seems like about ninety-nine percent less effort than kneading, rising, and baking your own dough for loaves. Few things beat the smell of homemade bread and it always feels good to know what is going into the food you and your loved ones consume, though.
Luckily, there is an easy 5-minute prep, no-knead bread recipe that will cost you far less than your store-bought bread, smells amazing, and takes no time at all.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 ½ tbsp. granulated yeast (quick-rise yeast)
½ tbsp. salt
6 ½ cups flour, unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose
- Use a large mixing bowl. Warm your 3 cups of water to about body temperature. Add the yeast and water into the bowl and whisk. Add salt.
- Mix in your flour all at once. As promised, no kneading necessary! Mix with a wooden spoon. (You can also use a mixer if you’ve got one of those, but a wooden spoon works just fine.) You’re done when everything is uniformly moist without any dry patches. This should take a few minutes.
- Cover your bowl loosely with a lid or saran wrap with a small hole on top. Do not cover the bowl tightly or the dough can explode. Let rise for two hours. (It’s also fine to leave the dough in the fridge overnight and use it the next day.)
- With floured hands, grab a handful of dough the size of a large grapefruit. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough if it sticks to the whole. You can shape it, put it into a bread pan, or just glob it onto parchment paper.
- Let the dough sit on the counter for 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Before placing in the oven, dust the loaf or loaves with flour and use a serrated knife to make a few long slits on top.
- Place on middle oven rack. On the bottom rack in a pie plate (or similar) place 1 cup of water. Steam from the water helps makes the crust chewy and delicious.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Knock to see if it sounds hollow—it’s ready when it does!
You can experiment with toppings for the bread—try cheese, spices, or oats—or enjoy it “plain”. Don’t be surprised if bread never makes it onto your grocery list again! — Amanda Oliver