Nobody bakes bread anymore. Well, maybe a couple of blue-haired old ladies do, but that’s just because they don’t have jobs and must do something to justify their existence.
People think that making bread to laborious and time consuming, but that’s not the truth at all. Bread making is not only easy (especially with the help of a food processor or mixer), but it also produces some kick-ass product that you can’t buy at the grocery store. Filling your house with the aroma of baking bread isn’t a horrible thing either.
This is a fantastically simple recipe from Mark Bittman. There’s only 5 minutes of real work on your part, the rest of the time lively little yeasts are doing the heavy lifting for you. And your work consists of turning the knob on a food processor and rolling a doughball, so quit being a lazy S.O.B. and get to making bread.
Easy Homemade Bread Recipe
3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour (or All-Purpose)
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of Instant Yeast
1 Cup of Warm water
1. Mix the dry ingredients – Put all of the dry ingredients into your food processor and pulse a few times to combine them.
2. Warm and add the water – Take your cup of water and put it in the microwave for 40 seconds. You want it warm, but not hot. This will help to wake up those yeasts that have been sleeping off their bender, if it’s too hot though, it will kill them off. Turn your food processor on and slowly pour your water through the fill tube.
As the water is added, the flour will begin to clump and form a dough. Once all the water is added the dough will clump into a ball and begin dancing around the sides of your processor bowl. Let it dance for a minute or two (you might have to hold onto it) and then turn off your processor.
3. A Little R&R – It’s time for your dough to rest. Do this for at least one hour at room temperature, if you can hold out for a few hours though you’ll get a much better tasting finished product.
4. Shape your dough – Pre heat your oven to 375° and lightly flour a flat service to work the dough. Take your out of the bowl in which it rose and knead it a few times on the counter to get it back cohesive again.
Using your hands, form your dough into a ball. Pull the sides to the bottom to create a taught surface on the outside of the loaf and let it rise again. Cover it with a towel while it rises for 30 minutes. I like letting the dough rise on the pan I’m going to cook it on, that way you don’t lose any of those precious air bubbles trying to transfer it from one surface to another.
If you’d like to, you can slash the top of your loaf of bread a few times, it’s a purely cosmetic maneuver, but a nice addition.
5. Shake and Bake – Place your bread into the oven and cook until golden brown on the outside. The internal temperature should be 210°. A loaf this size should take about 45 minutes to cook, but everyone’s oven is different so using a thermometer is important.
Another nice thing you can do tell help get an even crispier outside on your loaf is to throw a cup of water on the bottom of your oven when you put the bread in. Not only does it make a totally kick-ass noise, but more importantly it produces a ton of steam. This steam sticks to the outside of the loaf, gelatinizing the very outer layer, that when cooked gets extra crispy. It’s a great technique and it makes you look like a true baking mastermind.
Tagged with: easy bread recipe • homemade bread • how to make bread
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