Super Easy Homemade Bread

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GeneralDiscontent
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Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by GeneralDiscontent » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:29 pm

Hey all -

Thought I would do a write up for an easy bread recipe I finally got a chance to try out. This recipe originally appeared in The New York Times a couple years ago. I like it because it only has three ingredients, only requires about ten minutes of actual hands-on time, and is easy enough that an oaf like me can get great results. :P

What you'll need:

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3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (AKA "rapid rise" yeast)
1-1/4 teaspoon salt

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Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl...

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...and mix together.

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Add 1-1/2 cups water.

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Bring together with your hand just until a shaggy/sticky dough forms.

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Cover bowl with plastic wrap (I was out of plastic wrap, so I used foil) & let rest for a MINIMUM of 12 hours (more likely 18-24 hours) at room temperature.

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The surface of the dough will be dotted with bubbles when it is ready.

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Another sign that it's ready is that the gluten is well developed. See the sticky strands that "grip" the side of the bowl when you tip it? That's what you're looking for.

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Lightly flour a work surface. Dump dough out onto surface.

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Gently pat it flat & dust the top with a little more flour.

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Fold dough over on itself several times.

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Sprinkle with a little more flour on top...

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Cover loosely and let rest for 15 minutes.

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Lightly flour your hands & sprinkle some flour/wheat bran/corn meal onto a tea towel (NOT terry cloth).

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Place bread on towel seam-side down. Sprinkle top with flour/wheat bran/corn meal.

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Cover with another cotton towel and let rest for 2-3 hours.

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THOROUGHLY preheat (for at least 30 minutes) a cast iron/ceramic/Pyrex dutch oven or pot (minimum 3- or 4-quart size) with a lid to 450 degrees.

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When it is ready, the dough will have nearly doubled in size & not spring back readily when poked with a finger.

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Invert dough (so it winds up seam-side facing UP) into the pot. Shake pot several times to distribute dough evenly if needed. (I didn't use enough flour on the towel, and my dough stuck to it, which is why it kind of looks like a mess here) :lol: Cover and bake 30 min. with lid on.

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After 30 minutes, remove lid and continue baking another 15-30 minutes...

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...until the top is nice and brown.

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Remove bread to cool...

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...slice and eat!

NOTES:

-Active dry yeast can be used without proofing, but results may vary.

-You can substitute up to 50% whole wheat or 30% whole-grain flour with good results.

-If you wish to add ingredients (caraway seeds, chopped olives, cheeses, raisins, etc) the best time is after the
dough is mixed, but they can also be folded in before the second rise.

-using a smaller pot will result in a taller loaf.
Some of my write-ups you might find useful: My FAK, poncho mod, my BOAT, pressure canning, bulk food storage

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BethDeath
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Re: Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by BethDeath » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:38 pm

That looks yummy. I love fresh baked bread. Mmmm.

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ZombieCleaner
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Re: Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by ZombieCleaner » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:18 pm

Looks like a giant croissant! Great post!

I've got an old banana nut bread recipe somewhere that doesn't require yeast, but it's a bit more like a cake or muffin than bread.
Jagdwulfe wrote:Does that make Gundown into Egg Chen? :shock:

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sferrari
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Re: Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by sferrari » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:12 pm

That looks REALLY good: ciabatta-like. I'll definitely be trying this.

I'm gonna have to find some novel additions first. I'll post pics when I come up with something noteworthy.
I don't care how it was done in California.

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.
- Robert Heinlein

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GeneralDiscontent
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Re: Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by GeneralDiscontent » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:38 pm

sferrari wrote: I'm gonna have to find some novel additions first. I'll post pics when I come up with something noteworthy.
Me too - this first one was just proof-of-concept to see how it would come out. I'm gonna try one this weekend with sun-dried tomatoes, chopped garlic, and grated Romano cheese (got a hunk in fridge that needs to be used up soon...)
Some of my write-ups you might find useful: My FAK, poncho mod, my BOAT, pressure canning, bulk food storage

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Re: Super Easy Homemade Bread

Post by sferrari » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:52 am

That one's gonna be a winner. Sun dried tomatoes and garlic is classic. You'll want to be careful though because garlic burns really easily and burnt garlic tastes like ass.

For mine, I was thinking about toasted pine nuts and something else; maybe dried apricots or raisins.
I don't care how it was done in California.

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.
- Robert Heinlein

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