Who doesn’t love the smell of baking bread? The scent is not the only great part of homemade bread, and many people aren’t aware of all the possibilities homemade bread opens up since they have never even tried to bake their own. In general, baking can be daunting, but baking bread can be an even more complicated and lengthy process. So, it’s no wonder everyone isn’t baking bread all the time. However, over the past year or so, homemade bread has become a thing. It seems like everywhere you look, someone is baking bread at home. If you want to get in on the fun, we have three easy bread recipes that even beginners can handle.
This recipe for artisan bread requires no kneading and only three simple ingredients, making it perfect for novice bakers. If you have a little patience and follow the directions carefully, you’ll have a warm loaf of homemade bread on your table in no time.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 ounce instant or active dry yeast packet (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees Fahrenheit)
- For the dough, combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Then, pour the warm water on top of the dry ingredients.
- Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix the dry ingredients and warm water. The dough should be a bit sticky, but if it’s too wet, you can add a tablespoon or 2 of flour.
- Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray for two to three hours. The dough should double in size during this time.
- Once risen, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.
- When ready to bake, flour your hands and work surface, and turn the dough out of the bowl. The dough should feel sticky at this point.
- Do not knead, roll, or punch down the dough. Work the dough into your desired shape gently, and lightly flour the top.
- Use a bread knife to add one to four lines across the top of the bread and place on a piece of floured parchment paper that is the size of the pan you will bake the bread in.
- Let dough rest for 23 to 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place a baking pan into a preheated 450-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Once the pan is hot, slide the parchment paper and dough onto the pan and quickly put one cup of hot water in a small broiler pan in the bottom of the oven.
- The total bake time should be between 20 and 25 minutes or until browned.
- Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.
- The longer you have to let the dough rest, the better. Though two to three hours is the minimum, you can go up to 12 hours.
- You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week if you need to make the dough ahead of time.
- You can form this dough into a baguette, French boule, rolls, two loaves, and more.
- The hot water in the oven will create steam and is definitely necessary, so don’t open the door for 20 minutes, no matter how tempting it may be.
More of a white bread fan? This recipe is super simple and takes around two hours to prep, make, and bake. Once you get the general process down, most bread recipes are similar. This recipe has sugar and vegetable oil and requires some kneading, making it different than the artisan bread above. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
If you’re looking for bread with a bit more flavor, whole wheat is the way to go. This recipe is very similar to the one above for white bread, but it calls for whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose or bread flour. You can probably add some additional grains or oats to this recipe, and with a little practice, end up with a healthier homemade whole grain bread.
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