I’ve always loved the idea of making my own bread. How hard could it be?
Several years ago (more like a decade), I bought a very promising-looking book on how to make bread. Every single recipe you could possibly imagine was in there– even brioche, butter croissants, and foccacia bread. The photos were breathtakingly beautiful too! Unfortunately for me, I didn’t read any of the recipes before investing in my own copy of the book.
A bag of bread flour, a packet of yeast, a cup of water, some salt and sugar, three coffees and FIVE hours later I marveled at my very own first attempt at making homemade bread- four, yes four, small burger buns. And within minutes they were gone.
Making my own bread was hard. And time consuming. And so not worth it.
What I needed was a bread machine. But then that would be like cheating. Making homemade bread should be all about doing your own mixing and kneading and watching your dough rise (or not).
Years later, when I had finally come to terms with that fact that I would always eat bread from the bakery, I came across this bread recipe I am about to share with you.
I live for recipes like these!
Fresh homemade bread that tastes like heaven in under 1 hour from start to finish. Is that even possible?
Actually, yes! Here’s how…
Pour 7 grams or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast into a bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water and a 1 tablespoon of honey. Give it a stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes until a layer of foam appears on the surface. I love using honey instead of sugar because it gives a very faint sweetness to the bread and is healthier too!
Add 3 ½ cups of flour and 1 tsp of salt. Knead with your hand or a mixer if you have one handy. All purpose white flour works great with this recipe, but I find that whole grain gives it an extra sweet taste and is healthier than plain white flour. At this point you may also add herbs or garlic powder to the dough. I always add a little bit of dried thyme and rosemary to mine.
Your dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your fingers. If it’s too gooey add a little more flour to get it to an elastic-like consistency.
Shape your dough into a loaf on a flat surface, cover with a kitchen towel, or plastic wrap, or parchment paper and leave it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. It should roughly double in size. In the meantime preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
Before placing your bread in the oven, make 4 cuts across the loaf with a knife. At this point you may also want to add slices of butter to give it extra flavor and color as it bakes.
Bake 20 minutes. The bread is ready when it makes a hollow sound when you knock on it. Enjoy!
Easy Breezy Bread Recipe
1tbs/7gr active dry yeast
1 ½ cups lukewarm (37C/100F) water
1 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
Optional: herbs, garlic powder, slices of butter
Place active dry yeast with lukewarm water and honey into a bowl. Give it a stir and let it rest until bubbly foam appears on the surface, about 5-10 minutes.
Add flour, salt and herbs or garlic powder (if using) to the bowl and started kneading by hand or use the dough hook of your mixer. Your dough is ready when it has an elastic consistency that pulls away from your fingers instead of getting stuck to them. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour.
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Shape your dough into a loaf on a flat surface, cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for about 20 minutes or until it roughly doubles in size.
Using a knife, carve 4 lines across your loaf. Add slices of butter on top of your loaf (if using). Place in oven and bake for 16-20 minutes.