On November 17, homes will fill with warm, comforting aromas reminding us to slow down and enjoy National Homemade Bread Day.
Yeast bread calls for us to slow down. We need to spend time with each other as we work the dough and let it rest and rise before baking. Quick breads allow a special treat to share and enjoy with coffee or tea. Other homemade breads, such as donuts, pretzels, muffins, and biscuits, add variety to our everyday meals. And making them with friends and family brings joy and an opportunity to exchange recipes.
Those who make homemade bread commit to using good ingredients and investing in the time. They make it not only because they love the flavor, but because they know the people they love to do also. Homemade bread enriches the flavors of our meals and the flavors of our conversations, too.
Bread is full of symbolism around the world, across cultures and religions. In our lives, bread is valuable. We consider our livelihood to be our daily bread. We are making it, breaking it, consuming it as part of our faith. Bread can be exciting if it’s sliced or boring if it’s white. There’s a bonus bread, too. However, it seems a bit messy if it’s buttered on both sides. Then again, when we roll in the dough, it’s messy, too. Bake it, and it becomes heavy bread, but it means the same thing.
Here are a few easy recipes for you to try.
EASIEST NO KNEAD BREAD RECIPE
No Knead Bread Ingredients:
3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 5/8 C water
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in water until well blended.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for at least 12 hours (16-18 hours is better). To make this easy and to avoid having to use a new piece of plastic wrap each time, I cover the bowl with a plastic shower cap.
- Next, place the dough on a generously floured work surface, sprinkle with flour, and fold it in on top of itself two to three times.
- Turn the bowl you were using at first upside down over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, shape the dough into a ball.
- Coat a smooth cotton towel with flour and put the ball seam side down, dusting the top with more flour. Fold sides of towel over top of ball and let rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
- 30 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees and put a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot with a cover (pyrex, cast iron, enamel or ceramic work best) in to heat.
- Remove the pot from the oven and dump the dough ball seam side up into the pan.
- Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
- Then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned.
- Remove from oven and cool on rack.
HOMEMADE FRENCH BREAD
- 2 Tablespoons Yeast
- 1/2 cup Warm Water
- 2 cups Hot Water
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
- 1/3 cup Oil
- 6 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 Egg for brushing on bread
- In a small bowl, dissolve your yeast in ½ cup warm water. Make sure that your water is warm (not too cold, not too hot). Let proof for 10 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and mix together. Add the yeast mixture to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Watch for it to start pulling away from the bowl to know it’s ready. Once all of the flour is added, let sit for 10 minutes.
- Separate your dough into 3 pieces. On a floured surface roll each piece into a 9×12 rectangle. Roll it up like a jelly roll. Shape into a french bread loaf and smooth out edges.
- Place the dough on a greased baking pan or a Silpat, seam side down. Using a knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch thick in bread. Brush with your beaten egg.
- Let dough rise uncovered for 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
- Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.