If someone was just randomly reading my blog, I guess that they would immediately assume that all I cook and eat is bread. I have a recipe for whole wheat bread, one for rolls, and now yet another bread recipe!
That person would be really close to being right. 🙂
I love bread. I love homemade bread. Mainly though, I love EASY and DELICIOUS homemade bread.
Did I mention that this recipe only uses a handful of ingredients? AND doesn’t require kneading? AND comes out with a deliciously buttery crust that will make you think that you are consuming something that involves way way WAY more than 1 tablespoon of butter? Yeah…I now make 4 loaves at a time.
Oh…and they freeze beautifully too. Bonus!
I found the recipe at Alexandra’s Kitchen, and you should look there for great step-by-step photos that I just can’t seem to make.
4 scant cups flour (I prefer bread flour)
2t salt (kosher is great, but any will work)
2c warm water (warm to touch but not hot enough to burn)
2t dry yeast (or one packet)
Mix water, yeast and sugar. Let proof for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir well. Cover the bowl and let rise 1 hour in a warm spot.
While the bread is rising, thoroughly butter two oven-proof bowls (1-1.5 qt works best because larger bowls won’t let it rise properly) using about 1T of room temperature butter for each bowl. Seriously…use the whole tablespoon of butter in each one…you’ll thank me later.
After the rise, fold the down with 2 forks. Kind of pull it down and toward the middle a few times with the forks to “punch it down,” then divide it in half. Place each half into a buttered bowl.
Let the dough rise another 30 minutes. Go ahead and turn the oven to 425 so that it’ll be ready.
Bake the loaves at 425° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° without opening the door and bake for another 22-25 minutes. If the bread is browning too much on top, you can cover it loosely with foil for the last 5-10 minutes.
Turn it out onto a wire rack to cool a few minutes before devouring.
The bottom crust will be golden brown, deliciously buttery, and perfectly crispy. The smell is amazing, and your husband will think you can work magic.
If you want to freeze the second loaf for another night, just let it cool all the way before wrapping it in foil. Pop the foil-wrapped loaf into the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, you can put it (foil and all) directly into the oven to warm.
I cook 4 loaves at once now so that we can enjoy the fresh-baked taste even on quick-cook nights. Since I don’t want to worry with a single huge bowl of dough that doubling the batch would make, I just make two regular batches at the same time. It’s really only a couple more dishes and no extra time.
Hope you try it and enjoy!