Ok so I took the popular 5 minute a day bread recipe and changed it for my family. And what worked for me. I find it easy and tasty. I have tried to get pics of most of the steps to help you out.
Ok a few things first before we get to baking. Bread seems to be that thing that people are scared to try out and scared to do and think is really hard. I disagree I think it's fun once you get the basics down. And it's crazy to see how flour, water, yeast and salt can make so many different breads in and of themselves. So let me give you some tips I have learned along the way.
- Always test your yeast there are many recipes that say to mix the yeast in with the flour. Especially if you are using instant yeast but I find you can save yourself lots of head if you make testing your yeast first. It's simple just add your yeast to what ever your warm liquid that your recipe calls for. In this one it's water. Don't make it to hot but not too cool when starting out aim for 105 to 110 once you learn this temp you might just be able to know by touch.
- Next I always find that a tsp to a tbsp of sugar to feed your yeast is a great thing. just add it to your water and let the yeast get happy.
- Never put your salt in your water with the yeast or your yeast on your salt always mix the salt into the flour before adding the yeast or add the salt while kneading if you can. The salt will kill you yeast. And that sucks.
- A big bowl about 5-6 qts a lid would be nice but plastic wrap works as well make sure if you use an air type one that you leave a corner not sealed 100% so that you can let the gases out.
- 4 cups AP flour
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour (I love knig authar flour for this it's a nice fine grind and blends well with the ap flour my store brand here is like cornmeal in grind and I didn't like it as much for this bread)
- 1.5 tblsp sea salt
- 1.5 tblsp yeast (don't use instant here. you want it to raise slow that's where the flavor comes from)
|sugar and water|
- 1 tblsp sugar (to feed the yeast)
- 3 cups warm water
How to put it together:
- Place sugar and yeast into warm water and stir then pour yeast on top walk away for about 5-10 minutes before you walk away it might look like this
After 5 to 10 minutes it should look something like this
Foamy is good tells you the yeast is alive and it's time to move on to the next step.
- Now mix your flour and salt together. I use a butter knife or my hand then make a well in your flour kind of like this.
- Now this next step is something that I have found works great and helps with baking bread with four kids at home that always need something while I am in the middle of making it. Pour the yeast water mixture into the well. and cover with plastic wrap. And let sit for 5-10 minutes I don't know what it does but I fine my dough comes together easy and everything if I do it you don't have to but I do.
Right after you add the water before the plastic wrap.
After ten minutes of sitting.
- Now mix you can use a spoon or your hands I find hands work well you don't want to mix for more than about 5 minutes as it's a no knead bread but you want it to come together kind of like this.
- Now before you cover it to let it rise spray it with a little oil or pam this way your plastic wrap or towel don't stick to it. Let it sit in a warm place for 2-5 hours what you are looking for is for it to at least double in size before you bake it or place it in the refrigerator for later. The longer it rises the more flavor your bread will have to be honest it's best if you let the dough sit over night before baking but it will work fine the same day ours did.
- While the bread is rising if you are baking the same day get out what you are baking it on. pizza stones are great but my fav is my cook sheet flipped upside down with parchment paper and corn meal so it doesn't stick I don't know what it is about this that works but it does I also don't have to slide it while still dough on to the stone and chance it falling ( I have done that) this is how I set mine up.
|Two cookies sheets with the parchment flaps tucked between and cornmeal on top.|
- Once proofed punch down and divide it into fours with your hand and take 1/4 the dough and form a round ball by pulling the dough around and pinching in the bottom so you have a smooth top and then set on your parchment paper and cut slits in it.
- Then spray with some spray oil and cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out on the out side.
- After about an hour or so place is a preheated oven 450 and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden. if you want an xtra crispy crust place a pan of water in the oven. I find it's great with out that. Oh we just take a stick of butter and melt it over the top when it comes out it's yummy.
|proofed about double in size a 1 pound loaf|
|Right out of the oven|
|Butter melted on the top. Makes it shiny and yummy.|
|Freshly sliced and still warm|
And that's it the rest of the dough can be stored in the ice box for up to 2 weeks and when you want more bread just take 1/4 of the dough form it and let it rise and bake it off. One day of mixing can give you a week of bread depending on how much your family loves it. Good luck if you have any questions please ask.
Thanks for reading