Australian supermarket bought bread tastes completely different to US supermarket bread. I find even after living here in the US for over a year, there are a lot of breads I simply cannot eat. To me, they often taste un-natural and overly sweet, unless its something like the lovely Jewish rye breads or fresh Ciabatta.
This led to me wanting to make my own bread however I’ve never owned a bread maker and I’ve never had much luck in the past in this area of baking. I seem to have been doomed to failure when it comes to any and all recipes that require yeast. That was, until I discovered Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois.
I was rather skeptical when initially trying this recipe and method, given my past bread making (mis)adventures. Having said that, if I can do this anyone can, regardless of how tragic the results may have been from any past attempts. This has helped me regain a lot of lost confidence and enjoyment in this area of baking, together with reigniting my interest in creating a variety of home made breads, both for my immediate family and for special occasions that we share with our extended family throughout the year.
I’ve ‘tweaked’ the original basic recipe just a touch and the resulting bread was absolutely scrumptious.
Recipe for Quick Easy Bread
(this made two round loaves each the approx size of bread and butter plates)
- 1.5 cups warm water
- 3.5 cups unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- Place the flour, salt, instant yeast into a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the warm water and mix with a spoon. I found it’s easier to finish mixing the dough by hand once I’d done the initial mixing by spoon. Don’t handle the dough too much, just make sure it’s all mixed well, so you don’t end up with dry pockets of flour through the dough.
- Place it into a container and leave it at room temperature for 4hrs. You will notice when you check it, that it has risen. My dough had pretty much doubled in size.
- Cover the container with a lid and place into the fridge overnight before use.
- When you are wanting to bake, simply pull off a piece of dough. Shape it and allow it to rest for 1-2hrs.
- Bake in oven at 380F for approx 40mins.
- The ‘convenience’ of using the instant yeast, is that it gets put straight into the dry ingredients, there’s no need to ‘activate’ it in warm water prior to use.
- This dough keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- I found the bread had a much nicer texture after I allowed the dough to stay in the fridge for a week before baking my second loaf (rather than just overnight as I did with the first loaf that I made).
**The original basic bread recipe can be found on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Blog