Our pioneer ancestors had to bake their own bread. Some used sourdough starter and often on the trail, biscuits were baked to save time.
As a mother, writer, and part-time pharmacy technician, I need things that save me time. After looking up all the ingredients on the bread label, I decided I had to get back to baking my own, not to mention it’s sooo much cheaper.
Here’s a great artisan bread recipe I found from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and their website http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/ I modified it just a bit for a better tasting bread, in my husband’s opinion.
Due to questions from readers I made this video to help you on your bread making journey.
You need a stretch of a few hours when you first start the dough for rise time, but you make enough to last for two weeks, depending on how much bread your family eats. My directions are slightly different from the websites, due to baking other breads.
Whenever you bake bread or anything with yeast, make sure you only use a glass, wooden, or plastic mixing bowl and utensils. If you use stainless steel, you won’t get a good rise on your dough, so just avoid it. Second, use lukewarm water about 120 degrees, dissolve your yeast, and let it stand about 10 minutes, until it’s nice and foamy.
Mix your dough, adding about a cup of flour at a time. Cover your dough with a tea towel and set it on top of the fridge (usually a draft free warm place) to rise for about 2 to 5 hours, or until the dough has risen and started to collapse. Now pop it in the fridge for either over night or at least 3 hours.
Take a chunk of dough out, it’s very wet, so lightly flour your hands, and pull it into the shape of your loaf. Dust the top with flour and slash it with a sharp knife (flour keeps your blade from sticking) and let it rise for about 40 minutes.
Place a metal broiling pan in the oven on the lowest rack and preheat to 450 degrees. Put your loaf in the oven and then quickly pour a cup of HOT water into the broiler pan and shut your oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
This bread has that awesome crunchy crust with an incredible soft flaky inside. My kids inhale it. The recipe states this makes four 1lb. loaves, but for sandwhich size loaves, it makes two. You can double or triple it and store it in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Here’s the recipe, enjoy!
Fresh Bread in Five Minutes a Day Recipe-This and over 40 other recipes in Pioneering Today.
3 cups lukewarm water or 120 degrees
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast (store your yeast in the fridge to prolong freshness)
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt (kosher or coarse sea salt is best)
6 1/2 cups unsifted flour (I was out of bread flour and regular works just fine
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
The addition of vinegar should go in when you mix the flour. It helps preserve the shelf life of the bread and adds a more airy, chewy, sourdough texture. I love it!
You’ll never miss the oil or butter, I promise.
UPDATE: I now have a pizza stone that I cook my bread on. I highly recommend one. The texture of the bread is amazing, I bake everything on my stone, cookies, rolls, bread, and of course, my white sauce chicken alfredo pizza.
Here’s my homemade Turkey and Dumpling Recipe, so yummy and easy. You can substitute chicken if you like.