Quick and Easy Bread!
Fresh baked bread is a magical thing. But baking it at home without a bread machine can be a long process that is rarely compatible with a full-time job. I’ve adapted Michael Smith’s Country Bread recipe to keep my family of four in bread all week. I increased amounts to produce two loaves, eliminated the kneading, and minimized the number of tools so there is less washing up. If you can spare 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening this one might turn you into a bread maker, too.
By: Janet Oswald
What You’ll Need
- 3 cups sifted whole wheat flour
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup steel-cut oats
- ¾ tsp dry yeast
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 and ⅓ cups warm water
- Large pot with tight fitting lid, or similar
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 loaf pans
- Basic utensils
- In the morning, add all the dry ingredients to the pot. Tip: Save time by sifting in place. Using a fork, simply fluff up the flour while it’s still in its bag/container, then scoop it into your measuring cup and level it with the edge of the fork.
- Pour in the warm water, and stir all together with the end of a wooden spoon. This is a wet dough. It will look like a sticky mess. That’s okay. Just make sure everything is combined. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Fit the lid on the pot and sit it somewhere warm for 8-12 hours.
- Your dough should now look very wet. It will have doubled, and the surface will be fairly even. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a generous amount of flour, then gently pull the dough away from the edges of the pot. This will deflate the dough. Sprinkle more flour around the edges so that the whole surface is nicely dusted. Scoop your hands underneath the dough, lift and flip. Sprinkle the bottom side with flour as you did the top.
- Prepare two loaf pans by greasing with butter, or an alternative.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into two equal portions. Lift each half into a loaf pan. Set someplace warm to rise for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. When ready, pop your loaves in for 45 minutes.
- When done, place on a cooling rack, and wait until they are cool to cut in!!