This is the fastest, easiest, and as a bonus, possibly the cheapest bread you can make. My kids have helped me make this and they have the attention span of a gnat. It’s just that fast. And I’m lazy, so you know it has to be easy if I make it. The hardest part is the kneading, but I actually enjoy it. Its therapeutic.
With this recipe you can have two small rustic looking loaves in an hour and 15 minutes. It’s delicious warm with dinner, but also makes excellent sandwiches the next day.
I learned how to make bread when I was 12. My 4-H teachers would probably shake their heads at how easy this bread is to make.
I adapted the recipe slightly from one in The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn. We use less yeast than the original recipe – it tastes better and the bread still rises just as much.
- 5-6 cups all purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat for 1-2 cups)
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
- 1 tbsp sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Mix 4 cups of flour with yeast, sugar and salt. Pour in hot water and beat for ~100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer). Stir in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead dough for 8 minutes.
Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for 15 minutes (you might be tempted to let it rise longer, thinking it’ll be even better, but it really makes no difference in the end. 15 minutes or an hour and a half, the dough turns out the same).
Punch down and divide into 2 pieces. Shape into 2 round loaves and place on a baking sheet. Cut an X ½ inch deep on the top with a sharp knife. Brush with water and sprinkle with seeds.
Place on the middle shelf of a COLD oven. Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat oven to 400F. Bake 40-50 minutes until golden brown.