Simple and Delicious Yeast Bread
This is the recipe that we include in our Bake-Your-Own-Bread Kits, and it's especially good for novice bakers, including kids. It's a simple, no-knead method that requires only 15 minutes of active time, and gives you delicious bread fresh from the oven in just 3 hours. You may never buy bread again after baking this loaf!
Yield: Makes one loaf
Prep time: About 3 hours, but most of that is resting and baking time.
- 4 cups (500g) Janie's Mill High Protein Bread Flour
- 2 tsp (10g) instant yeast
- 1 3/4 cups (375g) warm water
- 2 tsp (10g) salt
InstructionsPrepare the dough:
- Measure flour into a big bowl and stir in the instant yeast.
- Add the warm water and mix gently using your hand or a sturdy whisk until all of the flour is incorporated. Roll the ball of dough around the walls of the bowl until it comes together. (Note: The dough is somewhat sticky at this point. You may rub it off your hands with flour, and then clean your hands using cold water.)
- Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle salt on top of the dough. Wet your fingertips and quickly press the salt into the dough.
- Place the dough (salt side up) onto a lightly floured counter. Dip your fingers into flour and then reach under the dough on one side to carefully stretch the dough up and then over the salted top. Do this slowly and gently — don’t let the dough tear. Give your dough a quarter turn, then stretch up and fold over again. Repeat a total of four times, giving the dough a quarter turn each time. (There is no need to knead this dough.)
- Flip the dough over so the smooth side is on top. Cover with a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the series of four stretch-and-folds a second time, then cover and let rest, covered, another 30 minutes.
Shape the Loaf:
- Slowly stretch the dough into a long tongue about twice the length of your baking pan. Gently roll it up and then form a short log about the size of your pan by tucking the ends of the roll under the dough.
- Set the dough in the center of the parchment paper. Using the paper as a hammock, lift the dough and place it into the baking pan. (See Baker's Notes below for instructions to make a divided loaf.)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Let the dough rise in the pan for 30 minutes while your oven is heating.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the middle of the oven. (There are a number of ways to test for doneness in the Baker's Notes below.)
- Let the bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then take it out from both the pan and the parchment. Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack for about an hour before slicing.
- For added flavor and nutrition, feel free to substitute Janie’s Mill heirloom or ancient grain flours for up to one-third of the High Protein Flour. The total amount of flour should be 500g.
- Mixing and matching flours is easier using a digital kitchen scale. Artisanal stone-ground flours are not standardized the way industrial roller milled flours are and defy being measured with cups. Investing in a kitchen scale will make all your baking projects easier and you will have fewer dishes to clean!
- If you want to make a divided loaf, cut the dough into two even pieces using a knife or bench scraper. Slowly stretch each piece into a long tongue about twice the length of your baking pan and then gently roll it up. Form a rough ball by tucking the ends of the roll under the dough. Keep turning and tucking around the base of the dough until it is a nice smooth ball. Do the same with your second piece of dough. Set these two balls close together in the center of the parchment paper. Using the paper as a hammock, lift the dough and place it into the baking pan. If needed, jiggle the dough balls in their hammock to get them to drop into the pan.
- There are a number of ways to tell when your loaf is done. First, you'll notice a mouthwatering aroma. Then you'll see the crust turn golden brown. You may also take the loaf out of the oven, tip it out of the pan, and thump the bottom. The bread will sound hollow when it’s done. (If you’re new to this technique, do it every five minutes toward the end of baking and you’ll hear how the sound changes.) You may also insert an instant-read thermometer: when the center of the loaf is 190 F, it's ready to take out of the oven.
- Store your baked bread in a bread box or cloth bag. (Don’t store it in a plastic bag, or in the refrigerator.)
Posted on October 10 2022