My First Homemade Bread Recipe

January 16th, 2010 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Adults, Children, Eclectic Learning, Healthy Living, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Teens, Toddlers

It’s true, I was late to jump on the homemade bread wagon. We get delicious loaves of HFCS-free sandwich bread from our local day old bread store (cheap!), and I’ve been in love with Costco’s artisan bread, so I just hadn’t been motivated to try my hand at the homemade variety.

What was I thinking?!

First of all, I’d like to thank my lucky stars (specifically Hilda, Jorge, and Brian) for talking me out of a bread machine. I didn’t need it. Secondly, I’d like to thank the awesome mama in my parenting group (yo, Karen!) who posted this recipe. Not only did I get a chuckle out of reading the author’s humor, but it is totally the easiest, most delicious bread. (Disclaimer: 95% of the directions below are straight from her site.)

The recipe is called “fantastic fearless five-minute bread” (too bad she couldn’t have come up with a synonym for bread that started with F to complete her alliteration). There are a grand total of 5 ingredients (well, 1 of those is flour and you can include several different kinds; also, I skipped the cornmeal because I am feeding a friend who is corn-allergic), and it is – are you ready for this – a no knead bread.

No kneading.

No kidding!

Here’s what the author of the recipe I used had to say about it:

Your friends will not believe you made it, and they certainly won’t believe that you didn’t need to knead it or fuss with it or do anything other than stir it together with a wooden spoon while you were watching angel-sized snowflakes drift past your window. In fact, it will so totally not occur to dinner guests that you yourself baked so stunning a loaf that you may need to say a little modest something, such as, “Is the bread okay? I worried that it was a little too…” Delicious? No. “… crusty.” That’s a nice, humble way to alert them, don’t you think?

She ain’t lying. It is that good.

So without further ado, I give to you the recipe (as made by yours truly) and pictures of my very first loaf of homemade bread.

p.s. It’s a great activity to do with your kids! It’s a lesson in math, science, and yum all rolled up into one.


(Makes 3 loaves)
*3 cups warm water
*1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (2 packages)
*1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt), depending on your saltiness preference (I used about 1 1/2 tbsp and it was salty enough for us)
*1 tablespoon white vinegar
*6 1/2 cups flour (In the bread pictured, I used 3 cups whole wheat, 2 cups white, 1 1/2 cups oatmeal (not quick oats), and 1/4 cup ground flax.  See the original recipe for other ideas and variations.)
*Cornmeal (I skipped this and just used flour; I’d also like to try it with oats)


*Pour the warm water into a large bowl or plastic container–one that you won’t miss, since it may be in the fridge for a few days–then sprinkle in the yeast, salt, and vinegar.
*Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flours, and mix until there are no dry patches. The dough’s texture may seem all wrong: too loose, too shaggy, too sticky. This is fine.

Is it just me, or does Kieran look like a vampire child?

*Cover it with plastic wrap or a shower cap and let it rest and rise at a warm room temperature for at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours (mine rested near the space heater for 2 hours on the dot. I was excited).
*At this point, bake it or refrigerate it for up to two weeks to bake later (we’ve made one loaf the first day, one loaf the second day, and one loaf the third day. All were equally delicious.).
*To bake it: sprinkle some flour across the surface of the dough and use a knife to cut off a piece that’s about a third of it; refrigerate the remaining dough.
*Turn the dough in your hands to stretch its surface, pulling it under to create a taut, rounded top and a gathered-up bottom. You will want to do this kind of quickly, keeping your fingers moving lightly over the surface of the dough, rather than plunging them inside, where they will stick. If your hands get doughy, stop what you’re doing, wash and dry them, reflour the dough, and try again.
*Sprinkle a pizza peel or wooden cutting board heavily with flour (then lightly with cornmeal if you want), put the loaf on it, sprinkle the top with flour, cover it lightly with a dish towel, and let it rest for 40 minutes (if you’re using refrigerated dough, increase this rest time to 1 1/2 hours).

*Half an hour before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 450 and put a heavy, covered pot inside to heat. I used a glass casserole dish with a glass lid. The author says that cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic all work well, so long as it holds at least 2.5 quarts and has a lid.
*When the dough has rested, use a serrated or very sharp knife to slash an X across its top; do this with authority, so that the knife doesn’t stick and so that the slashes are a good quarter-inch deep. Now pull the pot out of the oven, remove the lid, put the loaf in X-side up, replace the lid, and pop it into the oven.
*Bake the dough for 25 minutes, covered, then remove the cover and bake another 15 minutes. At this point, it should be beautifully browned.
*Take out and cool on a rack. (I have made three loaves now, and we have never been able to wait for it to cool – it hasn’t crumbled, like the author warned, it’s been warm and delicious and half gone before we’re quite sure what happened.)

Try it, you won’t regret it.

6 Responses to:
"My First Homemade Bread Recipe"

  1. Amber   AmberStrocel

    I am interested in no-knead dough, but I’m also on a sourdough kick right now. I wonder if it would be possible to do with sourdough starter?

    I have been baking my own bread for a year or so, and I LOVE it. I don’t bake everything, for instance my husband still buys his sandwich bread, but I mostly eat my own. There’s something very satisfying about eating toast and jam with my own bread and my own jam. I feel sort of smug about it, I’ll admit it. ;)

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      The author of that recipe says that the longer you leave it in the fridge (up to 5 days), the more it will taste like sourdough. I haven’t tried leaving it that long yet, but I’d be up for trying it!

  2. Joni Rae   kitchenwitch

    Its true, the longer you leave it, the more of a sourdough flavor it gets. I’ve left mine for two weeks. Its very sourdoughy by that point.

    This is the only way I make bread anymore… Ever since I got “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” for my birthday last spring.

  3. That looks good! May have to try that today. Also loved the pics of Kieran jumping! lol

  4. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    Thanks Amy! :)
    Joni Rae – I left it in for 4 days this last time and it did have a more sour dough flavor. My sister was asking if it would be possible to add fruit. Hmm . . . I don’t know about that one.

  5. jenny ellis-rhea

    I hope to try this soon, yours is so yummy!

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