This is one of my favorite bread recipes.
It is delicious. It is fast. And it is flexible to what flavor you want that day.
When dinner is going to be served soon and I realize I would LOVE homemade bread with the meal, but don't have 5 more hours to make it, THIS is the recipe I turn to.
It can be done and on the table in an hour, if needs be, by skimping on the rising time and making it one loaf instead of two. But for the sake of posting the recipe, I'll give you the full directions.
Prep time: 5 min Rise Time: 20 min-2 hours Cook Time: 25 min
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1 Tbs sugar
2 Cups warm water
2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
(oil, butter, and cornmeal)
(optional spices: rosemary, parmesan cheese, Italian Seasonings)
1. Mix yeast, sugar, and warm water and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
2. Next add the salt and flour. With this recipe, you do NOT need to add more flour. It will be soft and sticky, I know. Mix together until all incorporated, but do not knead! Isn't that wonderful!
3. Cover and let rise until double. If you are doing a speed method and only want one loaf, skip this first rising.
4. Punch the dough down and split into 2 equal halves (or keep as one if doing the speed method). Place as a rounded mound on oiled cookie sheets, sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your bread for baking by making shallow slices in the top of the loaves, in a checker board fashion. Next spread melted butter on the top (or for an Italian taste like at Macaroni Grill, brush with butter or olive oil and sprinkle Rosemary and sea salt on top).
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425. Then, keeping the bread in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees and cook for an additional 15 minutes. If you want, spread with more butter before serving.
Delicious! And for an ironic story. Since it makes two loaves at once, I served one for dinner the other day, and took the other to a neighbor who recently moved in. My hubby and I had a great time talking with John, and we got to talking about his most recent trip to his hometown in Ireland and onto his wealthy relatives, the original Monet and Picasso paintings that hang in their homes, and showed us pictures of the family castle still standing on an Irish bluff. Steve and I were blown away. And we all chuckled as after talking of so much wealth and royalty we handed him our homemade Peasant Bread. It was all too fitting!