Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Baking homemade bread feels intimidating, but it’s quite simple. If you want to dive into baking bread, you need something simple to get your feet wet. This is one of the fastest ways to make bread; it’s so easy, you don’t even have to knead the bread!
When I started making bread, kneading the dough was my least favorite part. Every recipe said, “don’t over-knead your bread,” but I had no idea how much kneading was too much.
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Eventually, I settled on using recipes that required little to no kneading. This recipe has a crunchy crust perfect for dipping in hot soups or biting into while warm with melted butter. Our family doesn’t use this bread for sandwiches, but that’s okay. It’s gone in a flash anyway.
Here’s how to make the fastest bread possible.
Things Needed for This Fast Bread Recipe
- 3 cups lukewarm water (around 100℉)
- 1 TBS yeast
- 1 TBS salt
- 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Parchment paper
- Baking stone
The Fastest Bread Recipe
Let’s go through step by step how to make this five-minute artisan bread recipe. It’s much easier than you imagine.
1. The first thing you need to do is put your lukewarm water, yeast, and salt in a bowl together. You don’t need to wait until the yeast and water react, nor do you have to mix it all to let it thoroughly dissolve. Simply move to the next step.
2. Put all of the flour into the bowl and turn on your mixer. A stand mixer is preferred for this recipe, but you can mix by hand if you don’t have a mixer. Mix until the flour is entirely mixed. You’ll know it’s entirely mixed when the dough starts to pull away from the bowl’s sides as it mixes.
Note: If you’re hand-mixing this dough recipe, wet your hands and use it to press the mixture together. Don’t knead; simply incorporate the flour into the dough. It’s better to be loose than over kneaded.
3. Now, cover the bowl with a paper towel or dishcloth. Leave it at room temperature and let it rise and collapse. That should happen around two hours, but the dough is forgiving. I left mine for nearly three hours, and it turned out fine.
4. After the two hours, if you aren’t ready to bake the dough, put it into the refrigerator. I had to take my daughter to art class, so I stuck the dough in the fridge and returned a few hours later.
You don’t have to refrigerate the dough, but it does make it easier to manage and less sticky. Make sure you don’t punch it down.
5. When you’re ready to bake the dough, dust a baking stone with cornmeal or flour, or use parchment paper to line the baking stone.
6. Preheat the oven at 450°, and once it reaches the right temperature, put the baking stone into the oven to let it preheat.
7. Divide the bread dough into four one-pound loaves each. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, don’t stress! Simply try to divide the dough into four even pieces to the best of your ability. It doesn’t have to be exact.
8. For each hunk of dough, gently stretch the dough and tuck the ends underneath, creating little balls of dough. The folded sides will go on the bottom.
If it sticks to your hands, you can add some flour to your hands, but you don’t want to add too much. You don’t want to add more flour but stop it from sticking to your hands.
9. Let the bread loaves rise for 20-30 minutes while the oven and baking stone are preheating. You won’t notice too much rising, and don’t worry about covering them. I simply leave them on an extra baking stone. This time, I only made two loaves and left the rest of the dough in the fridge for tomorrow.
10. Dust the top of each loaf with flour and use a serrated knife to cut an X or tic-tac-toe pattern across the top. Once you become more experienced, some bakers cut designs. Don’t cut too deeply, as I did, or your loaf will look split. It doesn’t affect the flavor but rather the appearance.
11. Take out the preheated baking stone (use hot pads!) and put the loaves on the baking stone. Get a metal baking pan and put 1-2 cups of water in the pan. Put the pan of water on the second rack and the baking stone with the loaves on the top rack.
Adding water to a pan is an essential part of this recipe. You’re adding steam to the oven, and the bread dough is wet. Together, this prevents your bread from becoming too dry while also making a crispy crust that everyone loves.
12. Let the bread bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. A wire rack isn’t a necessity, but it does create the best texture.
Chances are it won’t cool for too long before someone cuts into the loaves! At first, the crust might seem soft, but the crust will firm up as it cools.
Yes, there are several steps, but you only need between five and ten minutes when you put all of your work together. As you bake it more often, you’ll find that it becomes even easier.
I recommend starting the bread dough when you wake up so that it’s ready to bake by dinner. You won’t feel like you did any work, but your family will love fresh loaves of bread with supper. This fast bread recipe is a hit with everyone!
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