So it's not actually 5 minute bread. But it does only take about 5 minutes of work. With a wooden spoon. No intensive kneading, no bread maker, no randomly finding flour on the side of your fridge the next week (ok maybe that one).
This recipe makes between 3 and 5 loaves of bread, depending on the size of loaf you make. I'm also told it makes good pizza rolls, or you could mix in some garlic or olives to add some flavour. But here is the base, it is delicious and easy to make!
1 1/2 T yeast (dry, active yeast)
3/4 T fine salt (or 1 1/2 T coarse salt - kosher or sea salt) *SEE NOTE
3 cups warm water
6 1/2 cups sifted all purpose/plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
Dough preparation (do ahead of time, at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight)
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, salt and warm water.
- Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. You could also use a blender with a dough attachment or even your hands, but the wooden spoon worked just fine for me. This is your five minute step. It's really this easy.
- Set dough aside (uncovered) in a warm dry place. Let rise for at least two hours, up to overnight. Dough will rise and then collapse.
- Set dough in fridge and partially cover (I used a dishcloth). Do not cover complete as there are gases that need to escape from the active yeast.
Hungry? It's time to bake that bread!
- Using a serrated knife, pull of a ball of dough to bake. A piece around the size of a grapefruit makes a 1-lb loaf, according to the recipe source. I used this as my guide to make a "small bread".
- Turn ball of dough out onto a floured surface. Stretch the dough and tuck the edges underneath, top surface of dough will be smooth. If you want to make a flatbread or pizza roll, shape it accordingly at this stage.
- Using a baking sheet or pizza sheet, roll the dough in a light dusting of cornflour for a crunchy crust. Let sit for ~40 minutes to rest the dough.
- 20 minutes before baking, place a pizza stone or upturned baking tray* on the middle rack of your oven (or bottom). On the top shelf, place a shallow oven proof dish.
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Working quickly to keep heat in the oven, place dough on pre-heated pizza stone or etc and 1-2 cups of water in the shallow dish to create steam. Close the door to the oven to keep the steam in.
- Bake for ~30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Exact cooking time will depend on the size of your loaf. The bread is done when it sounds "hollow" if you knock on it.
- Store any leftover bread wrapped in paper.
I had this with butternut pumpkin soup last night for Meat Free Monday. And it was really great today as well for lunch.
* The recipe calls for 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt (e.g. sea salt). I didn't have any coarse salt, so I used a much smaller portion of fine salt. If you have a coarse salt, I recommend using that and using the larger amount. I actually used a 1/2 Tbsp of fine salt, and it turned out OK, great if you're going low sodium, but it didn't rise as much as it could have. Next time I'm going to use the larger portion of salt (or find some coarse salt because it's better anyway).
** So this is something that I would not have known -- using the upturned baking sheet keeps the edges from affecting heat distribution so that you get a crusty bottom to your bread. Makes sense but I never would have thought of that.