There is really nothing like homemade bread. I’ve made bread and rolls from scratch several times, but it’s often a bit of a pain. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always worth it – it just takes time, patience, and practice.
THIS recipe however, takes none of those things. Well, a little time, but not nearly as much as other recipes. This bread is incredibly easy to make and surprisingly flavorful! It’s sort of baffling really, because it’s comprised of only 4 ingredients + water. This is the second time I’ve made this and I think it will become like second nature to me pretty soon.
This recipe is also fun because you bake the bread in a bowl so it has an adorable round shape to it. You could probably bake it in a loaf pan, but how boring is that? As a variation, you could press this dough into a small, greased sheet pan to make focaccia. Just make dimples in the dough with your fingertips, then sprinkle with whatever focaccia toppings you like!
If you have an inkling for fresh made bread, try this. It’s delicious, practically fool-proof, and gives you total kitchen cred for not doing that much.
Recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen
Note: I halved the recipe this time, so the bread you see pictured is half the size of the what you will get if you follow the recipe.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- 1 tbsp room temperature butter
- Mixing the dough:
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit — this step will ensure that the yeast is active. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Mix until the flour is absorbed.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least 1 hour, but preferably closer to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls with 1/2 tablespoon of butter each. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough up onto itself. You want to loosen the dough entirely from the sides of the bowl, and you want to make sure you’ve punched it down. Take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions — eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart with the two forks. Then scoop up each half and place into your prepared bowls. This part can be a little messy — the dough is very wet and will slip all over the place. It’s best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop. Let the dough rise for 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you’ve greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft when you’ve turned them out onto your cooling racks, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.