Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Easiest Yeast Bread Ever!

Just as I'm beginning to type this up, I'm thinking I may have already done a tutorial on this bread before but I'm too lazy to look back through the archives. So to a few of you loyal readers who've been with me from the very beginning, sorry you're reading this again. And to every one else, you're going to look like a baking goddess when this is over.

When I first had the desire to bake my own bread this is the recipe I started with because in big bold letters it said there was no kneading involved. For some reason working with yeast and kneading properly, scared me enough to keep me from baking bread. But this recipe gave me enough confidence as a beginner to tackle more complicated breads later.

So if you're new at bread baking or even well versed in the art of bread, I think you'll enjoy this recipe for...

Peasant Bread

2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one single serving package)
2 cups warm water, divided
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Toppings: poppy seeds, garlic bread seasoning, Parmesan cheese, cinnamon/sugar mix, sesame seeds

To start off, dissolve yeast in one cup of warm (not hot) tap water.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar.

Add the yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup of warm water.

Stir until all the dry ingredients are mixed in and it forms a sticky ball.

Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour. (I usually heat my oven up until it's warm but I can still touch the side of the oven with my bare hands for 10 seconds. )

Grease two 1 quart round casserole or ovenproof bowls. Here's my recipe for a sure fire non-stick pan release.

Divide dough in half and place in bowls. Brush tops with butter and sprinkle with your topping of choice. I did one with poppy seed and the other with sesame seed today.

Cover and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until tops are golden.

Remove from oven and pans and let cool on a wire rack. After cooled I freeze them in gallon size freezer bags but most of the time they get inhaled by the family.

If you look close at the finished product you'll see it has a nice light texture with a little bit of chewiness. It's very similar to an English muffin when toasted. It makes a rough looking artisan loaf that goes nicely with soup or stew in the fall.

And there you have it. It's about the easiest darn loaf of homemade yeast bread you'll ever make. If you try it come back and let me know what you think.


Frugal Sara said...

Ohh I love making peasent bread. It is soo easy. I make it all the time. You can go here to read my version.

It is just a little bit different. I actually just shape mine into loaves and place on a cookie sheet and bake.

Unknown said...

I will be sure to try this. I have been wanting to make my own bread but to be honest I suck at baking breads :(. This looks simple enough I may be able to pull it off.
Thanks !:)

Anonymous said...

What lovely bread! This almost reminds me of that "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" recipe, except they bake theirs on a pizza stone with a water-filled baking pan on the rack below to create steam, making the crust wonderful.

Lisa said...

This looks delicious...I love making bread so I'll have to try this. I'm doing a giveaway (posted Wed OCt 7) and want to invite you to join!

Samantha said...

I've made this bread several times now and it never fails to impress!

Staci said...

How warm do you set your oven at for the "warm it up until you can hold your hand for 10 seconds" part? :) I'll end up burned if I try that without knowing an approx temp...guaranteed!

Anonymous said...

That looks great!

Gayle said...

I just let it heat for about 5 minutes and then turn it off and test it. If it's too hot form the 10 second test, I leave the door open to cool it off a bit.

Jeana said...

Hi, Gayle! I just found you recently and I can't remember now how, but I'm enjoying your blog.

I was wondering if you have ever tried whole grain flour with this, and if it worked well?

Gayle said...

The wheat changes the texture and makes it much heavier. I've tried 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white and that was ok, but 100% wheat was like a rock.

Emily said...

I make your peasant bread recipe several times a month. I like to put extra butter and parmesan cheese as my topping. YUMM-O.

thanks Gayle for this awesome recipe.

Tannis said...

I made this last month for the first time when you had it on your menu list. We love it and it is so easy!!

Anonymous said...

I've been making this bread for the past few months since I noticed it cropping up frequently in your Menu Plan Monday. My husband, who is a carbohydrate junkie, LOVES it and requests it so often that I now try to have some fresh bread on hand all the time. I've also had lots of compliments from guests who enjoyed it with us.

I make one and a half times the quantity and split it between two loaf tins, which results in nice even slices. We use it for sandwiches as well as serving it alongside many main dishes.

The hot, humid weather here in Beirut is perfect for yeast baking!

Unknown said...

That looks great and seems easy enough. There's nothing like homemade bread! We have a French giveaway at TwirlandTaste if you're interested in stopping by.
Happy Twirls

Lisa said...

I am definately making this tomorrow! It sounds so yummy and looks beautiful!

Tina Butler said...

I have seen it on your menu a lot. I was going to email you and ask you about it. Thanks for sharing now I know why its so good.

Amanda said...

I tried the peasant bread based on your blog. Awesome bread!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the recipe!! I made it today! I sprinkled a little ranch dressing mix on it and it was awesome! It reminds me of Pan pizza crust from Pizza Hut.

Tomorrow, I am going to make spaghetti. I am going to make another batch and sprinkle garlic spread and Parmesan cheese on it.

Rebecca said...

I made another couple loaves today.

I am new at the baking bread thing. How could I turn this into a pizza crust? It really reminds me of a Pan Pizza Crust from Pizza Hut.

Gayle said...

I would just put cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza pan and strech the crust out to cover the pan. Don't let it rise, just put your toppings on and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Amanda (aka Tigermadstanley) said...

Gayle, This bread is so easy and so wonderful. THANK YOU. I can't believe how simple and delicious this was and totally without a bread machine. My boys think I'm wonderful;)
PS I'm sure my fan oven is broken as it is always warm even when turned off but it is brilliant for bread making I've now discovered!!

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km said...

I've had this recipe in my queue for a long time now and finally made it today. I didn't think I had 2 @ 1 qt. containers. Then I finally remembered my fluted bowls. This bread might be too pretty to eat. It will be out of the oven in 15 min. =0)