Homemade bread. The ever daunting, timeless, culinary adventure that every home cook must master, but often times, avoids.
I can tell you I’ve tried my fair share of bread recipes. They are all very easy. Making a basic bread dough, in my opinion, is not hard. My biggest complaint is the TIME. I shared a recipe earlier last year called Quick Rolls. I still stand by that recipe because, like the title, it’s quick and easy. However, I’ve made this bread recipe 5 times in the last week and a half. It has quickly become one of my top recipes. Aside from my sweet husband’s delight with this treat, the other reason I like making this recipe is because it’s realistic for me. I can make it, start to finish, in ONE day, with very little effort.
With homemade bread on the table, I feel accomplished in the kitchen. And the versatility is what I like most. We can enjoy bread with a bowel of soup in the evening, and then have it as toast with eggs in the morning. The flavors are so fresh and delicious! I feel good knowing it’s made with exactly what I put in it, nothing more.
Try out this recipe for yourself, and let me know if it’s changed your mind on bread making! I will be making this recipe for years to come! xoxo Rachel
*recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Don’t be scared of the beer – the bread DOES NOT taste like beer. You can use literally any kind. I’ve been using Yuengling because that’s what I had on hand. I’m excited to try this in the future with other beers. Also, this recipe doubles as a homemade pizza dough!
MAKES: 1 POUND OF DOUGH
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
RESTING TIME: 2 hours or overnight
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes, plus resting time
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 (12-ounce) beer
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the beer and olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
TO BAKE AS BREAD
- When ready to bake, place a 6-quart cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy pot on a rack positioned in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Once it reaches temperature, let the Dutch oven warm for 30 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and place it on a large piece of parchment paper.
- Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and place the dough with the parchment paper in the center of it. Transfer the pot back to the oven, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and continue cooking until the bread is a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
- Carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. (Don’t slice the bread right out of the oven—you want to let it continue to cook as it cools.)
TO USE AS PIZZA DOUGH
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Use half of the dough as directed in any given pizza recipe and save the remaining dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for another use.
Note: To get the right consistency in your dough, start with your base amount of flour, then add more as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth but not dry. It’s better to have a dough that’s on the slightly sticky side than a dough that’s too dry. The dough should be a bit loose; it should not feel dense or heavy.