One of my top five tips for those getting started in the kitchen would be to find a bread recipe that works for you and is adaptable for multiple purposes. It’s only in the last 8 months that I’ve found a bread recipe that truly works for me. I can use it for almost anything… loaf bread, rolls/buns, pizza crust, bierocks, cinnamon and other sweet rolls, and more.
My friend Tabitha introduced me to a terrific no-knead bread recipe a while back. I have tweaked it here and there until it really works for me and for our family. Perhaps it will work for you, too! See link at end of recipe for an easily printable pdf file.
Measure 2 cups white and 2 cups wheat (I love Hudson Cream whole wheat flour) into a large bowl (mine is the big ol’ tupperware bowl).
Add 4 cups warm water, 1/2 cup oil, and 2 beaten eggs (or egg substitute*) and whisk until mixture is smooth, a couple of minutes.
For my warm water, I put four cups of cold water in a glass measuring cup and microwave it for two minutes. With our current microwave, this is just right. Use whatever method works for you to get your water in the magic 100-115′ range.
Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. I put the salt that I will add after the resting time on top of the bowl, or in some other obvious place, because otherwise I tend to forget it. I like to wait to add the salt so that the yeast has time to really get going before I curb its action with salt.
After the rest:
See how wonderfully poofy, then bubbly, it is?
No-knead bread –
Cover again and let rise in bowl for about 30 minutes (until doubled).
Stir down dough
Spoon into three greased loaf pans. Let rise again until dough peeks over top of pans, 30-45 minutes. Bake at 375′ for 30-45 minutes.
Low-knead bread –
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, working in another half cup or so of flour.
For loaf bread – divide in thirds, form loaves, and let rise in greased pans until dough peeks over top of pans, 30-45 minutes. Bake at 375′ for 30-45 minutes.
Rolls are the staple bread around our house. I make them large enough to work for sandwiches, and they are my preferred form of serving bread to my family. No worrying about slicing evenly, bread falling apart, etc. So simple and practical.
For sandwich sized rolls, form kneaded dough into a rectangle, then cut into 36 pieces.
Form dough into balls, place on greased pans. I use two half-sheet cookie sheets (3 rows of 5) and one 9×13 pan (two rows of 3).
Let rise, covered, for 30 minutes.
Turn oven to 350 and let rise another 15 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
~ For “dinner roll” size, simply cut into smaller pieces. I expect they will bake more quickly.
~ For cinnamon and other sweet rolls, I cut the dough into quarters and roll out/fill/cut one quarter at a time.
~ For bierocks, I cut into 36 pieces like I do for rolls, then roll out and fill each bierock individually.
~ For pizza, I divide dough into sixths to make six crusts. I prebake them for 5 minutes or so before adding toppings.
**Egg substitute –
For substitute for two eggs, I now use a rounded 1/4 c measure of ground flax seed and add 3/8 cup hot water. For this bread recipe, I put the flax and water in glass bowl that I know is one full cup. The flax mixture takes up half a cup, so I simply add oil to fill it.