Easy, fast and delicious homemade bread

by Anna Bartels, TCM Apprentice

I make this bread almost once a week.  It’s my favorite because it doesn’t not require the whole knead/sit/rise/knead/sit/rise routine.  You just mix, let it rest for 30 minutes and then bake it!  It’s the easiest bread for spur of the moment evenings when your leftover soup or stew just NEEDS to have some homemade bread to go with it.  And it only makes one loaf, which I love because I hate it if I make homemade bread that goes stale before my partner and I have a chance to eat it all.

The recipe is also pretty versatile, so you can substitute various grains that you might want to test out. I’ve used oat bran, all white flour, all whole wheat flower, rye oats, added nuts or fruit, etc.  Sometimes I even add leftover whey from my homemade yogurt!

Either way, this bread, while not the prettiest, is delicious and hearty and the best fresh from the oven, with butter and honey or molasses.

Enjoy!

Easy Little Bread Recipe (from http://www.101cookbooks.com)

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115F)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)

1 tablespoon runny honey

1 cup  unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)

1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms and swells a bit – 5 – 10 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter. Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the middle. When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. I finish things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a heartbeat – to give the top a bit deeper color. Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn’t steam in the pan. Serve warm, slathered with butter.

Makes 1 loaf.

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