The one thing I hear from most people who have never made bread before is that it’s not worth the effort.
Let me ask ya something. Have you ever experienced a bite of fresh homemade bread? Have you ever experienced the wonderful scent that comes from deep within the kitchen while the bread is baking?
No? Well, my friends, if you’ve never made bread at home before, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. And when the effort is hardly anything, I’d say the worth of making bread at home far surpasses the effort when it comes right down to it.
Now, you’ve probably figured it out by now, but I’m a sucker for homemade bread.
Especially when it’s so easy to make. Guys, I make all sorts of homemade breads on a weekly basis. I wouldn’t exactly keep making these bread recipe if they weren’t easy, inexpensive, and a huge hit at my house.
Now…about this bread. It’s got a chewy, crusty exterior, a custardy, bready interior, and it’s highly addictive. Consider yourself warned.
Let’s go over the process of making the bread. You start by combining all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl (in the order listed in the recipe). Mix it all together until it forms a cohesive ball and everything is thoroughly mixed together.
Let it rise for 2-5 hours. The longer you let it rise, the more sour the bread will taste. After the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into 2 or 4 balls, depending on the quantity and size of loaves you want. I usually make two large loaves and use it for sandwich bread during the week.
Put the dough balls on a prepared baking pan. Shape the balls of dough into whatever you like—a round loaf or boule as they say in French, baguette, you name it! Let the bread dough rest for 40 minutes.
After 30 minutes have passed start preheating the oven and place a broiler pan in the oven with water in it. This makes the oven steamy, yielding a crispier and chewier crust.
And after that all you have to do is slash, sprinkle with flour, bake, and let cool. It may sound difficult, but it couldn’t be easier.
This whole wheat crusty bread will knock your socks off. It’s unbelievably easy to make, takes 4 ingredients, 1 bowl, 1 spoon, 1 pan, and a will to make some of the best bread known to man.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packets)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups lukewarm water (110 degrees)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 to 4½ cups white whole wheat flour
- Combine the water, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and stir. Add the flour, and mix until it's thoroughly combined. Dough will be quite loose. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature 2 hours.
- Divide the dough into two or four balls. Shape the loaves however you'd like and place each shaped loaf on a parchment paper or a silpat lined baking sheet (a pizza stone also works well for this). Let the dough rest for 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Slash the top of each loaf with a serrated knife three times. Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler pan and shut the oven quickly. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, or until the top is well browned. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.
Try my delicious homemade bagels next.