I don’t know why I don’t make fresh bread every day. I really should with a recipe like this one for Fastest Yeast Bread from Mark Bittman. You can literally make the dough and bake the bread within 1 hour, although I think it tastes better the longer you let it rise. This isn’t the world’s best bread, but it sure beats what you get at the grocery store. And you can make it every day, without having to quit your job! Here’s the recipe.
Fastest Yeast Bread
From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.
- 3 cups (about 14 ounces) bread or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water (1¼ cups if you omit the olive oil), plus more if necessary
- ¼ cup olive oil (optional)
- Coarse salt to taste (optional)
- one tablespoon of minced fresh herbs–such as parsley, dill or sage–for variety (optional)
Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add the water all at once, with the machine on; add the olive oil and continue to mix, about 30 seconds total with the food processor. Add water by the tablespoon if necessary, until a ball forms. (I usually do need to do this, but it requires no more than an additional tablespoon or two of water.)
Shape the dough into a flat round, adding only enough flour to allow you to handle the dough. Let rise in the warmest place in your kitchen, covered, while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Brush the loaf with water, sprinkle it with coarse salt if you like, and bake for 15 minutes. I usually bake it on a preheated pizza stone. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until done–the crust will be golden and crisp–about 30 to 45 minutes more.
Serve warm with butter or jam. This bread also makes good toast or even sandwiches.