Fresh out of the oven, homemade bread, it’s one of the first things, and easiest things, a new homesteader should learn to make in the kitchen.
Bread can be used for every meal plus snacks so learning to make it, especially a fast no knead version, can really set you up for success. This recipe is fantastic because it only takes me about 5 minutes, hands on, to make the dough. Plus, it makes enough for 2 loaves and I bet you already have all the ingredients!
When to Make Fresh Bread
I like to bake 1 loaf of bread at time so when that loaf starts running low, I can take the second half of the dough out of the fridge and get that one going. Then I always have fresh bread and my house smells like a heavenly bakery more often too.
Kept in the fridge this dough will last 2 weeks. For my family this works out perfectly for 2 adults and 1 toddler. Big J usually has 1 sandwich a day, I probably have 2 every week and Little J has a sandwich out of 1 slice a couple times a week.
So, on average I’m making homemade bread once a week but only making the dough every other week. Which is great, I’m able to spend just a small amount of time in the kitchen each week and in return we’re getting fresh bread.
Benefits Outweigh the Time Spent Making Bread
The return on (time) investment for me is totally worth it. Especially since it means I no longer buy bread in the grocery store. Plus, there are so many ingredients in store bought bread I can’t pronounce. I have no idea where they source their ingredients from. I can’t guarantee that the grocery will have organic and non-GMO bread either.
Making bread at home, I buy the ingredients or a make the ingredients and therefore know exactly what I’m putting in my families’ bodies.
Homemade Bread Ingredient Options
All you’ll need for this recipe is unbleached flour (all-purpose or bread), apple cider vinegar, yeast, water, and salt. That’s right, you don’t even need eggs for this.
There are a few differences between All-Purpose flour and Bread flour. Personally, I like to use bread flour for this, but I have used all-purpose flour and it’s perfectly fine. I do find that I need that extra ½ cup when I use AP flour while with the bread flour, I’m able to just use 6 cups.
Tools to Make Fresh Bread
Some items that you’ll need to make this recipe, other than the ingredients, are a large mixing bowl, measuring glass, measuring spoons, a spatula, a whisk, a cast iron Dutch oven, and 3 potholders.
Some optional tools that you don’t need but will certainly make life easier are a Danish dough whisk or a KitchenAid mixer and parchment paper. A Danish dough whisk would take the place of the spatula and whisk, it kind of acts like both. It sort of looks like a combination of both tools honestly. You can pick one up on Amazon cheap or a specialty cooking shop will have them too.
While I do have a KitchenAid mixer, I honestly don’t use it for this just because the recipe is so easy and doesn’t even take that long to mix. Feel free to use it if you’ve got it though!
Making the Dough for Easy Homemade Bread
To start you’ll want to take out your large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ tablespoons of yeast, if you are using packets, you’ll want to double check but that’s usually 2 packets. Then you’ll pour lukewarm water, 3 cups, over the yeast and give it a little stir.
Mixing the Water & Yeast
Let the water and yeast sit there for 6-8 minutes, as the yeast activates, you’ll see the water start to bubble. I usually start making some butter during this wait time so I’m still being productive plus once the breads done, I’ll have homemade butter for when it’s fresh out of the oven.
Adding the Apple Cider Vinegar & Salt
Now you’ll add 1 ½ tablespoons of both the apple cider vinegar and the salt, a coarse sea salt would be best. I have used regular table salt and that’s been fine, but the end taste I find is better with sea salt.
Finally the Flour
Finally, the last ingredient! Six cups of flour, you’ll add one cup at a time, stir it in fully and then repeat. Adding a cup at time makes it a lot easier to get everything incorporated nicely and without flour clouds of flour going everywhere.
Make sure you get out all those little flour balls, there’s nothing worse than biting into some fresh dough only to have a flour ball explode in your mouth!
Working with the Bread Dough
The dough will be a bit wet to work with, that’s ok, we’re expecting that since we won’t be doing any kneading work. You’ll want to get your hands into the dough and start forming it into a mound.
Note: You might want to remove any rings you are wearing before getting your hands into the dough since it’s definitely a wetter dough.
I like to sort of stretch the dough out a little and pull the sides I have in my hands under and pinch the ends together, then rotate the mound and repeat. Each time rotating the dough, this helps make a great mound but also helps you see any flour balls you may have missed.
Let it Rise
Put the mound back into your large mixing bowl, through a tea towel over it and put it somewhere warm and out of the way for about 2-3 hours. This gives the bread time to rise. Some people like to put it on top of their fridge, my fridge is a built in so that doesn’t work for me. I put it inside my microwave and turn on the light under the microwave so that the small amount of heat generated from that keeps my dough warm. The dough should double in size.
Now we’ll cover the dough with something more permanent than a tea towel. My mixing bowl has a lid so I use that and love it I might add but saran wrap will do the trick too. Make the cover isn’t sealed, you’ll want to dough to be able to ‘breathe’. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 8 hours. I tend to make the dough around lunch or dinner and just let it sit in the fridge overnight. You want to wait the 8 hours to give the yeast time to fully activate and ‘wake up’.
Baking Your Homemade Bread
We are ready to bake the bread! The first thing you’ll want to do is remove your mixing bowl from the fridge and tear the dough in half. Put half back in the mixing bowl and back in the fridge.
- Lightly flour your hands since the dough is wet, this will help prevent it from sticking to your hands as much.
Shape Your Bread Dough
Reshape the dough into a bread loaf and place it on some parchment paper. Dust the top of the loaf with some flour and give it some quick lite cuts in the top with a very sharp knife. A little light flouring of your knife will help prevent it from sticking in your dough. This gives the air and steam from baking a place to escape.
Skipping the cutting step won’t hurt the bread but giving no escape route will cause the air and steam to find its own way out and you’ll end up with peaks all over your loaf. This step is helping the result look more uniform and really be pretty too.
Preheating & Second Rise Time
We’ll need to let this half sit out for about 40 minutes before we put it in the oven so it can rise. Again, I usually work on something else in kitchen or I clean up the kitchen and living room while it’s sitting there.
You’ll also need to get the oven warmed up to 450 degrees with your cast iron Dutch oven inside it. My oven has a quick preheat option, which is amazing, but I don’t use it when I’m also heating up my Dutch oven. I use the standard bake option just to be safe. I don’t want to bring my Dutch oven up to that high heat level so fast.
Once the 40 minutes is up, take your heated Dutch oven out of your oven and then pick up the parchment paper with your dough on it and place that inside your Dutch oven. Cover with the heated lid and place back in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
The Final Step Before Eating Your Fresh Bread
Once you remove your Dutch oven from the oven, you’ll need to remove the bread. I usually just make a dumping motion so it ‘pours’ out of the Dutch oven with the parchment paper. You won’t be able to lift the bread out with the parchment paper because it’ll be brittle after being baked.
This is the hardest part of the entire process. You’ll need to wait 10 minutes for the bread to cool down before you dig into it. Being totally transparent here, I don’t always make it. Waiting the 10 minutes makes the bread much easier to cut into without smashing it.
- 1.5 tbsp yeast
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar will also work, I just like the final flavor of rice vinegar better personally)
- 1.5 tbsp salt, kosher or coarse sea salt
- 6.5 cups bread flour, all purpose flour will work too
- In a large mixing bowl, dump the yeast in and then pour the warmed water over the top. After a brief stir let it rest for 6-8 minutes. You'll see bubbles start to form, this is good it means the yeast is activating.
- Combine in the apple cider vinegar and the salt, stir.
- Add the flour, one cup at a time. Use the spatula and whisk to mix this all together well making sure to break apart any flour balls. A Danish dough whisk would be very helpful here. Use the extra 1/2 cup only if the dough is so wet that when you hold a clump of it, its pulling itself apart.
- Cover dough with a tea towel and set it in the microwave with the under light on for 2-3 hours. At least until the dough is double in size.
- Cover the dough, but leave some breathing room, and put the container in the fridge for 8 hours.
- Lightly flour your hands and take out half of the dough from the fridge. Use the pull and pinch technique to form the loaf. (pull and pinch technique discussed in post).
- Put the loaf on a sheet of parchment paper and apply a small amount of flour to the top of the loaf and to a sharp knife. Cut a shallow design into the top of the loaf. Let rise for 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees with your Dutch oven inside.
- Remove Dutch oven and the lid, place the parchment paper with the dough on it inside the Dutch oven and cover.
- Bake for 25 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Remove Dutch oven and slide the bread loaf out onto the countertop or cooling rack. Let cooldown for 10 minutes.
Good luck waiting the 10 minutes cool down period! I don't always make it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 loaf
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1,488Unsaturated Fat: 0g
You’ve made your first loaf of bread, congratulations! Let me know how it went for you below!
Maybe you’re feeling brave enough to try make some homemade butter to go with your fresh out of the oven bread!