This is the best and easiest bread ever. I admit I laughed skeptically at the idea of putting all the dry ingredients together (including yeast) into the bowl first. It was just, well…not right. I’m from the old school of allowing the yeast, sugar and water to work together for a few minutes before adding the dry ingredients. However, the reviews of many of the recipes I read online convinced me it was possible. The idea of homemade bread in an hour was alluring. This was definitely Baking Outside the Box for me!
I gathered my ingredients from my pantry only to discover that I didn't have better-for-bread flour nor the ‘instant’ yeast called for in most of the recipes. (In fact all I had was Walmart 'Great Value' flour and regular yeast.) But I crossed my fingers and forged ahead.
I admit some trepidation as I placed the first batch of it in the pans because I could see little yeast-speckles in the dough. Would it rise that way? It rose. Really fast.
It worked beautifully from the first time I tried it.
You can see from the picture at the top that I heeded the suggestion some people made that the loaf may need to be slashed just prior to baking to keep it from rising quickly and cracking in the oven. I haven’t done this since to regular loaves and they turn out beautifully.
Over time I have played with the amounts of all the ingredients until the dough came out as Goldilocks said, ‘Just right.’
It slices well for toast and sandwiches. It has a lovely, fine texture that is lightly chewy. It also makes a great cinnamon bread as well as Artisan bread. Next time I make this I’m making rolls out of it. I’ll let you know how it turns out! --Laura
Best 1 Hour Bread
Simply delicious bread. Easy to slice. It's moist, chewy and great for sandwiches. Wonderful slathered with honey and butter straight out of the oven.
Servings 2 loaves
- 5 ½ cups flour
- 2 T . yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 tsps . salt
- 2 ½ cups warm water (not too hot and not tepid)
- 2 T . olive oil
Grease two bread pans. (Glass or ceramic preferred.)
Combine the dry ingredients in mixer using dough hooks for a few seconds on low.
With mixer on low, slowly pour in warm water and olive oil.
After ingredients are combined, turn mixer speed to medium.
Mix for 5 minutes on medium. Dough should mix together and come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl during this time. Dough will be smooth at the end of mixing.
Oil or grease hands and remover dough from bowl onto clean and lightly-floured counter or silpat and knead it 4-6 times. This is a soft dough, but if it is too sticky too handle, knead in a bit more flour.
Divide dough evenly into two balls and shape into loaves and place in prepared pans.
Lightly cover loaves with plastic wrap or clean dish towel and sit in a warm place to rise till dough is about double in volume up to 30 minutes.
While dough is rising, heat oven to 400°.
Bake loaves for 15-20 minutes, till golden brown. Turn them out onto cooling rack. (And of course while it will slice better when it cools, it is irresistible when warm out of the oven, dripping with butter and honey. Enjoy.)
Recipe NotesBaker’s Secrets: To make the crust pliable and the bread easier to slice after it cools, brush a tiny bit of butter over the loaf tops when they first come out of the oven.
Variations: Cinnamon bread: Heavily grease two pans. After kneading, pat and spread each dough ball on floured surface into a rectangle shape about 7” x 10”. Stir together ½ cup brown sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Divide and spread 1 T. butter on rectangles. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over rectangles, leaving about an inch on one end (7” side) plain. Roll up dough firmly toward plain end. Pull plain end over dough and press to seal. Gently pull open sides toward seam and place seam side down in pan. Bake as directed.
Artisan Bread: This is sooo good! Grease a large cookie sheet and dust with a small amount of cornmeal. Shape loaves into rounds or elongate them to look like French bread. Deeply slash the loaves (I use kitchen shears). Sprinkle with a bit more cornmeal over the top for authenticity if you like and allow them to rise. Place a cake pan with about 2” of hot water into oven and heat oven to 450° while loaves are rising. Bake 20-30 minutes till crust is deeply golden. (Do not butter the top.)
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