In my quest to make food from scratch, bread was the one thing that daunted me. I imagined a laborious process of kneading, kneading and more kneading. Plus, the family was pretty happy with home made Tortillas and Crackers. So, I didn’t have any pressure. But, my Aunt linked to this recipe on Facebook, and so I decided to check it out.
Honestly, I doubted the “5 Min a Day” claim, but after looking over the recipe and talking to my Aunt, I learned that it takes about 3-4 hours from start to the finished result of eating a slice of bread. Or, you can keep the bread dough in your refrigerator and make a fresh loaf in the morning after about 5 minutes of shaping it (hence the name). The recipe is from FrugalLivingNW.com – they do a great job of lining out the process and include a YouTube video for more instruction. So, no need for me to repeat it here. Instead, I want to share what I have done with it.
First Try: I made a slight alteration and used refined Spelt Flour instead of regular Wheat Flour. And, I didn’t have 6 cups of flour, so I halved the recipe and shaped 2 loaves instead of 3. The result: small, tasty fresh bread with lovely hard crust and a moist center – but, it didn’t rise very much. Fortunately, I made my first loaf in time for a play date with my cousin and her little kids. She had experience making this recipe and gave me some good advice: make sure the “warm” water is at 100 degrees. Adding that suggestion to my notes make the loaves actually rise more.
Another tip: The recipe says it yields 3 loaves, but they are small. They’d serve just 4-6 people as a complimentary addition to a meal. As my cousin also suggested, you can remedy this by using the full recipe to make 2 larger loaves. I like this approach, because I can actually get sandwich sized slices out of it.
Since that first try, I have made this bread many times and just last week used the dough to make pizza. It was perfect! All we did was to knead it with additional flour after the rising step. That way it was less sticky as we shaped and flattened the dough out before adding our toppings.
I’ve also used a 50/50 ratio of Refined and Sprouted Spelt Flour and find it tastes even better. So, if you want to use Whole Wheat or combine flours, I think it would work out just fine. If anything, it might not rise as high.
We love the bread so much that when I make it, the challenge become to not eat all of it in one day. So, I don’t make bread every week because it nearly doubles our grain consumption.
Do you have a favorite easy bread recipe?
I’m looking for a great Sourdough recipe and a non-Artisan recipe – feel free to link me to it, or pretty-please do share it in the comments.