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Bake to Basics: 3 Simple Bread Recipes with Minimal Ingredients

warm homemade bread

Bread is a staple food for many people worldwide, and there are few things as satisfying as the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your home. However, making bread can seem daunting for those new to baking or who have limited access to ingredients. Fear not, as in this article, we will show you how to make three simple bread recipes using minimal ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.

Before we dive into the recipes, here are a few tips that will help you achieve success in your bread-making endeavors:

  1. Measure ingredients accurately: Bread baking is a science, and the measurements of each ingredient matter. A little too much or too little of any ingredient can have a significant impact on the final product.
  2. Knead the dough well: Kneading is the process of developing gluten, which gives bread its structure and elasticity. Kneading dough is important to ensure that your bread has a good texture and a nice rise.
  3. Let the dough rest: After kneading, the dough needs to rest to allow the yeast to do its job. This will ensure that the bread rises properly and has a good flavor.
  4. Preheat your oven: Preheat your oven to the correct temperature before you start baking. This is important because a hot oven is necessary for the bread to rise and bake properly.

Now, let’s get into the simple bread recipes!

No-Yeast Bread

If you don’t have yeast, or you simply don’t have the time to wait for the dough to rise, this no-yeast bread recipe is perfect for you. This bread is made with just four ingredients and takes less than an hour to make from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Soda Bread

Soda bread is a traditional Irish bread that is made without yeast. Instead, baking soda is used as a leavening agent. This bread is perfect for those who are short on time or don’t have access to yeast.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until the dough comes together.
  5. Form the dough into a round loaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  8. Let the bread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is a flatbread that is popular in Italy. This bread is known for its chewy texture and crispy crust, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt (for topping)
  • Fresh rosemary (optional, for topping)

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast.
  2. Add the warm water and olive oil to the dry ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  6. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
  7. Gently transfer the dough to the greased baking sheet and press it down to form a flat rectangle.
  8. Use your fingers to poke dimples all over the surface of the dough.
  9. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle coarse sea salt and fresh rosemary (if using) over the top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  11. Let the bread cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Conclusion

Bread-making doesn’t have to be complicated, and these three recipes prove that you can make delicious bread with just a few simple ingredients. Whether you’re short on time, limited on ingredients, or just want to try something new, these simple bread recipes are sure to satisfy your cravings for fresh-baked bread. Remember to measure your ingredients accurately, knead the dough well, let it rest, and preheat your oven to ensure the best results. Happy baking!

warm homemade bread