We all love the smell of freshly baked bread, but let’s face it, buying bread from the supermarket is so much easier that baking it ourselves. However, things are not as complicated as they first seem. In fact, if you have the right tools and you follow a few simple rules, you will be able to bake bread at home with minimum effort. Not only does homemade bread taste better, but it is also a lot healthier as it doesn’t contain any preservatives and shady ingredients that no one has heard of. So, if you are ready to take on this mission, we will teach you how to bake bread at home with minimum effort:
1. Bake bread the traditional way
If you don’t want to invest too much in the bread making equipment, we suggest you try the traditional way of baking bread. You can use any type of oven, and you will need a bread tray or even a basic oven tray.
For a basic bread recipe you will need the following ingredients: 1 package active dry yeast, 2 1/5 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 6 1/5 cups of flour.
Grab a large bowl, add the warm water and dissolve the yeast. Continue by adding the sugar, the salt, the oil and about half of the flour. Beat the mixture together until it gets a smooth consistency. Continue to add the flour in small amounts and keep mixing until you obtain a soft dough. Now comes the tricky part. Transfer the dough on a flat surface and start kneading it. The kneading process will make a big difference in how your bread will grow and what texture you will have. If you have never kneaded dough before, we advise you to watch some video tutorials to master this technique. You should knead the dough for about 10 minutes. After that, place it in a greased bowl, cover it with a cloth and let it sit in a warm place. You should let it sit for one and a half hours, or until it doubles its size. Once it has risen enough, punch it gently to remove some of the extra air. Next, divide it in two and put it into your bread trays. If you don’t have trays, you can try to shape the bread into a loaf and place it on a normal oven tray. Once that is done, cover it and let it sit until it doubles its size again. Lastly, bake it at 375° for about half an hour.
2. Use a bread maker
If baking bread the traditional way seems like too much effort, you should definitely consider a bread maker. This little appliance practically does everything for you. The best thing about it is that it even handles the kneading. All you have to do is add the ingredients, select the proper baking cycle, and start the appliance. You can use the above recipe for a traditional loaf of bread, or you can toy around with different bread specialties. However, be careful with the ingredient quantities, as each bread maker has a different capacity and the quantities that we provided above may not be suitable for every bread machine. Ideally, you should follow the machine’s recommendations. We advise you to invest in a modern appliance, one that allows you to bake with different types of flour and add special ingredients to the mix.