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Simple One Hour Homemade Bread

I love homemade bread. But like you, and every other mom, dad, sister, husband, brother, uncle, grandma, etc, etc I have a busy, hectic life. Unless you remember early in the day, and assuming you are home during the day, you most likely cannot make many of the homemade bread recipes out there. Instead, many of us opt for grocery store bread or bread from the grocer’s bakery. We all know that while the grocery store does pop those loaves of Italian bread into the oven, they don’t mix up the dough there, it’s delivered to them, frozen. So who knows what preservatives might be lurking in there? Hopefully none, but one can’t be certain. :-/

Then you come across a recipe that seems too good to be true. Warm, aromatic homemade bread in an hour? Is it possible? Yes my friends, it is. :) And it’s delicious. And ridiculously easy. You are going to thank me for this. You see, I have this friend, her name is Rachael. You may already know her from her fabulous blog, La Fuji Mama. Well dear readers, that’s where this wonderful bread comes from, and you can watch… no, I highly recommend that you watch her video on making this bread, found here.

I have to tell you a few things about MY one hour bread first. This didn’t work for me right away. It took about 3 tries, but I got it, and have made it several times with dinner over the past couple of months. You see, Rachael lives in southern California, a fairly dry climate. I live in southern Wisconsin, a humid climate. We might as well be on opposite sides of the Earth as far as weather is concerned. Well, all I can fathom is that weather was a factor in the challenges I had with this bread. So here goes…

My first attempt. I followed the recipe exactly. The dough was rather sticky and shaping it into a boule (watch Rachel’s video, link above) was impossible. It just wasn’t happening. I baked the two loaves and they spread like crazy. Now it’s important to note that it still tasted fabulous! Nothing was thrown away, but as you can see, any flatter and I would have baked a frisbee.

My second attempt. Again, I followed the recipe exactly. After the first one minute of mixing, I added more flour, probably about 1/2 cup. This helped, but I still ended up with very wrinkly loaves. Not very pretty, but again, totally edible and delish! (I baked the one below in a loaf pan)

My third attempt. Finally! Success! This time instead of following everything exactly, I increased the flour by 1/2 cup, knowing that worked in attempt #2, only this time I added it from the get go, not as an after thought. The other thing I did was reduced the water by 1/4 cup. The last thing that I changed was the temperature of the water. I used very warm water, rather than hot. Those were the magical changes that made this bread work for me. Now the dough was pliable and I was able to form it into proper loaves and boules. Beautiful! (pictured at the top of this post, please ignore my stupid attempt at criss crossing the boule loaf)

I spoke with Rachael, who by the way was very helpful in trying to troubleshoot what was happening with me. She made me feel far less pathetic than I would have felt without her kind words. ;) After I told her of my discovery with the flour and water levels, she spoke with a relative in a humid climate that had made pretty much the same adjustments I had. So there you have it. :)

So here’s my slightly adapted recipe.  We’ll call it The Midwest Version. ;) Thank you Rachael, this bread is not a permanent recipe in my kitchen!

Simple One Hour Homemade Bread
Midwest Version
adapted from La Fuji Mama 

[printable version]

5 3/4 cups white bread flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. (rounded) saf-instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1 3/4 cups VERY warm water (100-110 F)

Makes 2 loaves

1. Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Mix for 1 minute and then check the consistency of the dough. The dough should be very sticky, but no so sticky that it has to be peeled from your fingers. If it is too dry, add more water.

2. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add any more flour after the dough has finished mixing.)

3. Spray kneading surface with cooking spray and turn dough out onto surface. Knead dough briefly until it has a smooth even consistency (this will only take several turns of the dough to accomplish).

4. Divide dough into 2 pieces (or more if you wish to have smaller loaves) and shape loaves into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheets. Cover with a large dish towel and let rise for 25 minutes.

5. While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When loaves are ready to go into the oven, use a sharp knife (you can lightly spray your knife with cooking spray to prevent dragging) to make several slashes in the top. Make each cut about 1/4-inch deep at a 30 degree angle. Bake loaves for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

A note from Rachael: Why saf-instant yeast? Saf-instant yeast is a high-potency, fast-acting yeast that can be added directly to your dry ingredients without it having to be put in a starter first.

You can use rapid rise yeast as well, though I did go ahead and buy a bag of Saf. :) 

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34 Responses to Simple One Hour Homemade Bread

  1. 1
    Debbie says:

    I have yet to make homemade bread but this recipe sounds simple enough. The only problem is that I don'thave your patience….if it turns out bad, it will be thrown into the trash with much yelling and cussing!!!!!!

  2. 2
    Fuji Mama says:

    Mwah! So glad we figured it out!

  3. 3
    jose manuel says:

    Me encanta el pan. Me apunto tu receta con tu permiso

  4. 4
    Chow and Chatter says:

    3rd time lucky!!! wow what an amazing loaf of bread great job

  5. 5
    Frieda says:

    I have met Rachel in person and she IS fabulous! You have discovered the secret of making the perfect loaf of bread….it takes hands-on touch to know when it is right. You will find that bread making is different on a sunny day, vs. a stormy day. Congrats on making a successful bread!

  6. 6
    Marie says:

    Third time lucky I'll say! That looks great!! Well done Amanda!

  7. 7
    Barbara Bakes says:

    I don't make homemade bread near enough! Wish I had a slice of yours right now. It looks delicious!

  8. 8
    Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Having fresh baked bread in my house would be troublesome for me. I love love love bread:) I would eat it all! I should give this recipe a try though. It would be nice to have some fresh bread.

  9. 9
    Michelle says:

    Looks good to me!

    I have trouble baking bread at times too. But that's what happens when you work with yeast, it's a living thing and reacts to just about anything!

  10. 10
    aquadaze says:

    bread baking is my latest love, and one of the things I find very bothersome is the waiting(rising) period in making it. Am so excited to see this bread and your changes to the recipe should suit me perfectly, given that I live in a place that is notoriously warm and humid! Bread looks delicious!

  11. 11
    jillbert says:

    Great! Sometimes I really want bread and it's way too late in the day to start making it. If you think about it, you can make a pizza crust pretty quickly, so why not bread?

  12. 12
    Pam says:

    Well done Girl…looks very good!

    Bee Happy!

  13. 13
    Tami says:

    These are beautiful, rustic breads!! I bet they were delicious!

  14. 14
    Kathleen says:

    I wish I had a loaf of this bread to go with my dinner right now!

  15. 15
    Free Samples says:

    I love homemade bread! Your's looks amazing…great work like always!!

  16. 16
    Shari says:

    Sounds too quick to be true, but your results are great! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!!

  17. 17
    Amanda says:

    Thanks everyone, Rachael's bread is delish. Even the loaves that didn't work as planned were eaten and tasted great!

  18. 18
    Countrymama says:

    Can I do this in the bread machine for the dough and then bake it in the oven?

  19. 19
    Amanda says:

    I don't see why not, but I have not tried it that way. Let me know if you try it! :)

  20. 20
    thruthebugsonmywindshield says:

    I am NOT an accomplished bread maker. However, I "want to" desperately. My hubby got me a nice, large pizza stone at Christmas and it is amazing with bread. I'm headed to the kitchen now to give this one a whirl! Nothing like the smell of homemade bread baking. Excellent post!

  21. 21
    Minny says:

    I have a question.. what is the difference in SAF yeast & regular yeast? I'm not sure what SAF yeast is.. unless it's a brand name?

  22. 22
    Amanda says:

    Hi Minny! Yes, Saf is a brand name, you can get it at amazon, that's where I got mine http://www.amazon.com/Saf-Yeast-Instant-Yeast-16-oz/dp/B0001CXUHW You could certainly use a quick rise yeast, like red star or Fleishman's, just make sure you use the quick rise ;)

  23. 23
    Minny says:

    Thanks Amanda.. I have some quick rise yeast but wasn't sure if I could use that or not. I love home made bread & love to smell it baking, so I definitely have to try this.

  24. 24
    Amanda says:

    You're welcome. We got really busy yesterday, so I never made it with dinner. If I had some in the freezer it would have been great. So today I am going to make a few loaves and parbake them and pop them in the freezer :)

  25. 25
    gina says:

    Love your blog! Great instructions and pics!

    I don't know if you've tried the 5-minute-a-day bread recipe yet. I use this dough to make bread, rolls, english muffins, pizza crust. It is so wonderful. I only use 1 Tablespoon of salt and I just use 1 packet of yeast, but it works great every single time. I just mix mine up in the morning – takes maybe 2 minutes, stir, put a walmart bag over my bowl and stick it back in the fridge. It does the rising in there.

    They have a blog. The instructions are here:

    http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1616

    They have lots of other recipes and the books are wonderful!

    Just an F/Y/I to share this fabulous way to have bread and other things made from bread with little prep time and few ingredients!

  26. 26

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  27. 27
    Easy Home-Made Bread, A Recipe | the domestic fringe says:

    [...] (Adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’. I follow her recipe pretty closely, but her flour measurements just did not work for [...]

  28. 28

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  29. 29
    Joe says:

    Only 1-3/4 cups water for 5-3/4 cups water? That sounded insane, because the bread recipe I usually use says 2-1/4 cups water with 5-1/4 cups flour. I worried it would be way too dry to make dough, but I trusted you and tried it. Sure enough, it was way too dry…Might as well just put a cooked loaf of bread in the mixer bowl and try to turn it. Luckily I have a 600 watt mixer. That dry would have burned out the motor on a 300 watt Kitchenaid. Are you sure there is not a typo in your recipe. Maybe in works in a humid climate, but here out west it is a recipe for disaster.

  30. 30
    Joe says:

    Oops, I meant 5-3/4 cups flour. That is a lot of flour for just 1-3/4 cups of water to handle.

  31. 31
    rose says:

    MADE THIS BREAD SOMEHOW IGOOFED AND PUT ONE AND A HALF CUPS OF OIL ,IT DID NOT REALLY RISE TILL IT WAS BAKED. TASTED GREAT MORE LIKE A CAKE, BUT EVERY ONE LOVED IT, WILL TRYIT AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY .STILL A GOOD BREAD.

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