Baking bread at home saves hundreds of dollars on groceries every year. With this easy five minutes a day for fresh-baked bread technique, each deliciously crusty-on-the-outside, moist-and-chewy-on-the-inside loaf will only cost you about 50 cents and 5 minutes a day. We’re not kidding!
Spend five minutes a day, and less than forty cents a loaf, making great bread from scratch. Even if you think you can’t bake, even if you think you don’t have time, TRY IT!
The secret is to make a large batch of no-knead dough which will keep two weeks or more in the fridge. When you want a loaf, cut off a hunk of dough and pop it in the oven. Done! No kneading, no proofing of yeast, and less than five minutes a day.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- 6-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough
- In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water. Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches. Do not knead. The dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to a shape of a plastic container. Cover, but not with an airtight lid.
- Let dough rise at room temperature until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.)
- When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of the oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees, preheating the baking stone for at least 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and on your hands. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it’s not intended to be incorporated into dough), turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom.
- Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in a lidded container. (Even one day’s storage improves flavor and texture of bread. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.) Dust dough with flour.
- Using a serrated knife, slash the top of dough in three parallel, 1/4-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.