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Misty asked the question: "Could someone please hook me up with a really easy recipe for making my
first loaf of bread? The easier the better :)"

And here's what HOMEGROWNers shared:
From Andrew:

I was listening to The Splendid Table this afternoon. They did a story 'Five-Minute Artisan Bread.' The recipe looks good to me here it is.


From Calamity Jane:

i think a basic sandwich loaf is a good first. do you like whole wheat? here's my first bread recipe, which made me a convert more than 10 years
ago (i've eaten almost all homemade bread since) i still know it by
heart, even though i haven't used it in years. this is an ultra basic
no-frills technique that bread purist will scoff at, but it's easy! and
delicious! especially good to give a beginner the success they need to
inspire further bread pursuits!
this recipe makes 2 loaves.

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour (preferably bread flour, but all-purpose will work fine)
2 Tablespoons yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 1/2 cups warm (not hot!) water

measure all the dry ingredients into a big bowl, stir it up good, then
measure the wet stuff right onto the top. with a stout wooden spoon,
stir it up until it becomes too hard to stir, then dump the lot out onto
a floured countertop. get yer hands in there and work all that messy
looking stuff into a nice cohesive dough, adding more flour as necessary
to make it workable and keep the sticking to a minimum-- but don't add
too much, you want the dough soft. (this is actually one of the only
tricky parts, too stiff a dough will make a thick hard loaf, but since
different flours in different climates absorb different amounts of
water, i can't tell you exactly how much flour you'll need. probably at
least another cup, maybe 2, possibly more. just keep chanting 'soft
dough, soft dough' and bare in mind that it will be sticky, that's
normal, wheat dough is always sticky.)
ideally you would knead the dough for ten minutes, but you'll be tired
after five, and really, five is fine. return the dough to the bowl,
cover with plastic, and let rise for about an hour. checking whether
dough is fully risen is the other tricky part, and another thing i can't
give you any exact directions for because it will take longer or
shorter depending on how warm it is, how wet your dough is, etc. the
idea is to poke your finger in to it, if it springs back it's not ready.
when it's ready, the dough will just hold the indented shape of your
finger. the first few times, check your dough frequently so you can see
what it looks like when it's not done, half done, 3/4 done, and done. if
you wait too long after it's done, it will fall. but this first rising
is not so important to get perfect, it's your practice round.
anyway, whenever you've determined it's done rising, dump it out onto
your counter again, cut it into two pieces, and with each piece press
into a rough rectangle and roll tightly into a log, the length of your
bread pan. it would have been handy to grease up your bread pans before you got your hands doughy. set the logs into those greased pans, cover with plastic and let rise again.
they won't take as long to rise the second time, maybe 40 minutes. keep
checking them. after about 20 minutes you'll want to start your oven at
350 so it's good and hot by the time the bread's risen. ideally you put
the bread in when it's almost but not quite fully risen.
bake for about 50 minutes, till the top is nicely browned and the loaf sounds hollow when you thump on the bottom.
cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before you try cutting into it. enjoy piping hot with organic butter!

Matt had some recipes to share:

If whole wheat is more your style, this is a good recipe for 100% whole wheat no-knead bread.

And since I've got a few other recipes that look too good not to share, here you go:

Gruyère-filled bread
No-knead pizza dough
No-time bread
No-knead bread with sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese

I could go on, but I'll restrain myself. (OK, maybe one more.)

Michael shared a recipe:

A friend has had great success with this recipe, I am trying it out later today, although we may half it and use agave nectar instead of honey.


Recommended bread baking books:

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Per Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
The Village Baker: Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America by JoeOrtiz
The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes
by Beth Hensperger

More of the discussion can be found here: Bread for Beginners

Join the Bread! group and good luck! Folks are here to help and to celebrate your new skills!

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I'm going to open comments on the 101 so that y'all can add links that you recommend. I'll then integrate your feedback into the articles. Thank you for your participation!
Calamity Jane's recipe is pretty close to my favorite, all purpose bread recipe. I've used it as a template to make all sorts of breads including hamburger & hotdogs buns, bread bowls and even artisan breads. I often just use all purpose flour but also home ground wheat, oat and corn flour or combinations.

I like no-kneed bread but kneeding makes the very best bread in my opinion :)

My favorite bread book is the Tassajara Bread Book
Apologies for my knead (kneed) debauchery.   I'm very tired  :)

Instead of adding to the recipe offerings already given, perhaps you'd like a comment or two:


There is a line between wanting to be a complete, absolute earthy-wonder person who eshews everything modern and the modern "appreciator" of home-made food who doesn't want to be a "chore-girl" stuck in a kitchen all day.  Somewhere in this continuum is a niche for you.   Some bakers like the moments of peace that the exercise of hand kneading give and some just might be on the run or in the midst of other demands and need an appliance to quicken the pace. 


I like my kitchen-aid & would recommend getting one, even if it's a tagsale special or a rebuilt (reconditioned) ebay find.  Sometimes I just don't like noise, noise, noise  and like process of doing it myself, (especially for quickbreads or pie crusts.)


In either event, I lighten my flour with a quick stir (a big fork or a french whisk) before measuring...who knows I might save a carb' calorie or two!  I prefer bread flour...get a big bag at a wholesale club, it saves $$.  Beyond its gluten benefit, it gives a nice chewiness and the bread lasts longer (if it's not eaten right away!)  


You might notice the diff' in this preservation, in an inexpensive commercial purchase.  You'll notice that an italian or french loaf fresh out of the store is heavenly, but the next day it is as hard as a rock & the texture is made up of dried crumbs!  Go with the bread flour.


Upon measuring, use the lesser measure called for in the recipe...if it gives an approximation.  If the dough does not ball up an draw away from the bowl add flour in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup meaurements until it does.


When you have this nice, clean, non-tacky ball...be carefull not to add too much! flour, you will need little-to-no flour on your board for formation.


Also, I (we in my household) no longer fuss about forming the dough & putting it in a clean oiled bowl for the first rise.  We let it rise in the same bowl we stir it in.  Saves a step or two....and washing up!


There is a plethora of good recipes out there, but the old-time women knew what they were doing...look for some Farm Journal, Grange, pre-1960 books...at least for breads.  (I prefer modern cuisine for entres.)


Good luck & enjoy!

I am a recent breadmaker- learning the ropes of yeast.... An easy start I found was pitas!


Pita Bread Recipe


I tried this one last night, and ohhhh boy was it good! (and easy!)


Scald 3 cups of milk in microwave

1 cup of Sugar

1/2 cup of Shortening

4 tsp Salt

4 eggs room tempature

Dissolve 3 pkges of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar  in one cup of lukewarm water. Let it set for 10 to 20 minutes to proof. It will have bubbles at the top if is alive. You can kill it if the water is too hot.Once you scald your milk  add your sugar, salt  and shortening to it. It helps it to cool down faster and melts your shortening.  Once it's cool mix wet ingredients together. Add cup of flour and beat in well add eggs between adding flour. about 10 to 14 Cups of flour. Dough should be light and slightly sticky. Place in well grease bowl and covered with damp towel  let double in size. Kneed lightly with little flour. Put in greased loaf pans and let rise till doubled. Bake at 375 for 18 to 22 minutes. Thump your bread should sound hollow.  Makes great cinnamon rolls too. Just roll out after first rise. Butter and cover with cinnamon sugar and roll it up and cut in 1" rolls and let rise till double. Brush tops with butter.  So Yummy!  Good Luck with your baking. The sugar in the yeast is a trick to make sure it is active.



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