loaf of homemade bread in a loaf pan sitting on a hot pad on a wood surface

Easy Homemade Bread with 4 Ingredients

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You CAN Make Easy Homemade Bread

Do you want to bake delicious homemade bread, but you’re constantly frustrated with loaves that don’t turn out? Are you ready for an easy homemade bread recipe that’s basically foolproof? My past bread attempts were awful and I eventually gave up (who has the time to mix and knead and raise bread only to have it come out of the oven looking or tasting like a complete disaster?).

This all changed when I discovered the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This book changed my bread-baking life! I have resumed my bread-baking endeavors, and I now make homemade bread more than ever (and that’s with a toddler and a baby underfoot everyday). Believe me, I would not mess with this if it was not foolproof. I simply do not have the time. I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you don’t either. 

Easy Homemade Bread

The Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

So, right to it! Today, I’m showing you the basic boule recipe (or the “master recipe” as they call it in the book). You can make so many different kinds of loaves from this one basic recipe, but the one I’ve been doing lately on a regular basis is the crusty sandwich loaf. This turns out great bread every time with very little effort on my part. 

First, ingredients and supplies. You’ll need: 

  • 3 Cups Lukewarm Water
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Yeast
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Salt
  • 6.5 Cups Flour 
  • 8×4 Loaf Pan
  • Something to grease your pan

That’s it. This recipe is bare bones and that’s exactly how I like it. I can mix everything up in less than five minutes. I’ll be doing some future posts with slightly more complicated recipes, but for now, this is the best one to get you going. 

Directions for Easy Homemade Bread

Use lukewarm water (you don’t have to check the temperature, just what feels lukewarm to you), add the salt and yeast to it and mix it all together. The yeast doesn’t need to dissolve or anything, just make sure you’ve mixed it all together, then dump it into your mixing bowl and start adding the flour. 

My toddler loves to stand beside me on the kitchen stool and help dump the cups of flour in the mixing bowl. 

Once all the flour is in, I attach my dough hook to my mixer and switch it on. You definitely could mix by hand if you don’t have a mixer. It’ll probably take a little longer, but your arm muscles will be stronger. 🙂 

I mix it until it all sort of binds together, then I remove the bowl, put saran wrap over the top and put it into the microwave. I let it sit in there quietly for a couple of hours to rise. 

Once it’s risen, you have a couple options. You can simply put the dough in the fridge to use on another day (totally acceptable), or you can start working with it right away. 

The first time I tried this, I used it right away and it worked just fine. 

Sprinkle some flour on the dough so you can mold it without it sticking to your hands, then grab roughly a grapefruit-size amount. The dough that remains is good in the fridge for about 7-10 days.

Stretch the grapefruit-sized dough blob it into an oblong shape, gently stretching and pulling the top part around to the back, making it smooth on top and forming a kind of seam on the back. No kneading. This bread is a dream come true! 

Then, just put it into an 8 x 4 loaf pan (some people slash the top with a knife, and that’s probably a good idea, but I always forget) and let it sit for a while. If it’s fresh dough, unrefrigerated, let it sit for about 40 minutes. If it’s come from the refrigerator, let it sit for about an hour and a half. You’ll see when it looks ready to go in the oven. 

Preheat the oven to 450. Put a broiler pan on the lower rack of the oven, then pour one cup of water into the pan right before you put your bread in to bake. This is where the magic happens. The water creates steam and makes your bread moist and delicious. I put one loaf in for 35 minutes. 

When it comes out, you’re good to go! Enjoy your bread, and enjoy this easy homemade bread-baking method that takes all the muss and fuss out of homemade bread. 

The Best Resource for Easy Homemade Bread

Credit where credit is due: I cannot get enough of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This is not a sponsored post or anything. This book just makes bread-baking so simple and accessible to us common folk. I highly encourage you to pick it up! 

If you’re struggling for how to fit things into your schedule like baking when you’re a busy mom of littles, check out my post on how I bullet journal as a stay-at-home mom.

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