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I’m going to place the recipe up here (so you don’t have to scroll through the whole post to find it), and then you can go ahead keep reading for more tips, and why I do things the way I do! 🙂 It’s only six ingredients, and that includes water! (Plus butter, if you’d like to brush some on top after it comes out of the oven!)
Also, full transparency here: Although I have made some tweaks to this recipe and technique and made it “mine,” I originally found it on Pinterest. I was going to link to the place I found it, but Pinterest has now marked that website as spam. The original recipe was not my own.
Super Easy Bread Machine Bread – 2 Pound Loaf
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. yeast
1 1/3 cups warm (not hot) water
1/3 cup oil ( I use olive oil)
4 level cups flour (I like King Arthur Unbleached White, or Walmart’s Organic White flour.)
Add all ingredients into bread machine and start “dough” cycle. After it has kneaded for a few minutes, check to see if there are still ingredients stuck to the side that may need to be pushed down.
When the dough cycle is complete (it takes one hour and twenty minutes in my machine), flour a large cutting board and dump dough onto it.
Split and shape into two loaves. I use a dough cutter a lot like this one to split the dough, but I actually got mine even cheaper at the Dollar Tree! Tuck the rough edges underneath, so the top is nice and pretty, and place in bread pans. These USA Pans are my absolute favorite…you don’t even have to grease them, and the loaf comes out beautifully!
Let rise (preferably in a warm place) for 20-30 minutes. You can cover it lightly with a kitchen towel if you’d like, but honestly, I don’t most of the time.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
After baking, (carefully!) slide the bread out of the pan and place on a cutting board or cooling rack to cool. If you’d like, it is also delicious to rub or brush some butter on top! 🙂
I don’t know about y’all, but I love bread. What I love even more than store-bought bread is bread that I make at home, with only six ingredients, and not a lot of stress. (Am I the only one who used to think that bread making was always super complicated, and therefore stress-inducing? haha)
Well, let me tell you what changed everything for me…
I decided to take a $6.75 risk on a thrift store bread machine, and I haven’t looked back since! (Don’t worry, I cleaned it suuuppper well when I got it home!) I don’t even use my bread machine to cook my bread, just for the dough part, but it takes out SO much of the guesswork/finicky-ness of bread making, since it does all of the kneading and keeping the dough at a good temperature for the first rise! (That’s especially helpful if you’re making bread in the winter, and keep your house pretty cold like we do!) 🙂 Just make sure your bread machine includes rising in its dough cycle!
For all of the ingredients, I’m here to tell you that you really don’t have to worry about the “special order” for putting them in, if you are starting the machine right after getting the ingredients in there. Some machines have a delay setting, and yes, in the case of delaying, you want your yeast and sugar on top of your flour, so that the yeast doesn’t activate yet. But if, like me, you are starting it right away, you can actually just put all of the ingredients together under the flour!
I measure out the water first (out of our awesome Berkey water filter), then microwave it for 30 seconds. You may need to adjust, but for me, that makes the water warm enough to activate the yeast, but not so hot that it kills it. While it’s heating, I measure the sugar, salt, and yeast into the bottom of my bread machine pan. Then add the water, oil, and four level cups of flour. (I’ve also used this recipe with fresh ground whole wheat, still works great! Just needs more rising time. It also makes slightly smaller loaves that way at least for me.)
This dough recipe is also SO versatile! I have lots of things I’d like to show you in some more posts. Seriously. We’ve made loaf bread (obviously haha), rolls, hamburger/hot dog buns, pizza, my bagels, and even pretzels with it!!!
Have you ever tried making your own bread? Are you like I used to be, and you think it must be really complicated? I hope I made things seem a little more simple for you! If you have any questions I didn’t answer, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help! 🙂