The best homemade bread recipe – an easy bread recipe that makes a tender, flavorful white bread loaf without tons of kneading or prep time – is found in Marye Audet’s new book, Bread Bootcamp, available from Amazon, Smashwords, and wherever fine books are sold.
A little background with you before I share my bread baking adventures yesterday: I’ve tried to bake bread for many years, but my attempts usually result in what my husband laughingly calls “brick breads.” Brick breads are loaves of bread so hard and dense that you could build a house out of them – in other words, they’d substitute for bricks. With each attempt at baking homemade bread, my spouse would cut a slice, eat one out of loyalty and love, and feed whatever he could to the dog. Shadow loves my cooking, but then again, she’d eat roadkill, so she’s not much of a food critic.
I love homemade bread fresh from the oven, and yesterday was a cold day with rain forecast later in the evening. It was also the football playoffs, and my husband asked if we could eat dinner in front of the television so he wouldn’t miss the game. I had a quart of homemade turkey soup in the freezer from the giant pot of soup I made at Thanksgiving time, so I defrosted and heated the soup, and made a loaf of Marye’s White Batter Bread. Batter breads do not require kneading, which is a plus for me, since I think things go wrong for my bread making attempts at the kneading stage. I pulled out the ingredients and got baking – and the results were scrumptious!
With Marye Audet’s permission, I am sharing the recipe here. For the complete cookbook, click the picture of the book, above. You can purchase it on Amazon via my Affiliate link; I receive a small commission when you buy a book, but it does not affect your price. This is an honest review of the cookbook, and my honest feedback. All photos are my own and were taken by me. The recipe is shared from the book with the author’s permission.
White Batter Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups warm (110) water
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, stir the yeast, melted butter (I melted it in the microwave first), sugar, salt and 1 cup of the flour by hand. Slowly add the warm water to the bowl, stirring by hand. Stir it 300 times or for 3 minutes. It gives your arms a good workout!
Now, gradually add the flour and keep stirring by hand. Add the remaining flour. Towards the end it will be difficult to mix in the flour because the mixture gets very thick and sticky.
Place the bowl in a warm area with a clean cloth over the top and let it rise until doubled. For me, this was a little over an hour – I had an old package of yeast.
Once the bread dough has doubled, use your spoon again and stir it down gently. Then spoon it into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Pat the top down with floured hands so that it’s nice and even. Let it rise again, about half the time it took for the first rise, in a warm location with the clean cloth over the top.
Preheat oven to 375 and when the oven is ready and the loaf has risen again, bake it for 45 minutes.
When it’s done, remove it from the oven and brush the top with melted butter. After about 5 minutes, slide a knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Remove it from the pan and let it cool at least 15 minutes or more before slicing and enjoying.
If there’s any left – and there might not be – store covered.
Thank you Marye for allowing me to share the recipe and for this wonderful book! I hope to bake my way through it, from this basic beginner bread making recipe, all the way to the advanced breads later on in the book.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.