I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread at home but I found most recipes extremely intimidating. The long-winded process and the many different variables to control made me believe baking bread was truly rocket science. So, I went on a journey to unravel this daunting recipe only to realise this is so much easier than it seems. I don’t understand why people make it so much harder than it is!
If you are looking for the easiest bread recipe to make at home when you have limited time and access to staple pantry ingredients, look no further ’cause you have come to the right place!
This recipe is vegan friendly.
What makes this recipe so easy?
- It requires only 7 ingredients
- It requires NO KNEADING
- Its a short recipe, you can make the dough when your kids are having dinner, and bake the bread when they are asleep.
- You need absolutely no special skills, or baking experience. You just need to know how to use a weighing scale and the oven.
- It’s foolproof (because I have tested this over and over…and over again) I am confident you will make this right.
Before you start…
Here are a few important items you will need before you start making this recipe:
- all-purpose flour or strong bread flour is ok! I use organic unbleached flour because it is better for your health. You cannot use rye, almond flour, coconut flour, or any of those ‘healthy’ flours on it’s own for this recipe. You need a flour that has enough protein to develop the gluten. If you want to add almond flour, or any of the other flours in this recipe, I will show you how in the NOTES section of the recipe below, it needs to be in combination with one of the flours above.
- Active dry yeast
- make sure it is not expired
- apple cider or white is ok
- Milk/Plant-Based Milk
- Weighing scale
- we can’t rely on cups and tbsps for this recipe. The accuracy of the measurements are key to making this work.
- Large mixing bowl with a lid preferably
- if you don’t have a lid, you can always wrap your bowl in beeswax paper or biodegradable cling wrap
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Bread knife
Which flours are best?
I used whole wheat flour (atta), strong bread flour, all-purpose flour, dark rye flour and almond flour for my testing. All worked well for this recipe except using dark rye and almond flour on its own. The result when using ONLY those on its own was inadequate. The bread was too crumbly in the case of almond flour, and extremely dense with rye.
Active vs instant yeast
There are distinct differences between the two. Active yeast needs to be rehydrated and instant yeast can be mixed directly into dry ingredients without having to dissolve it in water. Additionally, instant yeast needs less time to rise. This recipe calls for 4 hours of proofing, but if you are using instant yeast then do monitor your dough as it may take only 2 or 3 hours for it to almost triple in size.
Vinegar is the secret sauce for fluffy, airy breads. It is a mild acid that helps break down the starch and protein in the bread dough, giving it a moist, crumbly, airy finish with enhanced flavour. Yeast thrives in an acidic environment, so vinegar also increases the rise of the bread.
How much salt & how much sugar?
When you use yeast in bread, adding salt helps limit yeast growing rapidly and out of control. Adding too much salt can kill the yeast. As for sugar, yeast needs that to grow. Adding too little does not activate the yeast, and adding too much can hamper the development of yeast and slow down gluten development.
Therefore, this ratio in my recipe is the perfect combo for the best flavour, growth and texture. I’ve done all the work for you, so all you need to do is follow this recipe to a t.
A few more notes…
HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Enjoy the baking process, it is heartwarming to eat homemade bread so please don’t forget to tag me (@theveggiewifey) when you make this. I would love to see your recreations!
The Easiest Homemade Bread Recipe
- 1 Weighing Scale
- 2 Mixing bowls
- 1 Baking tray
- Parchment Paper
- 1 Bread Knife
- 1 Spatula
- 200 grams flour strong bread flour is best and all-purpose is ok. See notes (below) if you want to add almond flour to this.
- 10 grams sugar I use granulated organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt use a measuring spoon for this. I use Himalayan pink salt
- 5 grams active dry yeast I use Allinson's Dried Active Yeast
- 32 grams water room temperature
- 100 grams milk any plant-based milk is ok
- 1/4 tsp vinegar apple cider or white vinegar will do
- Pour the flour, sugar and salt together in one bowl. Mix with your spatula until it is all combined.
- Mix the active dry yeast with the water until the yeast is fully dissolved.
- Add the milk and vinegar to your yeast mixture. Mix well.
- Add this milk yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine until you have a shaggy dough.
- Use your fingers to gently combine all the ingredients together until you reach a sticky dough consistency. This should take no longer than 1 minute.
- Gently roll the dough into a a ball (it does not need to be perfect, avoid using any extra flour here, it is ok if it is slightly sticky)
- Place the ball of dough into the mixing bowl and cover with the lid (or cling wrap). Keep it in a dark, dry, warm section of the house for up to 4 hours. Keep checking every hour to see if your dough is rising. By the end of the 4 hours you should have dough that has almost tripled in size.
- After the proofing period, pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
- Flour a flat empty surface and tip the dough over. Lightly sprinkle flour over the dough so it is easier to work with. Gently shape the dough into an oblong shape or a rectangular shape. Do not roll it over, or change the sides around. This should take 30 seconds, no more. Don't get tempted to fidget with this work of art! Keep this step as simple as possible.
- Place this shaped dough at the center of the parchment covered baking tray
- Bake this in the middle rack of your oven, for 30 minutes. Your bread should be golden brown before you take it out. If you see it slightly lighter, keep it in for another 5 minutes before switching off the oven.
- Once baked, carefully remove the bread from the oven and place the bread onto a wooden board and let it slightly cool. You can cut the bread on the edges to just double check if its fully baked.
- You can store this bread for up to 1 week (7 days) in an airtight container to contain its freshness.
- If you want to add almond flour to this recipe, add 180 grams of all-purpose flour and only 20 grams of almond flour. This ratio keeps the texture in tact.
- If you have over-proofed the dough, you can simply take the dough out of the mixing bowl, roll it around a few times to remove the carbon dioxide and activate the yeast once more. You don’t need to let it rise again. Place it on a baking tray and bake immediately.
- You can add raisins, herbs, chocolate or nuts in this recipe! Go wild.
- In order to keep the texture in tact, I would recommend using no more than 1/2 a cup of the raisins, chocolate or nuts. You can go as herby as your palate allows.
- I would recommend crushed nuts instead of whole nuts to keep the texture.