"The Bread" with my tips (aka The Bread for Dummies)

"The Bread" recipe created by Ryan of This is Reverb and shared by Ree of The Pioneer Woman has become my all time favorite bread recipe. Why? Because I can actually make it!

I have had tremendous trouble making bread before. The yeast didn't seem to activate or my bread just didn't rise, or it was dense like a brick.

But, this recipe (with a few added tricks up my sleeve) is pretty much fool-proof. It LOOKS amazing after you bake it (very impressive appearance with little skill required- can't believe I'm admitting this, seeing as I want everyone to think I am oh-so-impressive in the kitchen- haha! j/k) and let me just tell you- the taste and texture? My mouth is watering just typing this out!

So, if you're a bread expert or semi-pro, you can go straight to Ryan's recipe. If you're not, here's my version. Either way- you're going to love the results!

"The Bread" (below is my version, adapted from Ryan's amazing recipe)
4 cups of bread flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp of dry active yeast
1 cup of barely warm water
1-2 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (I like to use rosemary and thyme)
2 tsp kosher salt
olive oil

Key equipment:
Oven proof pot (dutch oven type)
Food processor with dough blade or mixer with dough hooks

1. Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the cup of warm water
2. Set up your food processor and dump in the flour and salt
3. Melt the butter in the microwave
4. Chop the herbs and add to the flour
5. Pour the butter into the food processor with the flour, herbs and salt
6. Stir slightly with a spoon (just a very quick stir)
7. Pour in the water and yeast
8. In my food processor, I do three separate minutes, pushing the dough down the sides with a scraper as needed- essentially three minutes of "kneading" with the dough blade. (When I first made this recipe, I kneaded by hand for 30+ minutes for the same effect!) If you are using a mixer, run for 10 minutes or so.
9. Gather the dough into a ball and squish and squeeze for 1-2 minutes. When you pinch the dough and stretch it, it should stretch a bit and thin to where you can start to see a little light through it, not just break. If it breaks, knead a bit more.
10. Lightly oil your pot with olive oil.
11. Place the dough into the pot and brush lightly with olive oil on top.
12. Here is the trick for getting dough to rise: heat a mug filled with water to boiling (about 2.5 minutes) in the microwave. Leave the mug in the microwave and put your pot with the dough inside. The warm moist environment helps the yeast to do it's job! Allow the dough to rise for a minimum of 2 hours.
13. After the dough has risen, (preheat the over to 400) hand knead one more time (1 minutes or so) then form a ball. Use a knife to cut an + shape into the top 1/2 inch of the dough. Return to the pot and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place in the oven covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook 10-15 more minutes or until bread is golden on top.
14. Serve warm end ENJOY!

Note: I forgot to take a more recent picture. The bread in this picture is the first loaf I made- I would recommend not letting it get so brown- I overcooked the first loaf just a tad. You just want slightly golden. Not brown :-)

1 comment:

  1. Your bread looks beautiful. Looks like a lot of work too! Missed you guys last night!


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