Basic Bread Recipe

Does anyone have a basic bread recipe that doesn't make 10 loaves of bread, just one or two?

  • Posted by: Reen
  • September 5, 2011


Melusine September 5, 2011
The simplest French-style: 3 cups bread flour (or A/P); 1 packet yeast; 1 teaspoon salt and about 1 cup water, give or take. If the yeast isn't instant, put a pinch of sugar in 3/4 cup of the water until it's foamy. Put the dry ingredients into your food processor or mixer, blend, and then add the water. If you want a softer loaf, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Letting it raise over night in the fridge will give it a better flavor, but you can use it right away. After the first rise, shape it, let it rise again, and bake at 400F. If you want the crust crispy, spritz the oven with water several times. I use a thermometer -- it's done at 203 degrees.
wssmom September 5, 2011
Here's one for a single loaf from the King Arthur website:

3 cups All-Purpose Flour*
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)**
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough**
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast

**Mix the cold-from-the-refrigerator milk with 1/2 cup of the hot-from-the-tap water to make a lukewarm combination.

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1" above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.
Reen September 5, 2011
Thanks, these both sound yummy and I'd like to try them, but do you have a plain, yeast bread recipe? I want to make stromboli and I lost my recipe. (I don't bake that often, and I forgot it)
boulangere September 5, 2011
Thanks, wssmom! This one is pretty simple as well:
wssmom September 5, 2011

I love Boulangere's recipe for lavender-thyme bread, which makes two loaves. That being said, I often cut bread recipes in half or even more to wind up with one or two loaves, not a gazillion.
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