When the going get’s tough, the tough get going!
When we run out of bread at 6 Am, we bake to have a fresh loaf by 7.30 AM … So espoused the sleep deprived brain of mine!
Now most people do not claim to be sane at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, but hey I never claimed that part of my brain – you know the part when the saner actions originate from, that part was particularly alive and kicking generally. My four legged addition to the family, a particularly feisty puppy of 5 months old decided 5.40 AM WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE BARKING OF AN ENTIRE DAY! YIPPE, YIPPE , YAY YAY! Let’s wake up the entire neighborhood ! Now before sleeping tykes get rudely roused ( though I have told them to just put a pillow on their heads and get back to sleep, training the puppy at work and all ) I was up in any case at 5.30 ( blame the body clock!), so keeping me company when I embarked on this madcap adventure of a bit of this and bit of that , yielding in a successful kitchen experiment was M, my furry companion! I so totally envy her, after all the rabble rousing bark and her business attended to, she was happily curled up near the vent of the heater, just occasionally raising her head to see to what’s happening and most of the time though happily content to be! Just be.
So here it is, my version of a quick sandwich loaf with minimal ingredients and really yum results.
This is a super quick and equally delicious sandwich bread made in about 60 minutes flat! Yep, that’s right 60 minutes including the rising time and you have it ready to make a thick delicious grilled sandwich or an equally yum grilled cheese one or just a plain fare of toast with a dab of creamy salted butter!
Please do note, the use of Instant dry yeast is what leads to the quick rising of bread and thereby eliminating the need for a second rise.
Quick bread : check
Easy loaf : check
No eggs : check
Not too much oil or sugar : check
One rise : check
Perfect : check
- Bread flour : 2.5 cups + 0.5 cup as needed
- Water : very warm, 1 cup
- Sugar : 1 Tbsp.
- Olive Oil : 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp to grease the bowl
- Salt : 1 tsp.
- Red chili flakes : 1/2 Tbsp. ( optional)
- Fresh and died herbs of choice: 1/4 cup
- Instant Active dry yeast : 1 packet ( 1/4 ounce)
Notes : Do not have Bread flour? Have only All purpose flour? works fine too. Want to try whole wheat? Try mixing the flours half and half and give it a shot! Please do try and use unbromated, unbleached flour. If you end up using unbromated flour, then do knead a bit more.
- In a wide mixing bowl or you stand kneader’s bowl add in 2.5 cups of flour, the herbs mix, the salt, sugar and the instant dry yeast and using a paddle attachment or a whisk make sure they are thoroughly stirred and distributed.
- Add in the 2 Tbsp. of Olive oil and stir it well too.
- Replace the paddle to the dough hook and add in the very warm water and knead it well. Once the dough gathers, decide if you need to add a bit more . If so because the dough is too shaggy and sticky, add the extra half cup of flour in stages of 2 tsp. or so and bring it all together and knead very well for about 4- 5 minutes. The end result would be a very soft pliable dough, but definitely not tearing apart. A bit sticky is fine. Not adding too much flour and kneading it very well for about 4 minutes will definitely help the texture of the bread by yielding a light loaf.
- Grease the bowl with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and shape the dough in a ball and place it in it and cover with your kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm dark place for about 20 minutes or until the dough is doubled in volume so. Make sure you have nice warm dark place to let your bread rise. If you think you are unsure about where to put it ordinate have a free draft free zone, preheat your oven to about 100 F or so. And turn it off. The residual heat in the oven can serve as a nice environment to let your bread rise.
- After about 20 minutes, gently punch the dough to deflate it and shape it into a free loaf or shape it in your 9 by 5 bread pan. I used the bread pan and greased it before placing the dough in it and flat patted it. No log formation , nothing. Just a free ball rolled up and then deflated and patted gently to fit the base of the 9 by 5 pan evenly.
- UPDATE: Slash the top layer of the dough , 1/4 of an inch – make about 2 -3 of these atleast. this will help the steam escape and prevent your bread from splitting on the top.
- In the lowermost rack of your baking oven, fill a baking tray with very very hot tap water and place it.
- Place your bread pan in the middle rack of your oven.
- Now set the oven temp to 400 deg F and cook time to 40 minutes and start. Yes, you start with a cold oven !
- In about 40-42 minutes, you will have a beautiful golden brown loaf with perfect crust.
- When you tap the sides of the bread and it sounds hollow – you are good to take it out and cool it.
Remove , let it cool and slice it thick for perfect toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese and more!