Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bread Recipe

On a trip up to Bellingham, to see Jeff's best friend from highschool KEvin and his family, Kevin's wife Jessica and I began talking bread.

I was discussing my frustration with the 4 hour process of breadmaking that I endured each week in order to provide my family with homemade bread.

She told me about her recipe. The recipe that only took 1 hour start to finish, with kneading, rising and baking included.

I was intrigued to say the least. This sounded like my kind of bread recipe.

The recipe called for a few ingredients that I didn't have. One of them I hadn't even heard of before.

So being the awesome person she is, Jessica gave me the two ingredients so that I could start making one hour bread for myself.

The strange ingredients were Fern brand liquid lecithin-

and SAF instant yeast.

The other ingredients were flour, salt, sugar and hot water. Pretty normal.

She also made me a copy of the recipe, and sent me on my way fully equipped to make bread that didn't exhaust me.

The directions were as follows:

Take 10 1/2 cups of flour (I use bread flour, but you don't have to) add 3 rounded tablespoons of instant yeast, half a cup of sugar and one tablespoon of salt.

With your tablespoon, make 3 wells, or impressions in the flour. Then fill those wells with the liquid lecithin. My friend taught me to do it this way because the lecithin is super sticky, and so if you don't have to fill the tablespoon with this stuff, this makes one less thing to clean up.

Then add 4 cups of the hottest water your tap will give you.

Let all the ingredients mix on medium for 1 minute.

After the minute, check the dough to see if it is too dry or too wet. If it's too dry (it will be falling apart) then add just a little more water. If its too wet (it will be uber sticky) then add a little more flour.

If you're happy with the consistency, mix on high for another 5 minutes.

When the 5 minutes are up your dough should look like this:

See how it has pulled away from the bowl? THat means it's the right consistency. It should still feel a little sticky to the touch, but it should not be sticking to the bowl.

After the mixing is all done, spray your counter and your bread pans with cooking spray.

Place your dough onto the sprayed counter, and mold it into a nice little mound of lovely dough.

After moulding the dough, cut it in half. Then cut each of those halves into two more halves. You should have 4 pretty equal mounds of dough when you're done.

Once your dough is separated into sections, it's time to roll it out.

Try and make the dough about as wide as your bread pan. It doesn't have to be exact. I promise.

When youre satisfied with your rolled out piece of dough, you're going to roll it up.

When you're done rolling it, you'll want to pinch the seam together so that it doesn't come unrolled.

Then I give each end of the roll a little karate chop to seal the end up.

When your done with the martial arts section of breadmaking,(yes, I just said that) place the bread seam side down into your sprayed pans.

Now comes the fun part, watching it rise.

Cover your bread, and let it do it's rising magic for 25 minutes.

During this time, you can preheat your oven to 350, and clean up after yourself. Or not.

When it's done rising, it will look puffy and lovely. Each loaf won't be the same size, at least mine aren't cuz I'm too impatient to make each one the same size. If yours are perfect, well, good for you.
At this point, you just stick them in the oven for 20 minutes, and they will immerge all golden brown and filling the house with warm bread smells. Yum!

At this point in the process, my family descends upon me, and within minutes an entire loaf has disappeared in a blur of butter and jam, and sometimes Nutella.

So, now the details.

You can buy Liquid Lecithin at Safeway if you have a Safeway. I'm sure the Fern website can tell you where their product is available. If you can't buy it locally you have two options. One is to buy it online. I have found the best price at

THey sell them in 32 ounce bottles, and that bottle will last you about 3 months if you make bread every week.

The other option is to use canola oil. About half a cup in place of the lecithin. The point of either of them is just to have an emulsifier of some sort to keep your bread from getting all dried out in half a day.

My mom also highly recommends shortening, which replaces the lecithin tablespoon for tablespoon.

The SAF yeast I get at a place called Cash n Carry. The instant yeast is nice because you just add it to the mix without having to soften it up in water first.

If you can't find instant yeast, regular yeast will probably work just fine. I don't really know because I have not used regular yeast with this recipe. So beware that it may not turn out the way I've described. Just soften, or activate it, in warm water before adding it to the mix and keep your fingers crossed.

For this post, I made bread with white flour. But I make whole wheat bread a lot. My in laws just gave me a wheat grinder for my birthday, so I'm grinding my own wheat as well now. It is AWESOME!

You don't have to grind your wheat. YOu can just buy a bag of wheat flour at the grocery store.

If you decide to make whole wheat bread, here are some tips.

If you use all whole wheat, with no white flour mixed in, it will have more of a tendency to fall apart. At least that is the case for me. Any breadmakers out there who know of any other tips to prevent this, please chime in.

So when I use whole wheat flour for this recipe, I do about 7 cups of whole wheat, and 3 1/2 cups white. I also like to use honey in place of the sugar for whole wheat bread, still half a cup, and then I increase the lecithin by one tablespoon as well.

Whole wheat bread just is drier by nature.

Now, if you don't have a bosch and just a regular kitchen aid,you HAVE to cut this recipe in half. The full recipe will destroy your Kitchen aid. I'm not even kidding. An industrial Kitchen aid CAN handle it.

Now, if you have neither a Bosch or a kitchen aid, well, I'm sorry for the workout your biceps are about to get. Or maybe I'm not sorry and you can thank me later when your super buff.

If you don't have a mixer, you can mix all the ingredients by hand. And then instead of the 5 minute mixing that the mixer gives to the dough, you can knead the dough by hand for 7-10 minutes. You'll know you're done kneading when the dough is smooth and kind of shiny even.

The rest of the process is the exact same after this. It will just add an extra 5-10 minutes to the total time.

So I hope that was detailed enough. It's super hard to take a picture of your own hands as you roll dough. So go easy on your critique, kay? Thanks.

Here is the the recipe in full.

10 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar or honey
3 rounded tablespoons of instant yeast
1 tablespoon of salt
3 tablespoons of liquid lecithin
4 cups hot tap water.

Mix all ingredients for one minute.

If you have the desired consistency, mix for an additional 5 minutes on high.

Spray counter and pans with cooking spray.

Divide dough into 4 (or two if you have a kitchen aid)

Roll out dough, place in pans, cover and let rise for 25 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

If your family can handle it, let them cool about 10 minutes before slicing up this warm delicious bread.

Total cost:About 50 cents a loaf.

Total time invested:one hour. That's about the same amount of time as running to the store when you run out of bread. I'm just saying.

Also, we use this exact same recipe for pizza crust and rolls and braided bread sticks. You can add italian seasoning or parmesan or cinnamon and sugar and it is fabuloso!

Anyway, if you have any questions just shoot me an email.

Now go make some bread!

Credit: the actual recipe is from Pantry Secrets. I have never heard of them. But if you know them, tell them thank you from me for making my life soooo much easier!


  1. I will definitely be giving this a try. Sounds super yummy and super easy-perfect!

  2. I have been waiting and waiting!! THANKS so much for adding the pictures, I'm an extremely visual person and now will remember exactly!!! WOO HOO cant wait to make some...

  3. I use this same recipe and LUUUUUV it! Before we left I found lecithin in a squeeze bottle with a ketchup/mustard type top. Way less messy. Check a kitchen store for that, maybe. And I will email you the number one best wheat bread recipe. I got it from Tiff and you will thank me. I love this white recipe, so trust me - I love this other wheat one just as much. And I think you will too. Mmmm. Bread. (I just typed Brad on accident - haha, funny) Anyway, Mmmmm. Bread.

  4. I can't wait to try it. I have a bread recipe that I love - but I'm intrigued by this one. And thanks for answering ahead of time about the Kitchen Aid. I'm like you tho, I like to mix some wheat in with the white flour.

  5. These new ingredients seem like they might help with gluten-free bread....any experiences to share?

  6. Homemade bread is the best!! My Grandma taught me how to make bread before we ever had a high powered mixer like our Bosch. (Yes, she had big muscles!) Homemade jam on fresh bread and you're experiencing a bit of Heaven.

  7. I love baking bread but hate the time involved. I'm definitely trying this one! Thanks for sharing. And I thought you said "Panty Secrets" at first, haha! :)

  8. This bread looks awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. I made 2 loaves of this tonight (Kitchenaid user) because we ran out of bread, the whole Sunday no shopping bit, short amount of time, etc. etc. Great recipe! I didn't have the lecithin, so used canola oil, and some rapid rise yeast from Fleishmann. I think your yeast may be a bit more took about 35 mins. for mine to rise up nicely, but that is still way better than a 3 hour batch! Oh, and I did half and half white and wheat flour, and it was nice and fluffy. Thanks for posting this, Amy!

  10. I just made my first homemade bread following this recipe and I loved it! It was so easy, fast and tasted great. Thanks!


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