Frank T Hogg

The Old Fart Bachelor's Lazy Bread Recipe

by Frank Hogg

Store bought bread is full of bad stuff and home made bread is delicious but hard to make. I like homemade bread and have been working on the easiest way to make it. I use a bread machine to make the dough but transfer that to baking pans for the final rise and bake. This is my current effort based on others. It makes two 1 1/2 lbs loaves of substantial bread.

If your bread machine is not big enough then just use half the ingredients.

Start with the liquids first and load into the bread machine's bowl.

14 oz Water
6 oz beer (Great use for old beer... Who has 'old' beer???)
2 tbl vinegar
4 tbl molasses
4 cups white bread flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 tsp salt
3 tsp yeast
8 tbl wheat gluten (optional)

So far we've spent about 5 minutes on this.

Set the bread machine to the dough cycle. Mine does this in 1 1/2 hours. Check it after 10 minutes. You're looking for a nice round ball of dough. Add either more flour or water a wee bit at a time to achieve this.

I turn on the oven light at this time because my house is cold and the light warms up the oven enough to use for the bread rise.

Dump the dough out of the bread machine's bowl onto wax paper that's been sprayed with cooking oil. It doesn't hurt to get a bit of it on your hands to stop them from sticking. Play with the dough a bit and using a large dry wall knife or one of those fancy kitchen gadgets, cut the dough in half. Shape them into rough loaves and put them smooth side up into two oil sprayed 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 bread pans, Put both pans in the oven covered by the wax paper oil side down. BTW your oven shouldn't be too hot, 75-80 or so is good. Set the time for 20 minutes and come back to check it. Keep doing this in 10 minute increments until the loaves are 1-2 inches above the top of the pan. Usually takes 30-40 minutes.

This effort takes about another 5 minutes for a total of 10 minutes so far.

Take the pans out of the oven, keep the wax paper on and set the oven to 350. BTW that's the default setting on my oven which is why I use it. Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes or until the internal temp is about 200-210. Longer gives you more crust.

Take the loaves out and dump them out of the pans onto a cooling rack and leave them alone. Cutting into a hot loaf has negative results, so be patient.

That's it. The total working time is 10-15 minutes and the results are great. Total time start to finish is about 2:30 to 3 hours depending on how fast your oven heats up etc.

Besides great tasting bread it's a lot cheaper than buying bread at the store so it's a win win.

Comments: You can use the bread machine to do the whole thing but I've had problems doing this. Primarily because you can't control things after you put stuff in there. The dough may not have risen enough before the bake starts and you end up with squirrel food. You can get a decent loaf but it requires trial and error and precise measuring and is a pain. Then when you do get a good bake you end up with an odd shaped loaf with a hole in the bottom where the mixer goes. The main problem is controlling when to start the bake, when the bread has risen enough and that's why this system works best for me.

Variations: You can use all white flour but if you do that you don't need the molasses. You can substitute honey or maple syrup for the molasses which would give a different flavor to the bread. Sugar will even work. The main reason for any of it is to enhance the wheat flour and give the yeast something to feed on.

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