I am without a doubt a bread person. Top with anything … butter, avocado, goat cheese … I’m game. So learning how to make bread and finding some go to recipes was a natural progression. Below I have hand picked four recipes I think are ideal for any bread lover. They can be used for lunches, dinners, appetizers and snacking.
After all, bread is always appropriate.
Let me start by saying I am a sucker for a soft pretzel. I am pretty sure I bought one every day in high school. Don’t even get me started on sporting events – if there aren’t soft pretzels it isn’t even a really sports stadium/arena. And pretzel buns, yes please!
Having a go to pretzel recipe for those days you just can’t shake a craving is a must. After trying several and feeling like they were just too much, I found this one. Maybe it’s because it taps into my love for finger food, I don’t know. These are just great.
And for committed or one foot in the water vegans (me) out there this is dairy free!
Honest Review: easier than I thought it would be and 100% satisfies my soft pretzel cravings. I like the ability to make different sizes and shapes. I have made these in both bite size, dipping size and as buns. My tip would be to cut into smaller than 1 inch pieces. I enjoyed 1/2″ size the most, just monitor the bake time.
- 1 1/2 c warm water (100 – 110 degrees)
- 1 T cane sugar
- 2 1/2 t yeast
- 3 3/4 c flour
- 1 t sea salt
- 1/2 c baking soda
- olive oil
- course salt or pretzel salt
- Mix water and sugar then sprinkle with yeast and let it become foamy.
- Add 2 c of flour and mix. Use dough attachment on kitchen aid.
- Add salt & the rest of the flour and beat on medium low until dough pulls away from sides. Adjust dough texture by adding a tablespoon of water or flour.
- Knead for 3 minutes on lightly floured surface.
- Cover for 10 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Knead a few times, then shape into two logs and cut into pieces.
- Give them a baking soda bath. 2 inches of water in large pot, bring to a boil, add baking soda. reduce to medium and poach each piece for 30 seconds.
- Brush with oil & sprinkle salt
- Bake for 12-16 minutes
My mother always made bread, elaborate desserts, charcuterie boards perfect for Instagram … she is a wiz in the kitchen. Which is why I have learned how to make bread in the first place. And this recipe right here is where I started. So I will always come back to this recipe.
It will be a favorite forever because of the emotional attachment, but it is so functional. You can put into bread pans, like this recipe says, or make logs and end up with a french bread shape. Or make rounds … it is really up to you and how you will eat it. I find that the pans are the most practical for our eating habits (i.e. egg sandwiches).
Honest Review: more time consuming, but ALWAYS worth it. The recipe makes 2 loaves. Depending on your family or your propensity to eat bread you may only have to make fresh bread every other week. This freezes so well. I immediately put one in the freezer. Make sure you have a timer set so you can track the rise times. I find it is just long enough to get distracted by just about anything else.
- 2 c warm water (no higher than 115 degrees)
- 2 1/4 t yeast
- 6 c (720 g) bread flour
- 2 t salt
- 1 T sugar
- KitchenAid Mixer
- Bread Pans
- Dissolve yeast in warm water
- Start with 5 1/2 c (660 g) flour and combine with sugar and salt.
- Add water & yeast mixture.
- Knead in mixer for 10 minutes. By spoon add more flour (up to 6 c) while mixing as needed to get the dough to “ball up”. There should be just a little sitting to the bottom (see picture).
- Place in a bowl with olive oil and allow to rise for an hour
- Punch down and knead a little to get all the air bubbles out and reactive the gluten
- Divid in half and roll into a log shape.
- Place in a loaf pan with butter or cornmeal on the bottom.
- Allow to rise fo 30 minutes or until the center is close to the top of the pan.
- Put into a COLD oven with a pan of HOT water on a shelf below the bread.
- Turn oven to 400 degrees and back for 4o minutes.
Everything Pull Apart Bread
I found this mind blowing recipe because I am obsessed with TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. I wanted something new to put it on. 10 for 10 I would make these every day if I had nothing better to do.
Honest Review: I made this for a friends birthday, my husband was not pleased. He couldn’t understand why I would be making something so delicious and giving it away. My friend couldn’t believe I didn’t half of it before I gave it to her. So I’d say it was a crowd pleaser.
- 1 c lukewarm water
- 2 1/2 c flour
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 t yeast
- 6 oz cream cheese
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 T TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
- 1 t salt
- 1 egg
- 2 T melted butter
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t garlic
- KitchenAid Mixer
- Cast Iron Pan
- Combine water, honey, oil & yeast. Let it start to foam.
- Mix yeast & flour on low with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
- Turn off and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add salt & mix on medium for 6 minutes.
- Knead, transfer to oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 2 hours.
- Divide into 36 equal pieces.
- Place teaspoon of cream cheese in each piece , roll into ball and arrange in cast iron skillet.
- Cover & let rise for an hour.
- Make egg wash & brush the top of the dough then sprinkle seasoning.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Brush again with melted butter, garlic & salt.
No Knead Bread
A friend of mine swore by this recipe. Totally easy and near impossible to mess up. Challenge accepted. It truly was easy. And I did try to mess it up. Directions say to give it up to 24 hours … well I gave it 36 because I forgot about out it. AND IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS.
As a new mom I can’t speak highly enough about this recipe. No fuss baking when your baby is doing all the fussing you can handle.
Honest Review: incredible, especially for how easy it is. I would compare it to a sourdough bread but MUCH Easier. My husband loved it, my friends loved it, my family loved. I used it as a bread to dip into spinach artichoke dip. I used it as toast with eggs. AND I used it as sandwich bread. Very versatile and delicious. You won’t be able to keep it on your counter for long.
- 3 c white flour
- 1/2 t yeast
- 1 t salt
- 1 1/2 c warm water (95 – 110 degrees)
- Dutch oven
- Stir everything into a sticky dough
- Cover & let sit for 24 hours (minimum 8 hours)
- Place on a floured surface and shape into a bowl
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees with dutch oven in it
- Put cornmeal on bottom of HOT dutch oven
- Cook 30 minutes with lid on, remove and cook for another 15 minutes.
Bread Baking Essentials
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