Where’s all the bread? The shelves are empty these days and most of us can’t buy bread. That’s why I’m here! 🙂 If you’ve never baked bread before, I’m here to say you can do it. My bread recipes are very popular because they’re easy. You’ll see a lot of comments like, “This is the first time I’ve ever baked bread and I’m never buying store bought again.”
To help first time bread makers, I’ve put together a list below of some of my easiest and most popular bread recipes. The silver lining in the bread shortage is that you might like your homemade bread so much, you may never go back! Everyone, take care and be well.
Kohl’s sells a Dutch oven from Food Network for around $60 (oven safe to 500°F). The ideal size, 5-quart, is on sale now (March 21) online for $48. THIS IS NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT, JUST SHARING INFORMATION.
NEW RECIPE: This is no ordinary focaccia. It’s not the soft kind that you bake in a pan. This is focaccia the way I like it: thin and crispy. It’s like a slice of pizza without the pizza stuff. I have only been able to accomplish this using a baking stone and a pizza peel, and a very hot oven. That’s how they make those great pizzas at Italian restaurants. They use very hot ovens, and slide the pizzas in using a wooden peel like this.
Parchment paper is a must for two reasons. One, it makes pressing the dough into a circle easier because the dough sticks to the paper. And two, it makes it a breeze to slide the dough onto the hot baking stone. The parchment will turn dark from the high heat as you can see in the recipe photo. My focaccia recipe is quicker than most, taking only 90 minutes start-to-finish. As long as I don’t need my oven for cooking dinner, I can make this incredible focaccia and time it to be ready to eat with our salad.
You can make traditional rosemary focaccia or use a store-bought blend of Italian herbs. I actually use both. I mix them into the dough for lots of Italian flavor, and then put a little more on top. Some of the spices on top fall off but the dough has enough flavor inside to make up for any of that. I like the result better with bread flour so that’s the only one I use.
Another good thing is that if you don’t eat it all (what are the chances, really?) you can re-crisp it the next day directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. It has never taken me more than 90 minutes to make this fabulous crispy Italian focaccia. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It seems like everyone in the world is making no knead bread and it’s no wonder. I make it all the time myself. I have my favorites like multi-grain and 10-grain but today I made a whole wheat loaf and it’s just so good and so easy. I often use the overnight method because it’s ready for baking first thing in the morning.
Whole wheat Dutch oven bread doesn’t bake as tall as the white version but it’s still delicious and hearty, like the farm breads I grew up on. If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge everyone to try some of my high fiber no knead breads, like this no knead whole wheat loaf. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I only make this holiday bread once a year (okay, maybe twice 😋) because it may be called bread but let’s face it… it’s dessert. Here are a few progress photos of how to make my Spiral Chocolate Cinnamon Christmas Bread. First, you divide the dough in half, roll & press each half into a rough 9 x 9-inch square, and spread the chocolate/butter mixture all the way to the edges.
Next, you cover each half with the brown sugar/cinnamon/cocoa mixture, all the way to the edges.
Now roll each of them up, starting at the right and left edges, rolling them towards each other. It’s a little messy but that’s okay. Oh, one more thing. You can also scatter about 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on each half before rolling them up.
The fun part is twisting the logs into a loaf. Bring the logs together (it doesn’t matter where the seams go) and twist them together 3 or 4 times (like you’re wringing out a towel) to make a spiral, but messy, loaf. Tuck the edges under and plop it into your parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes but after 15 minutes, put a foil tent on top to avoid over-browning. I hope these photos are helpful. For the recipe click here. – Jenny Jones
For anyone who does not have a Dutch oven but wants an easy way to make crusty homemade bread with no kneading and almost no work at all, look what I just made on a baking sheet! It was so easy and the loaf was crusty and delicious.
A Dutch oven with a lid creates steam inside the pot, which produces that crispy crust so I create steam inside the oven by placing a small 5 by 9-inch pan in the oven while it’s preheating. Then when I place the bread in to bake, I pour some boiling water into the little hot pan and whoosh – steam goes all over the place. I close the oven door right away to keep the steam inside and let it bake.
Anyone can make this easy no knead bread on a baking sheet. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I wish you all a lovely holiday and good luck with all your cooking and baking.
This is my Simple Easter Bread that I’m making on Sunday. Of course I had to test it out today to make sure it turns out so I guess we’ll just have to eat it. 😋 I love baking for any holiday and sweet breads (my favorite kind of bread) are most popular at Easter time. It’s an easy one-rise recipe with lots of golden raisins and a light glaze. If you want to try this easy homemade raisin bread recipe click here.
I found a better way to make my 100% whole wheat no knead bread. I’m using the same ingredients but I recently found that you don’t always need the resting period for no knead breads while the oven heats up so I tried it with this whole wheat version and it turned out great. And it saves time. I plan to experiment with all my other no knead breads and will report back on each one if they are just as good without the resting time.
I get the best result in my 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven so the bread can not spread too much. Keep in mind that this is a heavier, more dense loaf than the original white flour version but if you want an easy, healthy, high fiber bread recipe, this is it. The only difference between this recipe and the old one is that the old one had a 2-hour resting period before baking. So the total time for this recipe just went from 13 hours to 11 (but you’re sleeping most of this time anyway).
For my new and improved, faster 100% whole wheat no knead bread, click here for the recipe.
It must be Sunday because I’m making my favorite no knead bread, the one I love having for breakfast. This easy mulitgrain loaf has two kinds of fiber, one from the oats and the other from whole wheat flour. Oats have soluble fiber and whole wheat has insoluble fiber, the perfect combination of whole grains. No knead loaves made with whole grains don’t form the lovely cracks we see in the white versions but they still form a beautifully crunchy crust.
This recipe uses the overnight method with cold water so I put it together last night before bed and baked it this morning. I’ll be saving a couple of slices and freezing the remaining slices that will last me all week, and then next Sunday….. well…. I’ll make it again. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Guess what? You can make healthier hot dog buns at home and it’s super easy. I made soft whole wheat hot dog buns using my Simple Whole Wheat Bread recipe (the popular one that’s soft and delicious and takes 90 minutes) and this takes even less time because they bake in 12 minutes.
I made the dough and instead of shaping it into a loaf, I cut it into 8 pieces. I decided to make 4 sandwich rolls and 4 hot dog buns so I shaped four into circles and four into about 7-inch long rolls. I covered them with a towel and let them rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 35-40 minutes).
Here’s how beautifully they doubled in size.
Then I baked them for 12 minutes at 375° F. If you want to make easy, soft whole wheat hot dog buns that are healthier than any you can buy, click here for the bread recipe. – Jenny Jones
GOOD NEWS! There is an even faster way to make my 2-Hour No Knead Bread. Thanks to a comment by fellow baker, Terry, who simply forgot the 15-minute rest, it turns out you can do without it. So the 2-hour recipe now can be made in 1 3/4 hours! When I saw Terry’s comment I immediately tried it myself. And it worked. I just left out the 15-minute rest and took it straight from the mixing bowl after the one-hour rise, folded it over a few times on a floured surface, and placed in on a sheet of parchment paper. I lifted the parchment and dough, placed it in my preheated Dutch oven, and baked as usual. Look at how well it turned out!
Most bread connoisseurs will agree that the longer the dough rests, the better flavor the bread will develop. This is true but some days I want bread and don’t have much time and I thought this loaf tasted really good. I’m not sure if I should adjust the recipe so in the meantime, here is all you need to do: 1) Preheat your oven 15 minutes earlier. 2) Skip the 15-minute rest before baking.