What do you do when you want fresh home made crusty bread in a hurry? Some things just take time but this is the best I’ve come up with for fresh bread in less than three hours.
There’s two cheater elements that make this work. First, adding sugar to the yeast supercharges the fermentation process. Second, cooking the bread in a medium size dutch oven instead of a large one gives the bread some height and a supreme crust. This Lodge 4 Qt. Dutch Oven is perfect!
What are you missing out on with a three hour bread? Flavor and volume. The fermentation process is what happens when yeast consume the natural sugars in wheat flour. The byproduct of this process is gas. By feeding the yeast regular table sugar, we’re forcing it to produce gas but at the cost of not breaking down the flour as it should. Also, without the time for enough gas to develop, our bread bubbles and the overall size of the bread will be lacking. We’ll end up with a very nice loaf of homemade bread with a mass market pedigree.
Bread in Three Hours
This is the best recipe I’ve come up with for fresh bread in less than 3 hours. The key to quick fresh bread is supercharging the fermentation and using a medium dutch oven.
- 400g AP Flour
- 300g 95° water divided
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 pkg yeast
- Add yeast and sugar to 100g of warm water and allow to proof for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the flour to add the remaining 200g of water and the yeast mixture.
- Stir well to incorporate until dough becomes shaggy.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set to rest in a cool oven for 1.5 hours.
- Transfer to table lightly dusted with flour.
- Pull and stretch the four ‘corners’ of the dough in to the middle and gently knead in to ball.
- Make the dough ball as tight and perfect as possible without overly kneading it.
- Transfer to well floured proofing basket or medium bowl.
- Preheat oven for 20-30 minutes with dutch oven inside.
- Carefully transfer hot dutch oven from oven to a trivet.
- Remove the lid and gently transfer the dough.
- Criss cross the top of bread with razor blade or cut with scissors.
- Put lid back on and put in oven.
- Bake 45 minutes at 450
- Remove lid and bake another 20 minutes or until the color you like it.
- Carefully remove bread from dutch oven and allow to cool on cooling rack for at least 30 minutes. DO NOT cut in to it yet! It’s still cooking!!
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