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Outrageously Easy BIG Bread

What you need: 

2 (1/4 ounce) packets yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons turbinado
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups + 3 cups flour, divided
1/3 cup vegetable or corn oil

What you do: 

1. To proof yeast, pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast, but do not stir. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the turbinado and salt; stir with a wooden spoon to completely dissolve. Combine 3 cups flour with the hot water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but do not stir.
2. Top with the remaining 3 cups flour and mix well. (I begin mixing with the wooden spoon but I very quickly have to move into squishing the dough with my hands.) At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes. (I've left it for almost two hours.)
3. On a lightly floured cutting board or countertop, divide the dough into half. (This is when I recruit someone to knead the dough, but the recipe actually calls for no kneading; I've done this recipe many times without kneading anything, and it always turns out really good.) Flatten each half into roughly an oval/rounded rectangular shape, about 1/2-3/4" thickness.
4. Roll the dough lengthwise and place on an ungreased, but very BIG, cookie sheet. (If you don't have a very large cookie sheet, use two cookie sheets, one for each half of the dough.) Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).
5. After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy. (Also, before the bread bakes, you can slit the top of each lump of dough a couple of times and brush lightly with some kind of egg substitute. The glaze helps the bread come out with a slightly crunchier crust. I don't usually bother.)
Source of recipe: Whenever I go to potlucks, I bake this bread and it disappears within minutes. I've even had special requests for it. At a family Christmas, after I found out that store-bought rolls (ick!) would be served with the Christmas Eve dinner, I announced that I would make homemade bread. Since dinner would be served in a little less than two hours and since my family knows how much I absolutely detest cooking, my mother thought I was lying. She couldn't believe that I could make "respectable" bread without any kneading and in time for dinner. I made this bread and, as usual, it vanished almost instantly. My mother got this bread recipe from me. I think the dogs got the store-bought rolls.

Preparation Time: 
2 hours, Cooking time: 23 minutes
Cooking Time: 
23 minutes
Servings: 
2
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I should add that I used half whole wheat and half white flour; since it's nowhere near being too dense, I'll probably use 2/3 whole wheat next time.  And I think it'd be delicious with garlic and basil in it.

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This was my first bread ever to make myself.  It was so so so good!  I had to leave the house for classes, so I let it rise for 2.5-3 hours each of the two times.  I was worried that I let it rise too long the first time, but it rose much more the second time than it already had the first time (I put it somewhere warmer the second time).  Absolutely terrific!  And easy!  I'm so excited about being able to make delicious BREAD!  THANK YOU!

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Did anyone else find this to taste too much like yeast?  It was a really strong taste.  I used two packets like the directions said.  I am going to try it again with only one packet.  I had to throw it away because the taste was horrible. 

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This was so easy to make! I'm not much of a baker but my fiance said this was better than his mom's! I baked the bread in a loaf pan and used the other half of the dough to make dinner rolls. They both came out great! I can't wait to try other ingredients! Thanks for the great recipe!

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I love this bread-it comes out so well! I've only had one time that  it didn't turn out great, and that's because I didn't allow it to rise long enough.  I've made a few adjustments, though.  The recipe just says flour, not what kind, so I use 2 cups organic white bread flour, 1 cup organic  rye, and 3 cups organic, stone ground wheat.  I also substitute extra virgin olive oil for the vegetable oil.  After I've shaped the bread, I rub a bit of soft Soy Garden margarine over each loaf, so the crust stays nice and soft.  YUM!

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Here is an AWESOME review for your recipe, Colleen! 8)  I have wanted to make homemade WW bread that was soft (like from the store) for a very long time using my own  freshly ground flour but could NEVER achieve the desired results. After seeing all the reviews on your recipe, I took your recipe and made a "few" changes and as the saying goes.....Eureka, I struck Gold!! ;D
The first time I used 5 1/2 cups of  King Aurthur Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour and 1/2 cup of  vital wheat gluten but the second time I used 2 cups of my own fresh ground flour, 2 1/2 cups of K.A. flour,1/2 cup of oats and 1 cup vital wheat gluten. Another change I made was the amount of yeast, I had only bulk dry instant yeast so I used 6 tsp. Everything was put in the bowl except for water and the oil and stirred.Added the warm water and oil and mixed well, turned out on floured counter and I kneaded it for 10-12 minutes. Finished up with the rest of your directions and as they say "the rest is history".
Thanks to ease of your recipe I tried once again....and this time tasted SUCCESS!  Next step will be to make it with 5 cups of my own flour and 1 cup of vital wheat gluten.
Both my dh and I and our food budget THANK YOU,  plus we won't be eating all those preservatives that are in store brought bread.

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I'm no bread baker, but this came out pretty darn good. My family swooped down like vultures. Oh, and you bonafide bakers must have some serious muskles (hats off to you)- i was ready to break a sweat while kneading the second loaf... Final note:  mmmm....yummers  ;D

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Wow, this really was as easy as everyone says!  I'd never made bread before, and this came out PERFECTLY. 

I used 3 cups all purpose flour and 3 cups whole wheat, and it tastes great and the texture is perfect.  I did knead the dough a tiny bit before the second rising, but really not much at all because I didn't really know what I was doing and it kind of hurt my hands.  Anyway, it seems to have been enough (or maybe wasn't necessary at all) because my bread it perfect!

Also, for one of the loaves, I crushed half a clove of garlic in a bowl, added 1/4 teaspoon each of marjoram, thyme, oregano, and basil and just a drop of olive oil, mixed it all together, and then kneaded it into one of the loaves after the first rising.  This one is SO DELICIOUS!!!  Like foccacio bread or something.  We ate almost the whole loaf as soon as it was cool enough to dig in.  Amazing.

Thanks for this recipe!

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I have reviewed this recipe before, and I have made it numerous times, with many variations, but each time I made it either in my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook or in a bread machine, so I always kneaded it. Now I am on vacation without either appliance, and without the desire to hand-knead the dough, so I made it as the recipe suggests - no kneading. While normally I would give this recipe 5 stars all the way, I definitely recommend kneading the dough. It didn't rise much at all, and it took about twice as long to bake, plus it didn't taste nearly as good (not bad, mind you, just not great). I won't do it again, although I will make this bread MANY more times the "kneading" way. Just some advice!! :-)

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This bread is so good! I like to slice it and spread soy butter on top and then add McCormick Vegetable seasoning. Delicious!  :)

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