October Unprocessed, Day Sixteen – Quick Yeast Bread Recipe

Quick Yeast Bread

1 cup water
2 packages yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
¾ teaspoon salt
2-3 cups flour

Step 1: Proofing the Yeast

If you have confidence that your yeast is alive and healthy, feel free to skip this step and skip the sugar, if you want. If you’re like me, and you found two mostly used jars of yeast that have been in the back of your fridge for who knows how long and want to see if they can still make bread, proof the yeast.

Mix all the yeast and one tablespoon sugar into ½ cup of the water. The water needs to be warm, but not hot to the touch. Let it sit for five minutes. It should get foamy and roughly double in size. If it doesn’t, you’ll need different yeast.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

Start with two cups of flour in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, if you’re using it, and the salt. Mix them together just to distribute the sugar and salt through the flour. Add all the water and the yeast and stir. You can use a fork or spoon at this point, or just your hands. The dough is very sticky at first.

The dough will quickly come together and be more of a ball. If it’s still sticky, add a little flour, but only enough to keep the dough from sticking to you or the bowl. Knead it.

To knead, push the heel of your hand into the center of the dough ball. Fold the dough in half, turn the dough a bit (one-eighth or one-quarter of a turn), and push the heel of your hand into the dough again. Repeat that until the dough becomes smooth and springs back into a ball when you push on it.

When the dough feels sticky, add a little more flour. Depending on the humidity in my kitchen, I use between 2 ¼ cups and 2 ¾ cups of flour.

Step two takes about fifteen minutes.

Step Three: Let the Dough Rise

Shape the dough into four or eight rolls. Four rolls will make bun-sized rolls. Eight rolls will be about the right size for a dinner roll.

Cover the dough with a lint-free cloth or kitchen towel for twenty minutes or however long it takes for the dough to roughly double in size.

Once it doubles, handle it carefully. You don’t want to squeeze all the air out of it. This dough doesn’t get a second rising.

Step Four: Cook

Set your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop the bread into the oven while it’s heating up and bake for about twenty minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are lightly golden brown.

Let them cool in the pan for about five minutes before serving.

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