Ready or Not #116: 5 Minute and Irish Soda Bread

I love homemade bread; the smell of it, the taste of it and it is so much cheaper than any decent tasting bread that you buy in the store.  I shared my favorite bread recipe with you in a past article that is good for making sandwiches and is really easy to make. Today I’m going to share two different types of bread recipes that are easy and yummy, but not good sandwich breads.

The first one is a fairly new recipe that is a lot of fun to make and believe me when I say this – a five-year-old could make it.  Two of my friends told me about it on the same day and they had both seen it on the morning news.  It is called “5 Minute Bread”.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you won’t believe how easy it is.

5 Minute Bread

6 cups flour – they used white, but of course I used wheat and I only put in about 5 ½ cups
1 ½ tablespoons of yeast
2 teaspoons salt (they used 1 ½ tablespoons, but that made my mouth go numb)
3 cups warm water

Mix all ingredients with a sturdy spoon in a plastic bowl.  Mix it until there is no more dry flour showing. Cover it with a loose fitting lid and let sit on your counter for two hours.  Cut off about a large grapefruit sized chunk of dough and pull it around (using flour on  your fingers because it is a little sticky) to a nice ball size.  Score the top of the bread with a sharp knife (any design you want).  Put it on some cornmeal (I used more flour) so that it won’t stick on something that you can transfer the bread easily to a pre-heated pizza stone (I use a pre-heated cast iron pan) in the oven.  Let it rise for about 40 minutes, transfer to the oven and bake at 375 degrees for about 18 – 25 minutes (depending on the size of your loaf).   Store the remaining dough in the fridge for up to two weeks.

No, I didn’t make a typing mistake – there is no oil, no sugar and NO KNEADING!  Really.  I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of weeks now and it is working just great.  It is more of an artisan type bread and it is wonderful.

Technically you are also supposed to put water in a pre-heated container in the oven when you put the bread in so that it will have a crustier crust, but I keep forgetting to do that.  If you want to check it out online, the creators have a video showing how to do it.  I found it by going to Google and typing in “5 Minute Bread”.  This really is a perfect recipe to start your kids baking with.

This next recipe is a bread recipe that my mom makes when they travel because it is so easy and yummy.  It is called Irish Soda Bread and it is another kid friendly recipe, although you do have to knead it just a bit.

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk OR 1 ½ cups regular milk with about 1 tablespoon of vinegar to make it curdle.
1 tablespoon butter or margarine (melted)

Mix dry ingredients together and add the milk all at once and mix together with a fork just until blended. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly until smooth.  Shape into a ball and place on a well-greased baking sheet.  Use your hands to flatten dough into a 7” circle.  Score the top with a sharp knife in a crisscross design.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and the loaf sounds hollow.  Brush with the melted butter.  Cool completely before cutting.

Both of these recipes are great.  Maybe you could have a bake-off between your kids, or you and your spouse, this week.  If you are single then this is the perfect bread for you because you can make just the amount you want and eat it before it goes bad.

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