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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?

Hi LindsayLoo,
Okay, so I looked at the recipe and I have an idea. If the water is too hot when you put the yeast in the water / flour mixture you'll kill the yeast, and thats sounds like you did... Maybe?  :)

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Thanks Sisse :) The dough seemed to get a lot bigger during the rising periods, but it more expanded horizontally than rose. In the oven it didn't rise at all, and the crust was not, well, crusty! The yeast was very foamy after sitting in the water for a few minutes. The same thing happened when i made rye bread. Also, i don't remember what setting i had the oven on last time, but today i used convection at 350 degrees- maybe that was part of the problem. Any ideas? ???

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LindsayLoo: May I ask what the problem is?  ::) I'm pretty good at baking, if I may say so myself  :) So maybe I can offer some help? Everyone can bake - its just a matter of practice and wanting to  ;)

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I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to bread-baking, i am simply a failure. Third time is supposed to be a charm, darnit!

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Has anyone tried freezing it?

I have. I stuck my second loaf in the freezer for a week, then let it thaw on the counter, out of the bag. It was a little denser, and a little chewier (I think I may have made a HUGE mistake when I made it, I think I added 3 cups of water instead of two, so my bread was like...yeasty biscuit bread, so when it came out of the freezer, it was like actual bread texture). If you're not enjoying the denseness of the bread, I probably would only freeze half a loaf or a couple of pieces at first for a few days, and then thaw them to see if you still like the texture, rather than throwing a whole loaf in there at first.

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I've made this bread twice.  It's very good, however, I was wondering how to make it a bit lighter.  It seems that when I make it, it turns out dense.  Is it because of the temperature of the water? Someone suggested using whole wheat pastry flour.  The first time I made it, I used all organic white flour.  The second time I used 4 cups wheat, 2 cups white as someone else suggested.
Also, it does make a lot of bread.  Has anyone tried freezing it?

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just dropping by to say.... this is a wonderful recipe!  I've only used 1/2 the recipe amounts, and still come out with 2 medium sized loafs.
easy to make, and delicious!
Thanks!

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This bread was just what the doctor ordered! I made it this morning for my two kids who have been sick. They LOVED it and said that I HAVE to make it again! I have to agree...it is quite good and pretty simple to throw together. I had a little trouble with the dough being sticky as well, but I mixed it as best I could and let it rest. I found once I kneaded in a little extra flour it was fine. Anyway, the end result is delicious!!!

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I made this into two round loaves and it was great. I did need to use an extra 1/4 cup flour because my dough was too sticky. I added a bid of dried basil, oregano, and garlic salt, but it was still a litle bland for an herb bread. I would up the salt a little next time and also add some onion powder. I'm going to mess around with adding extra ingredients to this bread. Thank you!

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I may be the only person in the history of vegweb to screw up the Outrageously Easy Big Bread, but damnit, that's what I did. I noticed something was a little off when I mixed it all together and it was the stickiest gooiest dough I've ever worked with. My husband just laughed at me. I added extra flour (nearly half a cup of it), and it was still extremely gooey. I let it rise, kneaded it a little bit (leaving a quarter of it stuck to my counter), threw it into two loaf pans, let it rise again, punched it down a little, and then baked it for 23 minutes. the results smelled good but taste...well, they taste a little wierd. yeasty and salty, for sure. the texture is somewhere between a biscuit and focaccia. I followed the recipe to a T. I'm going to retry it after these loaves are gone. Just chalk that one up to operator error. I must say, though, that it's perfect for breakfast sandwiches. Some FYH cheddar, some Gimme Lean sausage, bread toasted up and spread with Earth Balance....mmmmm.

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