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A few years ago, I worked in a bread factory for a very short time (two weeks). My work in the bread factory was depressing, repetitive, and boring.

I would like to make my own bread at home at least once a week, and not purchase factory made bread anymore. This is provided that I only have to mix things in a bowl and bake, fry, or somehow cook the bread.

  • Hopefully, no skill or practice is required to make the bread correctly.

  • If we exclude baking time and proofing (waiting for the yeast), I hope it take us less than 20 minutes to mix the ingredients.

  • we do not have to knead and shape the dough using special techniques.

I have other tasks which require attending to. I want a recipe for bread which requires no skill.

The bread recipe should be so simple that it the bread is likely to:

  • not be raw and sticky inside.
  • not be dry or crunchy as a cracker, or hard as a rock.

I do not care whether there is a leavening agent, such as baking soda or yeast.

The bread could look like a tortilla so long as the bread is flexible, pliable, and not sticky.

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  • Was ‘repair’ supposed to be ‘prepare’ in the title? The question doesn’t seem to have anything to do with repairing dough… Jun 10, 2023 at 7:47
  • 4
    I would like to remind everybody that we don't do recipe requests here, or "reference-only" answers (be it books or links). If you want to answer, please explain what kind of bread fits the requirements, and where to find recipes for it - but do not give a complete recipe, or just mention a book or other recipe source.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 10, 2023 at 10:18
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    Samuel, don't worry about "doesn't require much skill" part. Skill comes with repeated practice. If you make it once a week or more frequently, soon you'll be quite good at it.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 10, 2023 at 10:20
  • The "quick" is debatable here, but this recipe requires very little actual work. It does need several hours to rise. lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/… Jun 12, 2023 at 16:44
  • Sounds like you mean 'damper'?
    – mcalex
    Jun 13, 2023 at 11:14

7 Answers 7

29

Buy a bread machine.

Bread machine bread meets all of your requirements, including not learning any new skills. And it's still much better than supermarket bread in most places. I'm a former professional baker, I enjoy making bread, and I use a bread machine whenever I'm running short on time.

No fully handmade bread recipe is going to meet your requirements.

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    This. You can dump in what you need - or even a packet mix, pick the right setting and just let it run. No skill needed, and there's fairly cheap breadmakers. I think we run about 3-4 loaves a week, and get 5-10 years out of a breadmaker so its... really worth it Jun 10, 2023 at 5:36
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    And if you want to improve the quality of the results, you can just use it for the dough making process and make rolls or loaves to bake in the oven yourself. The bonus here is that with most bread makers you can mix double quantities of dough if you don't plan to bake it in the bread maker. And my experience is that bread makers aren't so good at baking, so the results are better IMO.
    – Graham
    Jun 10, 2023 at 8:52
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    Yeah, super easy to do variety too - find a couple of base recipes you like and add things to it and you can have pretty good (well, much better than supermarket) loaves always. Seeds (try quinoa and linseed) of many sorts make for great texture and flavour additions; spices/flavourings (garlic powder etc.) . Takes me 5 min to set up a mix in the evening and on timer for a nice loaf in the morning.
    – bob1
    Jun 10, 2023 at 9:24
  • I came to the answers to post exactly this. I have used a bread machine and it is incredibly easy, pretty much foolproof, and very tasty. Plus your home gets to smell like fresh bread :)
    – Esther
    Jun 12, 2023 at 15:15
9

There are multiple categories of bread that would likely meet your requirements:

There is a category called ‘quick breads’ that use baking soda or carbonated beverages for lift, so you don’t need to knead them or wait for gluten or yeast. (They’re actually worse if you develop gluten). This includes beer bread, muffins and bannock.

For yeast breads, anything high-hydration will form gluten if you just let it sit long enough. There are many baking books that cover the topic of ‘no knead bread’, including ‘Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day’. High hydration sourdough should also meet your requirements, and many flatbreads are of such high hydration that they require very little kneading.

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    In fact 5 minutes a day is an overestimate for how long that bread takes me. Give it a try! Jun 9, 2023 at 16:49
  • @KateGregory if you use a scale and convert the measurements to weight, it’s even faster and you don’t risk losing count how much flour you’ve put in
    – Joe
    Jun 9, 2023 at 17:21
  • This also would include the American meaning of the word "biscuits". Jun 12, 2023 at 6:41
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    @ToddWilcox possibly ‘drop biscuits’, but regular biscuits require a bit of time to cut the fat in correctly, even if it’s technically not kneading.
    – Joe
    Jun 13, 2023 at 8:15
6

Check out soda bread recipes. These are typically very quick to prepare, using baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) or baking powder and an acidic liquid component, such as buttermilk or plain yogurt, and require minimal if any kneading.

They produce a great crusty loaf that keeps reasonably well and is excellent re-heated.

5

The other answers here are good, but you could also consider a "no-knead" recipe. You basically have to mix the ingredients, rest overnight, and then form and bake the loaf the next day. There is a little bit of technique in the forming step, but it is very straightforward, and I had good results the first time I tried it, despite not being an accomplished baker.

For recipes, see, for example, the New York Times.

A tortilla or other flatbread can also be easy to make, but, assuming you want more than one tortilla, because each one must be handled individually, it will probably take you more than 20 minutes active time to prepare and cook a batch of them.

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I make a loaf of no-knead bread based on Jim Leahey's recipe nearly every work day (I bought his "My Bread" book, but you can find the recipe on line). You bake the bread in a cast iron or ceramic-coated cast iron pot.

I've got the routine down pat, so the time I spend will be less than your initial attempts, but:

  • I spend < 5 min after lunch the previous day mixing the dough (4 ingredients, mixed in a bowl with a fork)
  • I spend < 10 min early the next morning scraping the bowl out onto a floured surface, forming a loaf, setting it aside, and setting up the oven (with the pot in it) to start (on a timer) and having it alert me when it's time to put the loaf in (and doing a little cleanup)
  • Three times over the next 2.5 hours I spent about a minute doing things (putting the loaf in the very hot pot, removing the pot lid and taking the pot out (putting the loaf on a rack to cool))

It's about 22 hours-ish, start to finish, but I have it integrated into my routine. I work from home, so doing some of this on a Zoom/Teams call regularly happens (those last few, very quick steps)

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If you have a decent stand mixer you should be good in 20 minutes or so for most of the non sour dough or non overnight bread receipts, including cleaning. To be extra efficient you can prepare pre-measured packages of flour and yeast and buy a convenient measuring and use dry yeast that doesn't require activation.

Kneading is usually 5 minutes, adding and measuring all the ingredient another 5, and that's it more or less.

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A good bread really is very simple and easy to make; it does require some kneading and it isn't quick, but the actual amount of work is minimal - the time it takes is waiting time, at least the way I do it. You will notice I don't provide measures - only a method. I usually start the dough in the evening:

  1. Start with lukewarm water, add a little sugar (~1 teaspon), then yeast. Leave it until it foams up - perhaps 10 - 30 min.

  2. Add some salt (I only use a small amount), then flour until it is a sticky, but rather firm dough. You should be able to assemble and stir it with a wooden spoon, but not too easily; it isn't all that important at this point. Leave it to rise - I usually leave it overnight.

  3. Next morning put flour on the table, add the dough on top and more flour; knead until it feels 'right' - not too sticky, you need to be able handle it. Put it in a bread-tin, let it rise until you feel it is enough. If you don't have time to wait for it, wrap it in cling-film and put it in the fridge, that way it shouldn't climb out all over things and you can leave it until evening.

  4. Bake in the middle of the oven at 170 deg centigrade for about an hour. Alternatively, fry the dough on a dry non-stick pan at a low fire - turn from time to time until it is noce and golden-brown.

A final remark: I have deliberately avoided being precise. Breadmaking (and indeed all cookery) is an interactive process. Flour and other ingredients are not precise chemicals - sometimes flour will contain more water, other times less, and the weight you need will vary. The same goes for yeast, let alone the temperature in your kitchen etc etc - so you need to observe and make judgements: does the yeast foam up, has the dough grown to the size you want, has it got the right colour? Recipes can so easily get in the way of what is essential.

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