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What I've Learned: Making Bread is EASY! What the artisan bakers DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW!!!

This one goes out to Alan, because he's right: Why the hell am I paying $3+ for a decent loaf of baked paste? There's less than a buck's worth of ingredients in there, plus a few minutes of work. Since it only takes about two minutes to combine the ingredients, you can easily start this bread while you are waiting for your morning coffee, let it sit covered on the counter all day, and then bake it while you make dinner.


3.5 c flour (any mix of white and wheat, or all of either, is fine; might as well use organic).

2 tsp salt (I use coarse koshering salt)

1 tsp rapid-rise yeast

~ 1.5 c water


  1. Combine all dry ingredients in food processor with the steel chopping blade

  2. Run it for about 5 sec to get everything mixed. While it was running, gradually pour in the water, reserving a tablespoon or two. Run the processor for 30 seconds. The dough should cling together in a shaggy ball (depending on how big your food processor is, it might be sort of a spinning-top shaped, from getting whirled against the sides of the bowl and the top of the processor). The dough should be shaggy and damp (you wouldn't want to have to work it by hand), but really firm (like a flexed muscle). If it is a little dry, start running the mixer again and give it the last bit of water. (It is really unlikely it will be too wet).

  3. Dump it in a bowl, cover and let sit for a few hours to rise. (If you have to, you can store it in the fridge overnight; you'll just need to let it warm back to room temperature before going to the next step.)

  4. Dump onto a very lightly floured surface, form into a ball, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.

  5. You can bake it as a ball and you'll be fine. For a sandwich loaf: Smash the ball flat, fold two edges to the center, and then bring in the two ends, making a rectangle. Put it into a decently flour-dusted loaf pan, seam down, and smash it down as best you can. Cover, and let rise for an hour or so; it will double in size.

  6. Preheat oven to 450 for a half hour.

  7. Slash top of loaf with a knife. Sprinkle a little water in oven (DO NOT HIT BULB, as it will explode. If you have an electric oven, you probably want to avoid the heating element, too. If you have a spray bottle, mist some water in, and save yourself a mess). Bake loaf in oven for 5 minutes, then open oven, sprinkle more water, and back for about 25 minutes.

  8. Loaf is done when it looks done.