Learn to bake homemade bread. This will come in handy for gift-giving at Christmas or any time. A gift of homemade bread and jam is very thoughtful.

Way back in 2007, the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (affiliate link) was published, and for the first time ever I made homemade bread. It was just as easy and delicious as the authors promised. They were kind enough to share their recipe online for free, so you may be well aware of this recipe as the “no-knead” bread. This is my go-to bread recipe and I can’t recommend this process and recipe highly enough. There are only 4 ingredients, and one of those is water. Unless you count the cornmeal to dust the bottom, that is another optional ingredient that I recommend.

The online recipe references several products you do not need. You don’t need a special dough bucket. The recipe indicates that a large bowl is just fine, and that’s what I use. While the dough is rising I might loosely cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. You also don’t need a special dough whisk. I use a spoon or my KitchenAid dough hook. I also do not cut the dough with kitchen shears. You can use a knife or your hands, because it is dough.

You do need a pizza stone to bake the bread on. You also do need the serrated bread knife. And as for cornmeal vs parchment paper, I recommend the cornmeal.

The recipe instructions are lengthy online and even lengthier in the book. This makes the process seem more difficult than it actually is. The method is truly very easy. If you have not yet tried it, just go for it. See if you can find the book in your library.

(Image credit: RhianaH )

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