I’m all about baking and learning from my mistakes. I’ve even posted about some mistakes and I tend to find mistakes in my baking to be a fun challenge. This Broiled White Free-Form Loaf happened as a mistake for James Beard and I thought I would give it a try!
Sometimes those bread baking mistakes are not that much fun! It occasionally happens to me when I’m baking homemade bread. A fumble here, a slight veer in the wrong direction there. In the end, there bread results turn out not so disastrous as I imagined they would. I may be frustrated because the process wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be, but I keep going with hopes of sharing my results and maybe even inspiring a baker or two to even try the recipe and to not be afraid of yeast. People…yeast is not that scary. I promise. It isn’t.
And this bread is not scary. At all! Have you ever set the oven to broil instead of bake? Honestly? Come on…tell me the truth! I will be totally honest and reveal that I have. But my results were not as glorious as James Beard’s Broiled White Free Form Loaf. Thanks to his mistake, you could make this same bread.
That description is what propelled me to make this bread ASAP! Maybe you’ll attempt it this weekend or even for the holidays. Maybe you’ll bake your first yeast bread and no longer be afraid of yeast. Or maybe this is your 100th loaf and it’s a different way than you usually bake your bread. The point is, baking bread is therapeutic. And with all that is happening in the world and in our personal lives, spending a 1/2 day dedicated to the production of a gorgeous loaf of bread is maybe what we all could use.
If you’re new to baking and want to make your own white bread, this is a great recipe to start off with!
HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE WHITE BREAD?
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Add the flour, salt, oil.
3. Mix together with dough hook, or by hand.
4. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.
5. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and let rise.
6. Punch dough down.
7. Place on prepped baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
8. Broil at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then switch to “bake” for 25 minutes until golden brown, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with the knuckles.
What exactly is proofing yeast? It’s when you dissolve the yeast in warm water to make sure it is active and that it will work to make your bread rise.
HOW TO PROOF YEAST?
1. Let the yeast and water sit for a few minutes.
2. The water will dissolve the dry coating around the granules of the yeast, releasing the active yeast inside.
3. It takes about 10 minutes to really have the yeast bloom.
4. Some recipes ask for a pinch of a sugar to be added to the yeast and water. James Beard doesn’t mention using sugar in this bread recipe.
*updated post from Jan 2014
- Broiled White Free-Form Loaf by Lora at Savoring Italy
- Buttermilk Honey Bread by Renee at Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Country Boule with Spelt and Sourdough by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Crumpets by Felice at All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- No Knead Bread from Holly at A Baker’s House
- No-Knead Christmas Pudding Cinnamon Rolls by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Pumpkin Bread by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom
- Soda Bread by Rossella at Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Sour Cream Drop Biscuits by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Sweet Potato Fry Bread by Anne at From My Sweet Heart
- Victorian Milk Bread by Deepti at Bakingyummies
- Whole Wheat and Molasses Quick Bread by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
#TwelveLoaves was a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.
I am sharing this bread with Yeastspotting
This is the book where I got the recipe: Beard on Bread. It has 100 super recipes. For a novice baker, this could be the only book you’ll need to begin with!
Broiled White Free-Form Loaf
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- ¾ cup warm water 100 to 115 degrees, approximately
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
- 3 Tbsp. olive vegetable, or peanut oil
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it proof. Measure the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt, and blend well. Add the oil, and then, gradually, the buttermilk. Mix with the hands or in an electric mixer with a dough hook until the dough comes off the bowl.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and resilient. Remove to a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.
- Punch the dough down, knead for 3 minutes, and let rise once more. Punch down again, then, using both hands, gather the dough into a big circular package, draw the top together to close it, and pinch the ends together.
- Turn the dough over, and set it, pinched-end side down, on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, and let rise until doubled in bulk. (Cornmeal may be sprinkled on the top, too, for an extra accent.)
- Slash the top in three places and brush with the egg wash.
- Broil at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then switch to “bake” for 25 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with the knuckles. (If your broiler has no setting, place the bread as far as possible from the unit and watch carefully. You may have to switch from “broil” to “bake” more quickly.)
- Remove the loaf from the baking sheet and let it rest directly on the oven rack for a few minutes to brown the bottom.
- Cool on a rack.