Bread beginner? Look no further! This bread is extremely simple to make, even if you’ve NEVER made bread before. This super-easy homemade bread takes only four ingredients to make and one bowl. Only the tiniest bit of kneading is required, and then most of the work is done all on its own while it rests!
4-ingredient easy homemade bread. And I mean EASY!
This bread has become a STAPLE recipe in my house! I make it about once a week, as it’s seriously that easy, quick, and delicious. All you need to create this deliciousness is bread flour, instant yeast, salt, water, and cornmeal. (So, okay, technically, that’s five ingredients if you include water… shhh.)
Even the most lost person in the kitchen can make this!
I promise! You seriously only need one bowl, that small handful of ingredients, and a wooden spoon to start. The flour, yeast, and salt get whisked together and then stirred with ice-cold water. Do NOT let the word yeast scare you, either! I use instant yeast in this bread, which takes away some stress from using active dry yeast, for example.
Then, once those four ingredients are somewhat combined, I dump it onto a lightly flour-dusted counter and knead it just until everything is thoroughly combined. This takes maybe around a minute or so, and you can’t mess this part up! I throw it into a bowl and let it rest at room temperature for three hours.
This baby needs to sleep in the refrigerator overnight.
For the ultimate flavor and texture, I let this dough rest in the refrigerator overnight, for around twenty hours. The coldness slows the fermentation process, which in return creates terrific flavor and texture!
Feel free to even play around with the length of time you leave the dough in the fridge to find your perfect bread flavor and texture. This dough can be left to chill in the refrigerator for up to three days before baking. I personally rarely ever have the patience, or refrigerator space for that matter, to let this rest for the three days, but if you do, please give it a go!
When I am ready to bake this bad boy, I dump it into a lightly cornmeal-dusted bread pan and let it rest for three hours at room temperature. This allows the dough to get some air and rise to the very tippy-top of the pan. I finally bake it, allow it to cool completely, and then devour it like there’s no tomorrow.
Sourdough and Ciabatta had a baby!
This is how I like to describe best the texture and flavor of this super easy, homemade bread! It’s got the wonderful chewy texture that those two loaves of bread have. It even has a SLIGHT sourness that sourdough bread has! Seriously! But, it’s minus all the fuss that comes along with making both of those loaves of bread, as they both are pretty tedious to create.
Also, don’t forget to read my “tiparooskis” section of this post, located below the recipe. There I share my top tips to help you achieve recipe perfection!
If you make this easy homemade bread, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
4-Ingredient Easy Homemade Bread for Beginners
- 4 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp bread flour, plus more for dusting as needed and DO NOT USE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR!
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 1/4 cup water, ice cold
- 1 tbsp cornmeal, for dusting
- Add the bread flour, instant yeast, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk well.
- Dig a small hole in the center and pour the ice-cold water inside.
- With a wooden spoon, stir from the inside out, gradually pulling the flour into the center. Stir until mostly combined. Once the spoon can't stir the mix anymore, dump it onto the counter and knead it just until there is no visible flour; you will only need to knead it about 15 times. The dough should be VERY wet and sticky in the end.
- Place the dough inside a large mixing bowl and press plastic wrap directly on top. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap as well, followed by a towel. Set the bowl of dough in a dark, warm place to rest for 3 hours.
- Then place the bowl of dough, exactly as is, into the refrigerator overnight. I always let mine rest for around 20 hours.
- Dust the bottom of a non-stick 11" by 6" bread pan with the cornmeal.
- Then scrape the dough into the pan and lightly press it from corner to corner to evenly distribute it.
- Cover the bread pan with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest in a dark warm place for 2 to 3 hours. The dough should rise almost to the tippy-top of the pan.
- Fill another pan with a few inches of water and place it on the oven's bottom rack. (I usually use another bread pan.)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the dough(the plastic wrap will stick, and that's okay! Just slowly pull it off.) Place the bread pan onto the middle rack and bake it for 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through. *If there is a rack above the middle rack, remove it, or the bread may get squished by it as it rises. Also, if your oven runs a bit hot, keep an eye on the bread for the last 15 minutes or so. If the top of the bread gets too brown, place a piece of aluminum foil over it while it finishes baking.
- Allow the bread to cool down in the pan entirely- this is a must as it is essentially finishing baking in the center. Next, take a butter knife and run it around the outer edges to easily remove it. Then tip it upside down onto your hand to pop it out, flip it over, slice, and enjoy!
Welcome to my tip section of this easy homemade bread recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- Don’t have a bread pan? No problem! Split this dough up into two to three portions. Hand form them into loaf shapes directly on a lightly cornmeal-dusted parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Allow them to rest for the same amount of time. However, instead of baking them for 40 minutes, bake them for only 25-30 minutes. If you do this method, the final result will look a bit different. The bread loaves will have a rustic look and will be a lot shorter in height.
- Flavor the bread! I think this would taste delicious with a bunch of roasted garlic cloves and fresh rosemary threw in. Or, try going for a sweeter route and add in dried berries and nuts! If you opt to add any extra ingredients into the bread, make sure you add it in the very first step along with the flour, yeast, and salt!