Nothing beats the smell of fresh-baked bread and we’ve recently got really into making our own sourdough and having bread on hand for lunches. But it often takes a good day or two of preparation to bake a good sourdough loaf.
So to make sure we’re prepared for any bread eating occasion we’ve perfected a few simple, quick bread recipes that can be made while preparing dinner and are guaranteed to impress any dinner guests or simply add that extra element to a good meal.
For all of these quick bread recipes, you’ll need a good supply of high-grade flour and some yeast. If you have an active sourdough starter this can be substituted for the focaccia, but it may take longer to rise.
Crusty white loaf
This is my go-to bread to go with soup. Our winter diet consists of a lot of seasonal veg soup and a steaming loaf of homemade bread really makes the meal special. This is a fail-proof recipe I came across when I was looking for bread that could be prepared in under an hour. I’ve made this multiple times including with a class of kids and it always turns out crusts on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The perfect quick and easy bread recipe!
Simple Crusty White Bread Recipe
- 3.5 cups high-grade white flour
- 1tbsp honey
- 1tbsp active yeast
- 1tsp salt
- 1.5 cups warm water
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and leave to sit for 10 minutes until it starts foaming. Mix in the honey. Then slowly add a little flour at a time until you have a dough which doesn’t stick to the bench. Place it in a loaf tin and leave in a warm spot on the bench for 20 minutes to proof. Cut some slits in the top and bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is browned.
*Note this bread can be difficult to cut warm as the crust is hard and the inside is fluffy and soft. Try waiting an extra 10 minutes for it to cool a bit (hard I know!)
Another super simple bread recipe that goes well as an accompaniment to any meal and also makes a great lunch snack. You can have it plain or top it with all kinds of deliciousness such as olives, tomatoes or garlic.
Simple Focaccia Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- 3 tsp. Yeast
- Olive oil
You pretty much start the same way as making the crusty loaf. Dissolve the yeast in warm water and mix it with the flour and a couple of tablespoons of good quality olive oil. Mix well and knead until you have a smooth, silky dough.
Spread the dough out on a baking tin and put in a warm place to rise for 30-60 mins or until it’s light and fluffy. Once it’s risen add your toppings of choice, no boundaries here! Just add whatever you would like, a little bit like a pizza just without the tomato base and the cheese. Bake at 200°C until golden brown.
Here are some topping ideas for a great foccacia success.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Rock salt
- Red onions
Ok so these aren’t your traditional ‘bread’ but they are super simple and easy to adapt to the occasion. Add a pinch of sugar for sweet scones with jam or add a cup of cheese and some mustard powder for the perfect savoury afternoon tea. The trick to the perfect scone is adding soda water but if you don’t have any normal water works fine as well.
You can also bake scones in a loaf form to give it a more bread-like feel and it makes the perfect accompaniment to soups.
Simple Scone Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- 6tsp baking powder
- 75g butter
- 1tsp salt
- 1-1.5 cups milk
Mix the flour and baking powder before rubbing the butter in until it looks like bread crumbs. Gradually add the milk, mixing the dough with a knife to avoid over-mixing. When the dough is soft but still a little sticky turn it onto a floured surface and pat it to about 2cm thickness. You can cut it into pieces or bake as a small loaf shape to be cut into slices for dipping!