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The Ultimate Versatile Bread Recipe: Ready in Just 40 Minutes

There's something magical about the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your home. However, the idea of spending hours in the kitchen can be daunting. That's where this versatile bread recipe comes in! Whether you need dinner rolls, a French bread-style loaf, or even hamburger buns, this recipe has got you covered. The best part? It's ready in just 40 minutes from start to finish. Here’s how you can make this easy and adaptable bread recipe that your family will rave about.


Ingredients

- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast

- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110°F)

- 1/3 cup vegetable oil

- 1/4 cup sugar

- 1 large egg

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Instructions


Step 1: Activate the Yeast

Start by dissolving 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of warm water (about 110°F). Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. This step is crucial as it ensures your bread will rise properly.


Step 2: Mix the Dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 large egg. Stir until everything is well blended. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and gradually mix in 3 to 3-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. Start with 3 cups and add more if necessary, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky.


Step 3: Knead the Dough

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. This part is a great arm workout, but it's also fun to feel the dough transform under your hands.


Step 4: Shape the Bread

The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. Here are several ways you can shape the dough:


1. French Bread-Style Loaf: Shape the dough into a long loaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Dinner Rolls: Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, shape them into balls, and place them on a baking sheet.

3. Hamburger Buns: Shape the dough into flatter, round buns.

4. Breadsticks: Roll the dough into long, thin sticks.


Cover your shaped dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.


Step 5: Bake the Bread

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Once the dough has rested, bake it according to its shape:

- French Bread-Style Loaf: 12-15 minutes

- Dinner Rolls and Hamburger Buns: 8-10 minutes

- Breadsticks: 7-8 minutes

Bake until the bread is golden brown.


Step 6: Add the Finishing Touch

As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, brush it with melted butter. If you’re making hamburger buns, sesame seeds are a nice finishing touch. For garlic bread, I like to add garlic salt. This final touch adds a deliciously savory flavor that enhances any meal.


Ways to Enjoy This Versatile Bread

This bread recipe is incredibly flexible and can be enjoyed in numerous ways:


1. French Bread: Perfect for serving alongside soups and salads, or for making garlic bread.

2. Dinner Rolls: A great accompaniment to any meal, these rolls are soft and fluffy.

3. Hamburger Buns: Ideal for your favorite burgers or sandwiches, these buns are sturdy yet tender.

4. Breadsticks: Serve with marinara sauce for a tasty appetizer or snack.

5. Sandwich Bread: Use it for making hearty sandwiches or toast.


Family Raves

Whenever I make this bread, it disappears almost as quickly as it comes out of the oven. My family can't get enough of the buttery, garlicky goodness. The texture is perfect – soft and fluffy on the inside with a slightly crisp exterior. Whether we're using it for sandwiches, as a side dish, or just enjoying it plain, this bread is always a hit.


Next time you need fresh bread in a hurry, give this recipe a try. I promise, it will become a staple in your kitchen just as it has in mine. Happy baking!

1,146 views1 comment

1 Comment


ginas808
Jul 14

Can I use a stand mixer to knead? And how many minutes?

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