Baking bread can be easy

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last week when I wrote about making bread in my column to go along with a quick meal I was surprised at the number of e-mails and phone calls I got about the bread recipe.

After sifting through all of

the comments, two things were perfectly clear.

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One, people are scared of a recipe that says anything about kneading or using yeast and two, no one believes bread can be quick.

With the seasons turning that means that many of you will change your cooking habits.

There will be more soups and stews on your table.

Spaghetti and chili will be simmering on your stovetops and nothing goes with any of those better than fresh bread.

So with that in mind and because of the comments I received, let’s try something a little easier. Here are two recipes for bread that I know you will love and I promise are quick and easy.

This first bread does have yeast in it and will take about two hours. Most of that time is rising time so you can start the bread and then work on the rest of your meal.

Honey Oat Bread

2 to 2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon salt

1 package dry yeast

1 cup water

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

Grease an 8 by 4 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, oats, salt and yeast and mix well. In a small saucepan, heat water, honey and butter until very warm. Add to flour mixture along with egg, and beat for three minutes.

Stir in additional 1 to 1-1/2 cups flour to make a stiff batter. Cover batter and let rise until light, about 25-30 minutes. Stir down batter and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until batter reaches top of pan, about 15-20 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

Remove from pan immediately and place on wire rack to cool.

This bread uses baking powder and baking soda for leavening instead of adding yeast. And it comes together even quicker than the first one.

Cheddar Bread

2 cups flour

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon. baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottom of two 9 by 5 loaf pans. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together buttermilk, butter and eggs in a small bowl and beat well. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

Christina Hall can be reached at