I have written before about my bread failures. And, in my many discussions with other bakers, many are still afraid of bread. (I am still afraid of pie crust, so we all have our fears.) Thus, when I picked up a copy of The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, I was intrigued by the recipes for Batter Bread. The recipe is basically “Put things in a bowl, beat for two minutes, let rise for 45 minutes, and bake for 45 minutes.”
I thought this would be an excellent way, if it turned out, to give a basic bread recipe to the masses. We are obsessed with no knead breads, and Artisan Bread in Five gives a great way to have artisan breads at home. Yet, they still take hours, and the longer resting times give a flavor quality to the bread.
This bread recipe is not going to give you artisan quality bread. Artisan Bread comes from high moisture, long rises, and can take several days.
But, this is a great bread to whip up quickly, and to have home baked bread that is tasty and quick.
(Please keep away from cats. My kitten ate a piece of the first loaf before knocking it on the floor.)
Fannie Farmer Batter Bread
Recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book
1 packed of active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) milk, warm.
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour*
If you are using active dry yeast, then put the yeast, butter, and milk into a bowl, and let sit for a few minutes. The milk should be warm but not hot, put a clean finger into it to test the warmness. (I put cold butter and cold milk in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes.) The yeast should bubble up and look slightly foamy and smell like yeast. If you are using instant yeast, then you can skip this step.
Add sugar, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Beat by hand for two minutes, or by stand mixer for one minute. Add the last cup of flour, and beat until combined.
Put batter into a loaf pan. Smooth the top, and slice down the middle with a very sharp knife. Let it stand until it has risen to the top of the pan, about 45 minutes (in my 73 degree kitchen).
Bake the bread at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out onto a towel or rack. For a better loaf, let it cool before cutting into it.
*While making this recipe, I tried to emulate all of the non bakers that I knew and did the “dip and sweep” method of flour measuring. The first time, I purposefully tried to get extra flour in the batter, and the batter 1) took longer to rise, and 2) took longer to bake. In the second case, I shook the flour bag before dipping, and didn’t try to pack it in. It rose faster.