Cheap Eats — One Hour Bread

by Katy on December 26, 2008 · 13 comments




I ventured out in the snow and ice on Christmas Eve to buy the fixings for a lovely Christmas dinner. I was thinking salmon with a nice big salad. (My husband drives our only snow-worthy vehicle to work, and I have to wait until he gets home to do any driving.)

Unfortunately, both the grocery stores I went to were closed, closed, closed!

I had a few moments of sheer and utter panic.

What am I going to serve? Is it too late to fake a stroke and cancel Christmas dinner?

By the time I was home, I had a plan in mind. Sure, it wasn’t going to be the elegant meal I had first envisioned, but to quote the usually meaningless platitude — everything was going to be okay.

I had most of the ingredients for a delicious chicken and black bean soup, and I would make bread from scratch to gussy up the meal. (I did have to steal half an onion from the next-door-neighbors for whom I am currently — ahem, cat-sitting. (ie : pantry raiding.)

Luckily, I have a delicious recipe for bread that takes less than an hour from thought to fruition. It’s an adaptation of a recipe from Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette.

Katy and Amy’s One-Hour Bread

3-4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons dry yeast

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)

2-4 Tablespoons of melted butter

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds or poppy seeds, (I had neither, and used corn meal.)

Mix 3 cups of the white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour with the yeast, salt and sugar. Pour in the hot water. and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the remainder of the flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

Knead until the bread is smooth and elastic. (I use a big bowl that I can knead in so as not to make a big mess.)

Place the dough in a buttered/greased bowl for 15 minutes in a warm spot, and cover with a damp linen, (not shaggy) tea towel.

Punch down. Divide into two pieces and shape into two round loaves. (I sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal on the pan before setting them down.) Score an “X” shape on the tops of both loaves. Brush butter over the loaves and sprinkle with seeds/cornmeal.

Place bread in a cold oven at 400 degrees, with an oven-safe dish below partially filled with hot water.

Bake 40-45 minutes until the bread is a golden brown color. 

Serve warm. 

There you have it. Bread, fresh from the oven in less than an hour. And it makes your house smell fabulous.

I would have been happy to eat salmon, but the soup was actually perfect. A relaxing meal towards the end of a not so relaxing day.

And believe you, me — there was no food waste!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Madre December 27, 2008 at 1:45 am

I have to tell you all, I was there, and this meal was DELICIOUS — the bread could be a meal in itself!


Red Icculus December 27, 2008 at 3:23 am

This is excellent. I didn’t know you could do it without a long rise. Here is my version of the recipe:


Jinger December 27, 2008 at 5:39 am

I’m making this bread today for my Italian meal tonight! Thanks!


tammy December 27, 2008 at 7:10 am

Oh I’m definately trying this! I’ve been searching for a great homemade bread recipe!
I am loving this blog!


Magdalena December 27, 2008 at 7:18 am

I’ve made similar bread in the past – I think I’ll try this one for tonight’s soup and bread meal. (Turkey soup, maybe?) I sort of wished for the simple Christmas meal instead of the huge pricey turkey, but since three family units contributed, it wasn’t that bad. Next year, maybe the good soup or a family favourite like homemade mac and cheese.


diane December 27, 2008 at 8:35 am

Delightful! and funny 😉
i also cat and rooster sit but so far i haven’t had to borrow anything except hot water for tea for the trip home. no, i can’t walk to this sitting job 😉
great bread recipe! great story.


tammy January 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Katy- had to tell you the bread was OUTSTANDING! I’ll never buy loaf bread again….


thenonconsumeradvocate January 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Tammy — I’m happy to hear the bread was a success!

I made it again last night. I’m thinking about trying it in loaf pans for sandwich bread.

I could never do a low-carb diet. Bread is my special, special friend!

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Stacee January 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

I debated making this bread since you posted it b/c we always make homemade bread w/ bread flour – but last night I ran short on time and had just about an hour to come up with bread! So I made this one – even when I was kneading it, it felt weird – and I really expected it to turn out horrible! But to my surprise and everyone’s delight – it came out great and everyone loved it! We also had no leftovers! It’s a great recipe to have in a pinch when I don’t have the time to make focaccia or a challah braid!


Rosie of BooksAndBakes October 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Hey Katy, I made this the other night, and loved it! Thanks for the recipe. My bread is logged here:

PS: Curious – I would have thought the boiling water would slaughter the little yeasties right then and there, but apparently they’re a little more hardy than I realised.


Barbarainnc October 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Can I use all bread flour, as I don’t have any wheat flour?
Can the dough be baked in loaf pans??

Thanks for helping me out. 🙂


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