The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quick Dinner Bread

Bake Skywalker's picture
Bake Skywalker

Quick Dinner Bread

Hello my Baking Buddies, I am totally new to the site, really enjoying the community and forums, I feel at home here :) I have a good topic to start a thread on so I though I would throw it out and see what hits.

I found myself in a situation over the weekend.  My fiance and I were invited over to have Halloween dinner by the parents of my ten year old sons friend ("Girl" friend).  Saturday afternoon I found myself wishing that I had started a batch of Pain A L'anciene the night before to bake off that evening to bring to dinner on Sunday.

Does anyone have a recipe for a really delicouse, quick dinner quality bread that can be baked in half a day?

I am just hoping that in the future if given short notice, I might still be able to whip up something immpresive.

Here is hoping


P.S. I did end up making fresh Pita Flatbreads and Fresh Hummus with Roasted Red Bells, which ended up being a huge hit.  But still, the expreice left me wanting a nice crusty dinner bread.

fancypantalons's picture

I'm actually a huge fan of soda breads and corn breads for this precise purpose.  America's Test Kitchen has a wicked Irish Soda Bread that produces a lovely, crusty, dense loaf that's perfect with a little butter.  And how can you go wrong with a good corn bread?  And the beauty?  You can throw one together very very quickly (since they're chemically leavened, they don't require the time one needs for a proper yeasted bread).

Bake Skywalker's picture
Bake Skywalker

Huh, wow I have never heard of a Soda Bread before.  I have to say they look very tasty, do you by chance have any savory recipes that you would recommend?

Cornbread it something I have not tried to make yet, as my fiance is not a fan.  It will have to wait for the right night, just me and a pan of cornbread, YUMM!

Both great starts, can't wait to hear others suggestions as well.


Edit:Only recipes from the current season are available at Americas Test Kitchen, all others you have to pay to be a member to veiw.  HOW WACK IS THAT!!!

fancypantalons's picture

Here's the ATK Irish Soda bread recipe, hand transcribed.  Your welcome. ;)



3C - AP flour

1C - Cake flour

1.5 t - Baking soda

1.5 t - Cream of tartar

1.5 t - Salt

2 t - Sugar

2 T - Soft butter

1.75 C - Buttermilk



0. Combine flours in a mixing bowl.

1. Work butter into flour with your hands, basically to just get it evenly combined with the flour.  At this stage, it's kinda like making a pastry dough.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix until hydrated.

3. Press into a loaf on parchment paper.

This step is worth a little explanation.  Basically, take the contents of your mixing bowl and dump it out onto the parchment paper.  Then gather the dough together and press it into a somewhat firmly packed loaf.  *Don't roll* or anything.  Just press it and form it into a round/dome-shaped loaf.  And don't worry if it has cracks or seams.  It's supposed to be rather rustic looking.

4. Dock the loaf.  ie, use the handle of a wooden spoon or something similar to impress a cross in the top of the loaf around a 1/4 - 1/2" deep.

5. Bake for 40 minutes at 400F.  Then brush the top with melted butter and let cool for 30 minutes.

Note, the original instructions have you bake this thing in a cast-iron skillet.  To do this, just take the loaf, parchment and all, and stick it in a pre-heated skillet, and then into the oven to bake.  This'll help form a nice crusty bottom. 

Of course, I'm too lazy, so I just bake on a sheet pan. :)

LindyD's picture

Bread (by Jeffrey Hamelman) includes a French bread which uses a 3.5 hour bulk fermentation and final proofing of around 1.5 hours (at 75F), which appears to meet your schedule.

I've made it and it's pretty good for a bread made without a pre-ferment.

While the formulas/techniques contained in books on artisan breads are copyright, I did have Mr. Hamelman's permission to post the formula here because earlier prints of Bread didn't contain the recipe.

BTW, welcome to TFL.  Are you in southern Michigan?

Bake Skywalker's picture
Bake Skywalker

Hour north of Detroit, Oakland County.  I'm going to give this Six Fold French bread a try this weekend, maybe put it on the blog I am starting here at TFL.

Tom Kershaw's picture
Tom Kershaw

Just a quick warning on Hamelman's 3 1/2 fermentation bread: 

- High room temperature is important. I tried this formula with a room temp of around 16ºC and the result was not optimal, probably due to lack of sufficient fermentation activity. 



Bake Skywalker's picture
Bake Skywalker

You might give it another go and stick it in a pilot lite oven during the bulk rise. It is getting pretty cold around here so I am definitely going to give it a warm loving environment to relax in (My Oven) thanks for the advice.

LindyD's picture

Did you calculate for dough temperature, Tom?   

While 16C/60F is on the cool side, you could have used warmer water to compensate.