Bread baking is something most of us shy away from because yeast, rising, and proofing just seems like too much work. Thankfully, though, it can be done in our favorite lazy-cook appliance: the microwave. This simple technique doesn’t stray far from the basic principles of bread-baking except that, unlike traditional methods, it’s fast and easy.microwave.
Before you start, you’ll have to come to terms with your microwave’s limitations. What the microwave can do: Produce delicious, fresh bread in a fraction of the time. What your microwave can’t do: Form a baguette-style crunchy crust.
First, you will need to prepare the yeast. Dissolve one and a half tablespoons of dry active yeast in a half cup of warm water. Then, add two and a half cups of warm milk to the dissolved yeast. In a separate large bowl, combine three cups bread flour, one tablespoon sugar, and two teaspoons salt.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast, and beat with a dough hook until smooth. Add two more cups of bread flour. The dough will become quite stiff at this point. Then, cover with a towel and allow the bread dough to rise for about an hour in a warm place, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
Once the dough has risen, dissolve a quarter of a teaspoon in a tablespoon of warm water. Stir the baking soda water into the yeast dough.
Divide the dough between two greased glass loaf pans, and again cover and let rise until doubled in size (45 more minutes).
Finally, microwave the loaf for three minutes on high. Rotate the loaf in the microwave and cook for three more minutes. Allow to cool, remove from the pan, slice, and serve.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor, Emily Jacobs.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.