Pan de Aqua (Water Bread)

This bread resembles french bread and is great with:

  • Soups
  • Italian Dishes
  • Breakfast (eggs)
  • Snack or light meal (bread with fruit and/or cheese)
  • anything you would normally eat with french bread
  • Dipped in good quality extra virgin olive oil (shallow bowl), sprinkled with cracked black peppercorns (not ground ‘table pepper’) and kosher or sea salt (not table salt)

This is one of my fav yeast breads… simple and cheap. The yeast will make this more expensive for folks who buy single use packages. I buy 4lbs at a time, about same cost of a 4 oz. jar at the grocery store. If you like to bake but don’t think you would go through a larger bag, go halves with someone who also likes to bake. If you have the supplies on hand you will bake more!The first time you make this you will need a candy thermometer, but won’t need it after that. You need to get the water to perfect temperature (105-115F); after the first time you will know how long to microwave the water. For me it is exactly 1 minute in my 600-watt micro, in a glass pyrex measuring cup. I always use same cup, same micro, but your measuring cup and microwave may heat the water more hot or not enough in 1 minute.

*If using a bread machine to knead the dough, ALWAYS add liquid ingredients first, followed by dry, yeast on top.

You will need:

  • Warm Water (105-115F) – 1 cup
  • Table Salt – 1 tsp.
  • All Purpose Flour – 3 cups
  • Active Dry Yeast – 2 1/2 tsp (or one single use pkg)

If mixing dough with bread machine, see above comment in bold/red.
Set bread maker to ‘dough’ setting, allowing it to do kneading and 1st rise.
Begin recipe at step 4.

Kneading by hand: 

  1. Mix dry ingredients; slowly add warm water.
  2. Knead until dough resembles Play-Doh in consistency.
  3. Place in plastic or glass bowl (not metal); cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until dough doubles in size (I use OFF oven with the light on).
  4. Punch down dough, split into 8 pieces.
  5. Shape into rolls; place on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Make 2 cuts across top of each roll.
  7. Leave to rise uncovered, about an hour, in OFF oven.
  8. Bake in 425F oven for approx 15-20 minutes.
    Makes 8 hard rolls.

To make a more chewy ‘french bread’ type crust, place top rack in middle of oven with baking bread on it, place lower rack at bottom with oven-proof dish of water on it.

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