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7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker

Keep calm and bake on.

I've always loved to cook; but until I found myself with lots of time on my hands during quarantine, I never really attempted much baking.

Looking back now, baking bread was one of the most rewarding hobbies I picked up during quarantine. The act of playing with dough — kneading it, stretching it, shaping it, and watching it rise into a warm and fluffy loaf of bread — relaxes me, calms me, and serves as my own little form of therapy. It's something I'll continue even when the world goes back to normal.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

So if you're considering teaching yourself to bake bread but don't quite know where to begin, here are some recipes to get you started. And I promise, it's not as intimidating as you think.

1. Miracle No Knead Bread

Ingredients for miracle no knead bread on a countertop: flour, salt, instant yeast, and water.

You simply combine the four ingredients in a bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and leave it out at room temperature overnight. I figured even I couldn't mess this up.

2. New York–Style Bagels

Several pieces of dough shaped into bagels.

Like any good New York bagels, these are first boiled (for that extra chewiness) and then baked in the oven until golden. After boiling, you add any bagel seasonings like sesame seeds or garlic.

Now I won't say that my homemade bagels could stand up to my favorite New York bagels, but they were definitely good enough.

A bagel topped with cream cheese, lox, tomato, and red onion.

3. Homemade Naan

Making naan is less time-intensive than many other bread recipes. In fact, it only needs about an hour to rise.

You'll know the naan is done when it starts showing golden brown spots on both sides. You can brush it with butter and garlic for some extra oomph.

An Indian-inspired feast with homemade naan and chicken tikka masala.

4. Homemade Pita Bread

Ingredients for homemade pita: olive oil, salt, yeast, sugar, and flour.

The process of making pita bread is similar to making naan. Mix the dough, let it rise for about an hour or until it nearly doubles in size, divide it into equally sized pieces, flatten, and bake.

I decided to bake the pita on a pizza stone, which I let preheat in the oven for about 30 minutes, and it came out great.

5. Homemade Pizza From Scratch

Making the dough takes about an hour total, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer.

Always work with room temperature dough. Stretch it into your preferred pizza shape with your hands — not with a rolling pin. Now get creative and add your toppings.

6. No-Knead Challah Bread

A braided loaf of challah, ready to be baked.

The whole process takes about 24 hours and it involves flipping and stretching the dough — and then letting it proof overnight in the fridge.

Challah is the gift that keeps on giving because you can use the leftovers to make the best darn French toast.

Four pieces of challah French toast topped with powdered sugar and syrup.

7. And finally: Sourdough Bread

Making sourdough is intimidating, to be sure, and there's a big learning curve. My first loaf, though very mediocre, was a huge accomplishment. Your sourdough will get more and more delicious each time you bake and practice.

Timing is important when it comes to baking sourdough. When you're making sourdough, plan three days in advance.

A freshly baked loaf of sourdough in a Dutch oven.

It might seem like a lot of work, but it gets easier every time. And trust me: anyone can do it!

A freshly baked loaf of sourdough with artsy scoring.

So if you haven't yet tried making bread during quarantine, I urge you to give it a try. You might just find your new favorite hobby!

Me holding a loaf of sourdough bread that I baked.