The second way, which is the most work, is to make bread by hand the old-fashioned way. This is definitely the most difficult and takes the most skill. I personally have a heck of a time getting this type of bread to raise properly.
The third way, and probably the thriftiest is to use this no-kneading recipe. Sure, it takes about 24 hours to turn out a loaf, but the bread is delicious and the actual “work time” is minimal.
Easiest No-Knead Bread Recipe
3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 5/8 C Water
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then stir in the water until well blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for at least 12 hours (16-18 hours is better).
Next, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with flour, and fold it in on top of itself twice. Cover this again with the plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, shape the dough into a ball. Coat a smooth cotton towel with flour and put the ball seam side down, dusting the top with more flour. Cover with a second towel and leave to rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
30 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees and put a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot with a cover (pyrex, cast iron, enamel or ceramic work best) in to heat. Remove the pot from the oven and dump the dough ball seam side up into the pan. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and back for 15 to 30 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool on rack.