I’m going to tell you exactly how I learned how to make bread dough.
It’s the simplest most basic bread dough recipe because I’m a total beginner in all of this.
So, I definitely wanted a recipe that can be made by anyone. Mastering the basics is crucial in anything, at least that’s what I think.
I must tell you something:
Before starting this blog, I had no idea about how to make bread dough on my own.
I was simply relying on my bread maker to make it for me.
Better said, I knew the theory, all about the ingredients, and how they should be added, and kneaded, but I had never gotten my hands dirty.
I just watched a lot of people while they were messily adding some ingredients and then shaping them into a beautiful deliciously smelling ball.
I loved watching my mother baking bread. All the work that went into kneading the dough fascinated me.
But I learned the most from my boyfriend, he’s a better cook than I am, and it made me ambitious. I wanted to do all that by myself.
The thing is:
It turns out that learning how to make bread dough is pretty simple and really enjoyable.
It’s just satisfying to use your hands to knead ingredients and then bake them into delicious creations. Getting dirty and creating something beautiful in the end.
Bread Dough Ingredients
1. Flour: King Arthur Flour, All Purpose Unbleached Flour
You can use all purpose flour or bread flour. I prefer buying all purpose flour because I can use it for all kinds of breads and then I can also use it for desserts. If the gluten content is high enough, then it’s great. Always get the unbleached kind.
2. Yeast: SAF Red Instant Yeast
There’s no better yeast than the SAF Red Instant Yeast. Everyone prefers this one and the price is awesome. We get a huge quantity so store it properly.
3. Stand mixer: KitchenAid Classic Series
Obviously, it’s not necessary to use a stand mixer or a hand mixer or even a bread machine to knead the dough for you. However, if you don’t want to knead the dough by hand, you can use a dough kneading machine instead.
4. Bread cookbook: Bread Baking for Beginners by Bonnie Ohara
I love cookbooks, no matter what I’m cooking or baking. The Bread Baking for Beginners by Bonnie Ohara is a treasure of information. If you want to explore everything you need to know about making bread dough and baking artisan breads, this cookbook is wonderful.
How to make bread dough the simplest way
To get you started, you just need a few ingredients, mix them, then knead them, shape the dough, and let it rise.
The actual work is reduced to about 10 to 15 minutes.
Really quick. You think it might take longer.
Then comes the 2 hours waiting time while the dough rises and about 30 minutes of baking.
Total time to make a loaf by hand using bread flour or all purpose flour: about 3 hours.
I loved learning how to make bread dough by hand but I still cheat. And let me tell you how you can simplify it, too.
Even if you are making recipes that require a conventional oven, you can still let your bread machine do the dough.
It’s the easiest way to do it.
You just add the ingredients in the bread maker’s baking pan, select the Dough setting, and you’re done.
In about an hour and a half you can start shaping it and baking it however you want.
That’s exactly how I make it even though now I know how to make bread dough by hand.
- 1 cup room-temperature water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 cups white bread/all purpose flour
- 1 or 2 teaspoons salt
You can also add a little bit of sugar, 1 teaspoon, before adding the yeast.
The sugar is added to activate the active dry yeast.
After adding the sugar into the water, add the yeast and stir vigorously.
In order to make sure that your yeast is alive, cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for 2 minutes.
Proceed with the rest of the ingredients.
I also love using olive oil in my bread recipes. But it’s optional. Skip it if you don’t have any olive oil around.
I actually have two types of olive oils in my house.
They’re both extra virgin but one is cheaper and that’s the one I use in recipes and for bread making and the other one is more expensive and it’s reserved for salads and dipping.
1. Add the room-temperature water, the yeast, stir them a little, then the flour, and the salt.
This is the exact order and it’s essential for learning how to make bread dough.
2. Knead the mix for 5 up to 10 minutes.
3. Let the dough rise for up to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Always cover the dough with a towel and place it in a warm environment.
Let’s talk about consistency.
The dough should be elastic, you know that you have nailed it when it doesn’t stick to your fingers.
If you follow these steps, you’re going to make a beautiful and delicious white bread.
Or you can use it for pizza making.
When it comes to pizza dough, which is also made by my bread maker, I leave it overnight in the fridge. The cold deepens the flavor.
But now that you’ve learned how to make bread dough, you can do countless recipes, like focaccia or pita bread, just to name a few, you can find more in my recipes category if you’re curious and ready to experiment.
Or Use a Bread Machine
There’s an easier way to make bread dough: just get a bread machine and use the dough setting. You only add the ingredients to the pan and the bread maker does all the work, it’s what I do for loaves and pizza.
If you want to make bread dough in the easiest way possible, you can get an affordable bread maker, like the Oster CKSTBRTW20.
It’s a basic bread machine that works very well for making all kinds of loaves. That means that you add the ingredients to the pan, press a couple of buttons, and in 3-4 hours you have your loaf, completely baked.
But you can also opt just for the dough cycle and then shape and bake the dough in an oven. The machine will rise the dough for you, making it ready for use or you can just let it work until the kneading is done. There are lots of options.
Another option for making bread dough without doing any work is to get a stand mixer. You’ll just have to let the dough rise and then bake it.
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