Basic Bread Dough
Prep Time: 15-20 mins ~ Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3-4 hours
Level: Beginner ~ Yield: 1 loaf
This basic bread dough is quite versatile and can be formed into many different shapes. A basic ratio can be used to make as much or as little dough as required. Ratio: 5 parts bread flour: 3 parts H20 (plus salt and yeast). We have found that active yeast provides the best, most consistent results. If you have access to good quality fresh yeast, we suggest using that, but it can be difficult to acquire. Use the instructions on the yeast as a guide to how much you will need. A good starting point is 1/2 tsp of active yeast per each 2 cups of flour. Active yeast will need to be dissolved before mixing and kneading. Once you have mastered this dough, experiment by adding different flavors and herbs. Roasted garlic and rosemary are our favorites. Enjoy!
If you do a good amount of baking, a quality digital scale will be your best friend. Baking is scientific, using correct weights will ensure quality consistent results. Although not a necessity, having a baking stone is highly recommended. A good quality standing mixer will save you time and labor. They also have tons of useful attachments to roll pasta, grind meats and vegetables, and even make your own sausages.
Basic Bread Dough
- 20 oz bread flour
- 12 oz h20
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp active yeast
Set the bowl of your mixer on the scale, and zero the weight.
Add flour, zero, add water. Sprinkle the salt on top, then the yeast. Using warm water will dissolve and activate the yeast quickly and consistently. Allow 1-2 minutes for the yeast to start to dissolve.
Using the dough hook, set the mixer on low to medium speed and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and be able to be stretched quite thin without breaking.
Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to proof (should double in size). Placing the dough in a warm area will speed up the process.
Pre heat your oven to 450 degrees F.
After dough has doubled in size, put it on a clean counter or cutting board, sprinkled with flour to prevent sticking. Hand knead your dough to redistribute the yeast and push out any gas. Cover with kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Form your bread, either into a round loaf or baguette.
Make a few slits across the top, cover with towel, and allow to proof a second time for 1 hour.
Bake for 10 minutes at 450 deg, turn down oven to 375 deg and finish baking (about 40-50 minutes).
Bread should be golden brown and crusty on the outside and have almost a hollow sound when you tap it gently.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing.