Bread has been a staple food for mankind since time began. Funny enough, people today have no idea how to make homemade bread. The process is actually very simple. Of course there are more advanced techniques used to make a variety of different types and they can be wonderful additions to your family favorites.
These days you can make bread automatically with bread machines but I still prefer to do it manually, with my own hands. Whatever you choose the basic homemade bread making principles are very much the same.
Let’s start with the basics. Later we can move on to other variations and specialty breads. In the Ask tab of the navigation menu, let me know what other specific homemade bread recipes you’d like to see and I will be happy to share.
- 16 ounces of bread flour and a bit more for shaping and kneading
- 1 teaspoon of instant rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 10 ounces of warm, 115 degrees F(47 degrees C) water
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 6-8 quart mixing bowl
- large wooden spoon
- measuring cup and spoons (table and teaspoon size)
- bread pan
- olive oil to grease the container
- bread board or counter for kneading
The Sponge Process
The first step is to make a sponge and allow it to ferment:
- Start with the water, add the yeast and sugar. Check for bubbles to make sure the yeast is active.
- Add in 5 ounces of the flour and slowly stir to dissolve properly.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand till it’s doubled in size. This usually takes 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can put the yeasty mixture into the refrigerator and slow down the whole fermentation procedure. The dough will absorb some of the gasses left by the yeast, leading to softer dough later on. The bread will also have an aged flavor.
Yeast does a couple of things: it leavens the bread and it adds texture and flavor to the bread. To properly leaven the bread, the yeast has to be replicated immediately to create the gasses found inside.
Making The Dough
This mixture will now be every spongy.
- Add the salt and olive oil into the spongy mixture.
- Slowly sprinkle in the remaining 11 ounces of flour, while stirring, until all the flour is integrated into the mixture.
- Sprinkle flour on the surface of your board or kneading surface.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and slowly knead the mixture, sprinkling flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or work surface. (This usually takes 10 to 20 minutes). Be careful not to tear the dough.
- Add some oil to the mixing bowl and place the dough back in, making sure the oil covers the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let everything rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough with your knuckles to remove any air pockets.
- Put the dough back on the counter and knead a bit more to remove any remaining air pockets.
- Make a ball, tucking in any open seams and shape into a loaf.
- Add to oiled bread pan and fit in evenly. Let it sit till it’s size has doubled again (about 30 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (176 degrees C.).
- After 45 minutes or until the bread is a nice golden color, remove from oven.
- Let it sit on rack until cooled, then slice.
Now you have a delicious, healthy loaf of bread to savor it on its own or enjoy at mealtime. The aroma alone will uplift everyone within smelling distance. Once you get hooked on making your own bread, it’ll be hard to go back to the ordinary.