Basic Bread Making
Basic Bread Recipe (for a Bosch, Kitchen Aid, etc.)
2 T. yeast 2/3 C. vegetable oil (or shortening)
1 quart warm water 1 T. salt
2/3 C. honey (or sugar) 10-12 C. flour (white, whole wheat, or mix)
Add ingredients in the order they are listed, ending with the flour. Turn on the machine to high, using the dough hook (3 for a Bosch). Let it knead for 6-10 minutes. Shape into loaves. (5 loaves for the smaller pans, 2-3 for the larger) Put into greased pans. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled in size. (30 minutes to an hour) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Add 10-20 minutes for the larger pans. Loaves should be well browned. Butter tops immediately. Remove from pans and let cool.
Without a machine: You can make this same recipe by hand by halving all ingredients, mixing the first five ingredients and then adding the flour a cup or two at a time. However, you will have to knead the dough by hand and let it rise an extra time in a greased bowl, until the dough is doubled. Then you would shape it as the recipe says and continue from there.
For dinner rolls: Shape into balls the size of a medium apricot. Place in a greased pan almost touching each other. Let rise until doubled (about 30 min.). Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Butter tops immediately. Makes 48 to 60 rolls.
For cinnamon rolls: Roll ¼ recipe into a 8 by 12 inch rectangle. Spread 1-2 T. softened butter (as you would lightly spread on bread) and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1/4 c. sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon) to cover it. Roll up carefully starting from one of the long sides and pinch to close. Using floss or thread, slice rolls one inch thick.. Continue as for rolls. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Frost or drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.
For fun!: Let the kids each have a chunk of dough and give them rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc. Let them make their own shapes and then bake them. You can even sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.
Bread Sticks (VERY easy for a beginner)
1 T. yeast 3 T. sugar
½ C. warm water ¾ t. salt
1 C. warm milk 3 ½ C. flour (can be a mixture of white and wheat)
2 T. oil Parmesan cheese (opt.)
Dissolve yeast in water. Add to milk and oil. Add sugar, salt, and flour. Mix well; form into ball. Let rise 15 minutes.
Pull off pieces of dough. Roll into sticks. Place sticks on greased cookie sheet; let rise 30 minutes (or less if you don’t have time). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven. Spread with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 10-12 bread sticks.
1 T. dry yeast 4-5 C. flour, divided (white or mixture)
1 ½ T. sugar 1 egg, beaten
1 ½ C. warm water Coarse salt
1 t. salt
Dissolve yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small glass bowl; let sit 5 minutes. Combine 1 t. salt and 2 to 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and make a soft batter. Keeping hands dusted with flour, knead in 2 to 3 more cups of flour to make a stiff dough.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. With dusted hands, roll between your hands to make a 12 inch rope the thickness of your finger. Twist the rope into a pretzel shape (2 twists on the knot) and place on greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 1 dozen.
Margie’s Pizza Dough
1 C. warm water 1 t. honey
1 T. yeast 1 T. oil
1 t. salt 2 ½ C. flour
Combine all ingredients, except flour and salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Add salt. Then add 2 cups of the flour and beat until smooth and elastic. Add ½ cup more flour (enough to make a stiff dough). Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll to fit pizza pan. Top as desired. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 1 crust. Note: This recipe is easily doubled (except for the yeast) to make 2 pizzas.
2 ½ C. warm water 4 C. flour
3 T. sugar 1 T. salt
2 T. yeast 3 C. flour
2 T. salad oil
Mix together water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add oil and salt. Put four cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and put the wet mixture in the well. Mix the flour into the wet mixture until well mixed. Add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time until too thick to stir. Continue to add flour and mix with your hands until you have a stiff dough. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Turn dough into a large greased bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch down dough and divide into 6 equal pieces. Place on greased baking sheet; let rise until doubled. Smooth and round the dough before rising the second time. Bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Cool bowls on rack; slice top of and remove inside bread to form serving cavity. Makes 6 bowls.
Bread making tips:
Dissolve yeast in water first and add sweetener to help jumpstart yeast.
Let dough rise until double before baking.
Use hot tap water.
Sweeteners can be exchanged cup for cup (i.e. honey for sugar)
Knead the dough using the palm of your hand, folding the dough over each time.
When substituting whole wheat flour for white, let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes to determine if you need to add more flour as the whole wheat flour absorbs moisture more slowly due to the bran. The white flour will absorb it instantly. You will use more whole wheat flour in a given recipe than white flour for this reason.
If your house is very cold, you can let the dough rise in the oven to speed the process. Turn the oven to WARM for five minutes and then turn it off. Put the dough in the oven, covered, and let rise. Beware of putting it in a hot oven because it will kill the yeast.
You can freeze dough for later use right after you make it. Put it in a Ziploc bag and squeeze the air out. It will take about a day to thaw (on the counter), depending on the size of the dough, but the work is done. You can even freeze it in the shape of your bread pan and then just put it in the bread pan to thaw (covered) so it will be ready to bake. If you do this, make sure to cover it with a thin layer of oil so that it won’t dry out.
If your wheat flour doesn’t have enough gluten or you want to ensure 100% whole wheat success, add some Vital Wheat Gluten with your flour, 1 t. per cup. Find it at places like Sprouts in the bulk bins.
I often use instant powdered milk from my food storage (a good way to rotate it) in my bread in place of fresh milk…just add the amount you need with the dry ingredients.
My very favorite wheat to use is hard white wheat…it makes wonderfully light bread!
Experimentation is the best teacher.