How to Make Bread (Basic) | Cooking With Jade

How to Make Bread (Basic)

2 MINS READ
How to Make Bread (Basic)

Bread is one of the oldest and most basic foods in existence. It’s also one of the most difficult to master. This no-frills recipe is a good start for budding bakers–one that will nonetheless give you a new appreciation for all that goes into a fresh loaf of bread. You’ll get a good arm workout with all the kneading (I’m starting to look a bit like Popeye over here), but believe me when I say that the results are worth the elbow grease.

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional, for a richer flavor)

 

KITCHEN TOOLS

 

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk or fork
  • Wooden spoon or dough scraper
  • Clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap
  • Baking sheet or loaf pan
  • Oven
Basic Bread Bake

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Step 1: Activate the yeast.

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is activated. It should become frothy and bubbly.

Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until well combined.

Step 3: Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the activated yeast mixture. Add the olive oil, if using. Stir with a wooden spoon or dough scraper until a shaggy dough forms.

 

Step 4: Knead the dough.

  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. Add more flour if necessary, but be careful not to add too much.

Step 5: Let the dough rise.

  • Grease the mixing bowl with a little oil. Place the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Step 6: Shape the dough.

  • Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down to release any air bubbles. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface and shape it into your desired loaf shape or divide it into smaller portions for rolls.

Step 7: Second rise (optional).

  • If you want a lighter texture, you can let the shaped dough rise again for about 30-60 minutes. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap.

Step 8: Preheat the oven.

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place a baking sheet or loaf pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Step 9: Bake the bread.

  • Carefully transfer the shaped dough onto the preheated baking sheet or into a greased loaf pan. Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife if desired. Place it in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Step 10: Cool and enjoy!

  • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Slice and serve the bread warm or at room temperature. It’s delicious on its own or with butter, jam, or your favorite spreads.
Basic Bread Bake

If you enjoyed this article or have suggestions on how we can improve it, please leave us a comment below. Also, make sure to check out other cooking lesson articles I’ve created – here.


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