THERE'S NO FEAR WHEN MAKING REALLY GOOD HOMEMADE BREAD
The thought of making bread makes some folks break out in hives, but I am here to tell you that there is No Fear In Making Homemade Bread! This recipe is the easiest, most reliable, and fastest bread recipe I have come up with to date. Feel free to add seasonings to this basic recipe to create a variety of scrumptious bread offerings—I'll make sure to give you some pointers on the amount of and which seasonings your bread will do best with. Very few ingredients are required for your bread making adventure, and the most difficult part of the recipe would have to be waiting to slice off a warm piece of your own fresh out of the oven homemade bread! To get you started on the right path, here are just a few really easy pointers to consider when making your own homemade bread as a beginner.
GETTING STARTED MAKING HOMEMADE BREAD AS A BEGINNER
YEAST - The most important component to your bread recipe is the yeast. When dealt with correctly, it is the magic ingredient for achieving homemade bread greatness!
- You can kill the yeast if the water is to cool, or too hot. To make sure you get it right, simply measure the temperature of the water with a thermometer. The water for your yeast should be no cooler than 100ºF and no hotter than 115ºF.
- To activate your yeast, add honey to the warm water and stir in the dried yeast until it is dissolved (sugar will work just fine, but the honey adds a rich flavor to your finished bread). The honey is what the yeast eat, which will make the yeast "burp" out gasses that help the bread to rise and gain super good texture later in the process.
- Yeast will "bloom" when it becomes active. This will look like a thick tan and foamy beer head sitting on top of the water. This is what great homemade bread hinges upon!
- The best Yeast for beginners to use is Fleischmann's RAPID RISE Yeast, which is cheap and consistent. It works faster, and with more consistency than other yeast's; it does require more food (honey/sugar) because of its fast-working metabolism. This is a highly active and all natural yeast. It blooms very nicely and in about 10 minutes. I add around 3 Tablespoons of honey (most recipes of this size call for 1½ teaspoons ) to the warm yeast water—before adding the dry yeast—because this yeast eats-up the sugars much more quickly than others and this will help it to keep working longer. The added amount makes certain the honey flavor can be faintly detected in the background of your finished homemade bread. Don't worry, the bread will not be sweet because of this added honey. (This method is different from what is recommended on the package of yeast, however beginner bread makers will find better results using my method.)
Try adding dried spices and herbs...
WHAT YOU THINK REALLY DOES MATTER!
EASY HOMEMADE BREAD; WHAT GOES IN THE RECIPE?
6 INGREDIENT LIST
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water ( measuring between 100°F to 115°F)
- 3 Tablespoons of honey
- 2¼ to 2½ cups of All Purpose Flour (use the least amount to start with)
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
ADD EXTRA SEASONINGS AND OTHER TASTY FLAVORS
When adding the extra seasonings and flavor ingredients, you will add them into the AP flour at the same time you add the salt, mix the ingredients together very well.
To finish your homemade bread with a flare; beat a whole egg until it lightens in color. Using a pastry brush paint the beaten egg onto the top of the bread dough just before you put it into the oven to bake. It is at this time you would sprinkle sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, or any other tasty topping choice onto the uncooked, egg washed bread loaf.
Note: Making a little "tent" out of parchment paper or foil to place on top of the loaf as it bakes for the first 9 minutes will help to prevent your homemade bread loaf from becoming too dark or scorched during baking. Just be sure to remove the tent after 9 or 10 minutes so the loaf can develop a tasty dark outer crust.
Food for Beginners and Experienced Cooks
- Beef Cuts and How to Cook Them
- BBQ Grilled Italian Style Polenta
- How to Buy Fresh Fish. Signs of Freshness
- 6 Essential Spices for BBQ Grilling
- How do you caramelize an onion? by Marye Audet
- Beef-Stuffed Pastry Triangles Recipe
Garlic Basil Bread
Good with Italian red sauces, red meats, salad, or just on its own with a little Parmesan cheese
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon dried Basil
- ¼ tablespoon onion powder
Dill Tarragon Bread
Good with tuna salad, green salad, vegetable greens, or fish dishes
- 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sesame Seed Onion Bread
Good with rice, beans, salad, or Asian foods
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- With this bread, substitute sesame oil for the olive oil throughout the recipe
- After applying egg wash, sprinkle sesame seeds and dried minced onion on the top of the unbaked bread before baking
HOMEMADE BREAD FOR BEGINNERS; NOW LET'S MAKE SOME BREAD
Getting Your Hands Into the Mix
- Put warm water in a cup, add the honey and stir to dissolve. Measure the temperature to make sure it is between 100°F to 110°F; add yeast and stir it to get each granule moist, about 10 seconds. Set aside to bloom for about 10 minutes.
- Combine 2¼ cups of All Purpose (AP) flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir to blend the salt evenly into the flour. This is when you add any seasonings or herbs and blend.
- Once the yeast has a good bloom, add it to the flour and salt mixture, then pour the olive oil right on top of it. mix together using a wooden spoon until a stiff rough dough ball is formed.
- Turn-out the rough dough ball onto a clean floured work surface. (Sprinkle a little at a time, up to ¼ cup, of flour on the surface of the dough ball to prevent it from sticking to your hands and surface as you knead the bread dough.) Knead the dough for no less than 8 minutes—you are looking for a smooth elastic dough ball. **See below to learn how to knead bread dough**
- Rub olive oil on the inside surface of the large bowl and place the bread dough back into the bowl. Coat the bread dough with the oil thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. It should double in size. If it has not risen enough, give it another 15 minutes in the same warm place.
- Turn out the fluffy dough onto the floured work surface again and gently and evenly punch down the fluffiness with your fingertips. You want to achieve a flatter even thickness.
- Shape the dough to fit into a regular loaf pan and then place it in to the pan. Cover with the towel and set in a warm place to rise again for about 15 - 20 minutes. (Preheat oven to 400ºF)
- Remove the towel and place bread into the oven and cook for 14 - 19 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean. Allow to rest on a rack for 10 minutes and enjoy!
**How to Knead Bread Dough For Beginners**
Kneading your homemade bread dough takes a little technique, but it is a pretty easy process once you get the hang of it. The goal when kneading bread dough is to inspire the gluten (protein within the flour) to form trellis-like strands which give the bread structure, texture, and help it to interact well with the yeast; making your homemade bread rise beautifully. Without this structure your bread won't be light, ending up far too dense to really enjoy. It's all about the bubbles!
The video below provides you will a very good visual and verbal lesson on how to knead bread dough. The video is only a little over 2 minutes in length, yet offers you superb techniques and advice that will have you creating gluten strands in no time!
"Happy Bread Making!"
Easy to follow how to knead Homemade Bread dough youtube video
Comments for Homemade bread guide for beginners....
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on January 23, 2013:
I would love to try the garlic basil bread. I could smell the bread right now by just reading this hub. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful;-)
Matthew Kirk on March 04, 2012:
I see in many American Hubs that Strong Bread Flour is rarely if ever used. Why is this? Pictures often seem to show dense and heavy bread. Your is the best so far though! :)
Check out my own! Not long finished it.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on January 12, 2012:
Thankyou for this great recipe..I am bookmarking this..debbie
Jason Menayan from San Francisco on March 19, 2011:
As usual, I learn a TON from your Hubs, K9KS! This was a truly fascinating, informative treatment on breadmaking. Now, of course, my mouth is watering and my stomach is rumbling...time for brunch!
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 09, 2011:
Hi Pam my good buddy, I thoght I read this, and must have forgot to make a comment. We should all learn how to make bread, it's going to be too expensive to buy it, we all need a cow and some wheat grow, not a lawn of grass, right? Love this hub, thank you my dear friend, I rate this up up love & peace darski
Mike on March 05, 2011:
Well, I do love to cook things, but have tried making bread in the past and did a lousy job of it. It sounds delicious, might have my wife make it for me, so might b=have better luck. Thanks for the receipe.
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 05, 2011:
What a great hub, I sent your link to my daughter,sister a some of my friends, thank you for this, I hope you find time to visit my hubs..love & peace darski
Gustave Kilthau from USA on March 05, 2011:
K9K - Thanks for the very helpful article. Just out of curiosity I believe that we will try some extra kneading of the doubh ball made by our bread making machine. Might lighten the bread somewhat.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 05, 2011:
I haven't made read in a long time except using a bread machine once in a while that's not nearly as good. Your mouth watering recipes make me want go to the kitchen and get started. Voted/rated up.
India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 04, 2011:
Just Ask Susan~You know the stand mixers do a pretty good job of getting the gluten to do its job. I really like this idea. I hope you find the seasoned breads a delightful treat! Thank you for the support, it is appreciated very much.
Fiddleman~ Thank you for the comments, I am grateful for your time. You know,...you could surprise your wife by making her some homemade bread; that might just end with a treat for you both!
lilibees~Thank you for making it by to drop off your comments, very nice. Maybe you just haven't found the right recipe for homemade bread until now!? ;)
I really appreciate your time.
Ciao for now!
lilibees on March 04, 2011:
Great hub with some wonderful information. I love homemade bread, but I am a complete mess in doing so, never turns out like I want!
Fiddleman on March 04, 2011:
Great hub and it has been a long time since my wife made home made bread.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 04, 2011:
Excellent hub K9. I am spoiled though when it comes to making bread. I use a Cuisinart stand mixer. I never did think of adding the spices that you have mentioned though and now plan to especially the garlic basil yum!