You can classify this under the DUH file, but there is nothing better than bread. Break me off any piece of sourdough, tuscan, focaccia, whole wheat, or pumpernickel and I will be your best friend. Dipped in olive oil, smothered with hummus, or submerged in saucy meatballs, there’s no wrong way to consume it. And, do you know the best type? Fresh homemade bread. Let me introduce to you the best homemade bread recipe. Your friends and family will be so impressed!
I always thought you needed a culinary school degree from Paris or would have to be a direct descendant of Julia Child to make bread at home.
I used to think making bread at home was impossible. I always thought you needed a culinary school degree from Paris or you’d have to be a direct descendant of Julia Child to make bread at home. It turns out, neither is true. All you need is a bit of patience to let the dough rise and basic ingredients you likely have in your kitchen cabinet.
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How to make homemade bread
As easy as this bread recipe is, the hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise. If you plan on making this for dinner, I suggest starting the bread at least 3 hours in advance. This way, by the time you serve it, it comes out warm and soft.
One key step in making this recipe is how you shape the bread the first time it rises (step 9). Your goal here is to shape it into a ball without flattening or letting any of the air out. Grab each corner of your dough and fold it in the center. After you do this on four sides, place it into your mixing bowl upside down for 30 minutes.
Before you know it, you’ll have this beautiful warm, soft, crusty loaf of bread to impress all your friends with.
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- 1 tsp of dry active yeast
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.25 cups warm water
- Combine sugar, dry active yeast, and warm water in the bowl of a stand alone mixer and let the yeast sit for about 5 minutes while it foams up. (If you don’t have a mixer – which I highly recommend you get one – you can use a large mixing bowl and mix ingredients lightly with a spoon)
- Add your kosher salt.
- Put your mixer on low, with your dough hook, and slowly add your flour until it’s mixed well with the yeast. (If you are using your hands, just mix together until the dough is smooth.)
- Turn off mixer and sprinkle flour on the dough to keep it from sticking to the bowl (do not mix).
- Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and set aside.
- Take a clean, damp kitchen towel, cover your bowl and let sit for 1 hour.
- After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size, if not, let it sit for a little longer.
- Once your dough has doubled in size, gently place it on your floured cutting board. (Tip: you want the dough as airy as possible, so do be gentle with the dough and don’t do anything to flatten it.)
- Now, this is where we shape it. You basically want to shape it into a ball so take each side and pull it up towards the middle. Keep doing this until you get it round.
- Grab another mixing bowl, flour it, and place the rounded dough upside down. Grab your towel again and cover it for another 30 minutes.
- While your dough continues to rise, pre-heat your oven to 460F and place your dutch oven inside (lid on) so it gets really hot – around 30 minutes.
- Once the 30-minutes is up, carefully take out the dutch oven, place the dough inside (right side up!) of your pre-heated dutch oven, sprinkle some flour on top, and place the dutch oven (lid on!) back into your oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove dutch oven from oven and take off the lid.
- Place back in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes – or until the outside is brown and flaky.
- Let the bread sit for 15 minutes before cutting open. It will still continue to cook.
You want to make sure that your starter yeast is fresh. If it's old and stale, your dough won't rise as much.
Make sure you let the dough rise in a dry space that's not too cold. If your house is cold, place the dough in your oven that's off. Place a boiling hot bowl of water on the bottom of the oven and place dough inside to rise. Do not turn the oven on and close the door.