Friday, February 8, 2013

Homemade Bread and Other Doughs

In the past few years, I have had fun experimenting with bread-making.  Like many other homemade foods (salsa, pasta, granola), making bread from scratch is a lot easier than you'd think.

For one reason, bread can be made with just four ingredients:
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Yeast
  • Salt

Sometimes the flavor is enhanced with the addition of another one or two ingredients--olive oil and sugar--but these are also pantry staples, so it doesn't complicate the recipe much.

Second of all, though a Kitchenaid with a dough hook removes much of the time and hands-on work, old-fashioned mixing and kneading is not challenging and produces the same result.

And finally, bread dough--at least the way I make it--is very forgiving.  Years ago I came across the recipe I still use today, and which I have posted about before, here.

The reason I gave it a try was the relaxed nature to the instructions: "Let is rise for an hour or up to four the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks, and just pull off portions of the dough to bake as you please."

That's what pushed me to try homemade bread the first time, and since my (delicious) first French Boule, I've followed suggestions to adapt the dough to make:
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Garlic breadsticks
  • Cinnamon-sugar knots
  • Herb bread
  • Pizza dough
  • Focaccia bread
  • Pretzel bites
  • Homemade pasta (no yeast required, egg instead)

Check back tomorrow for the focaccia bread that was a hit in our house recently!


  1. Do you know of any way to make similar breads without a stand mixer?

    1. Yes! You can do the mixing in a big mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, and then kneed it by hand. I can explain via facetime sometime soon. Or we can make it a VDP theme!
      It's not hard...sorta like making pasta, actually. I might have already posted about homemade pasta? If not, I can post soon.


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