Bread is a staple for many households, and mine is no exception. Even when I’m eating low-carb, bread still gets made for the rest of my family to enjoy.
With that in mind, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I’ve perfected several varieties of bread and bread dough, which I use to great extent in my home. I’ve shared some of my favourites below (white, whole wheat and multigrain), all of which use the same steps, just with different ratios of ingredients.
Now, as much as my family loves fresh-baked bread, it’s hard to find 2-4 hours at the end of a work-day to bake it. Between supper, out-of-house activities and early bedtimes, this is usually a weekend recipe for us. I have managed to pull of a couple of mid-week loaves, but I had to stay up until 11:30 to do it. Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!
As for the recipe, the flour measurements I used are in weights because I started with bakers ratios, which are based on flour-to-water weights.
Back in the day, I picked up a cheap ($10) 2kg plastic weight scale and it’s served me well for more than 5 years. If you don’t have a kitchen scale (I highly recommend one), you can approximate the weight as 125 g per cup (so about 4 cups for this 500g recipe).
If you use cups instead of weights, you may need to adjust the amount of water. Make sure to note your differences, so you can make it again.
However you weigh it, the end result should be the same golden-brown deliciousness that is home-cooked bread!
Homemade Bread and Bread Dough Recipe
This recipe takes 2-4 hours start to finish and yeilds 2x400g loaves.
- 500 grams flour plus extra for dusting
- 500 g white flour for white bread.
- 400 g whole wheat flour and 100 g white flour for whole wheat bread.
- 400 g multigrain flour and 100 g white flour for multigrain bread. Omit 1/4 cup water for this recipe.
- 1+1/2 cups warm water
- 2+1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 8-gram pack)
- 1 teaspoon + 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon oil or butter
- 2 Tablespoons skim milk powder (optional)
- Mixing bowl and wooden spoon (or stand mixer)
- Large flat surface for kneading the dough
- bread pan, roll pan, or baking sheet (depending on whether you want loaves, rolls, or frozen dough)
Directions – Dough only
Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 cup hot tap water. Set aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. It should be foaming after a few minutes.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, remaining sugar, salt and skim milk powder into a mixing bowl. Stir it together so the dry ingredients are mixed evenly.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the liquid ingredients – the yeast mixture, oil and 1 cup of hot tap water.
Mix until there are no dry spots. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too dry.
Knead for 10 minutes.
Set aside for about an hour in a bowl covered with a damp tea-towel. It should be about double in size after an hour.
Knead the dough again for just long enough to work out any air bubbles.
At this point, you’ll have dough that you can form into bread, or you can freeze it for later use.
Directions – Bread
Grease two medium sized bread pans.
Separate the dough into a manageable size. I find 4 balls for 2 loaves (2 dough balls for each loaf) is a good size.
Fit the dough into the bread pans and cover with a damp tea-towel. Let rise for about an hour or two until double in size.
Preheat the oven to 400F and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350F and bake another 30-40 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Loaves should be dark golden brown.