Bread Baking in Steps (Your First Bread)

  1. Wash hands;
  2. Bring water to a boil (about ½ cup);
  3. Put about a teaspoon of butter in breadpan (use table knife);
    Reviving Dry Yeast and Proofing: The dry yeast has to rehydrate and we check its functioning
  1. Rinse cup, put in ½ teaspoon of sugar;
  2. Pour about 8 fl. oz. (235 ml) cold tap water in measuring cup;
  3. Add boiling water to the 12 oz (350 ml) mark, stir with small metal spoon to mix;
  4. Pour about 3½ oz (100 ml) of the warm water in the small cup, leaving 8½ oz (250 ml), stir to dissolve sugar;
  5. Measure water temperature, it should be about 100°F (37°C, body temp), not over 105°F (40°C)
    - or test with a drop on your wrist like a baby bottle;
    (the proportions hot and cold of course depend on how cold your tap water is - adjust to your situation)
  6. Sprinkle 1 packet (1 TBsp) yeast over water in cup while stirring slowly (don't spill);
  7. Leave yeast alone for 5-10 minutes;
    Mixing Dough
  1. Put 2 cups of wholewheat flour in large bowl, push flour to the sides to make a well (hole) in the middle;
  2. Put 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in the well;
  3. Add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil;
  4. Put in remaining 250 ml of warm water (rinse measuring spoon with it) and mix with wooden spoon;

Ingredients and Tools

  • 2 cups wholewheat flour (I prefer King Arthur's Traditional)
  • 2 cups white flour (Gold Medal Better-for-Bread)
    (if you don't have wholewheat flour, use 4½ cups white flour)
  • 1 packet (1 TBsp) dry yeast
  • 1 TBsp + ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 TBsp olive oil

  • small bowl for dissolving & proofing yeast (1-cup)
  • small spoon for stirring
  • medium (2-cup) measuring cup for water
  • large bowl for kneading
  • 1-cup, 1 TBsp, 1tsp measuring spoons
  • wooden spoon
  • cake rack to let baked bread cool

  • surface for kneading: a clean cutting board or countertop (except tiles);
    use a damp towel if your cutting board doesn't have feet
    Kneading Dough, First Rising:
    The gluten in wheat will form elastic strings or sheets that will trap the carbondioxide gas produced by the yeast
  1. Check your yeast: it should be foaming, bubbling;
  2. Pour yeast over dough and mix with wooden spoon;
  3. Add 2 cups of white flour, mix by hand;
  4. Take dough out of bowl and put it on kneading surface, knead for one to two minutes, then let it rest for five to ten minutes;
  5. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes; add a little flour if it still sticks to your hands, a little water if the dough is too stiff; at first squeeze dough between fingers and upper hand while pushing down with lower hand (use your body weight), rotate dough a quarter-turn each push down; about halfway start flattening dough and folding over, in the last minute just squeeze and push again;
  6. Put kneaded dough back in large bowl, cover with plate or damp dishtowel, leave alone for an hour or so in a warm place;
    Punching Down Dough, Second rising:
  1. Spread butter in bread pan to a thin film and dust lightly with white flour
  2. Bring oven to about 100°F (body temp) by turning it on for 1½ minute
  3. Punch down risen dough, knead lightly, don't rip
  4. Form dough into a 6" or 8" square by hand, roll up tightly, push in ends;
  5. Put dough roll seam down in bread pan;
  6. Put bread pan in oven for an hour or longer; (in winter, shortly preheat oven)
  1. When the dough has again about doubled in volume, set oven to 425°F (225°C) and bake for 20-25 minutes;
  2. Carefully take bread out of oven, slide it out of the bread pan on to a cooling rack;
  3. Knock on bread, it should sound hollow, not muffled; internal temperature should be 180-205°F;
  4. Allow it to cool down for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Note: If you have a metal container like an old cake pan, you could put it in the oven and fill it with boiling water for the second rising, empty and refill with boiling water for the baking, or use an old all-metal pan.

See also: