Bread Making 102 - The Steps in Making Yeast Bread
and once you are hooked by the miracle of yeast,
you'll be a breadmaker for life.
James Bread, from Beard on Bread 1980
In the first article of this series, I wrote about the history of bread making. I also included some great reasons for making bread. This article will show how simple it is to make a loaf of bread. Remember, yeast bread making is easy to do. It is just a little time consuming. But, oh what a wonderful way to spend your time creating a warm, fragrant loaf of bread.
The below steps are a general way in which to make yeast bread. When making your bread, follow the specifics of the recipe, not just these steps.
With a wire whisk, mix sugar, salt, rapid yeast and some flour.
In a saucepan, bring liquids and butter to 120 to 130 degrees F. or until small bubbles form around edge of pan.
Gradually, add warm liquid mixture to flour mixture. Combine with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium.
With a wooden spoon, gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough. (Be careful not to over add flour.)
On lightly floured bread board, knead dough until smooth and elastic. About 8 to 10 minutes.
Cover dough with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. (If using Active Dry yeast, at this point, the dough is placed in a greased bowl. Turn over to grease entire dough ball. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or so in a warm and draft-free place.)
Divide dough according to recipe directions. If shaping into a loaf, roll out dough into rectangle. Starting at short end, roll tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends. Place in pan seam side down. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap.
Let dough rise in pan(s) for an hour in a warm, draft-free place.
Bake dough for required amount of time.
Remove from pan to wire rack. If loaf unseeded, brush with melted butter. Cool slightly before cutting.
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