Sunday, 7 June 2015

Basic Bread Dough

I really enjoy the process of breadmaking and the lovely aroma of freshly baked bread that fills the house. This is my staple bread recipe, it makes a good loaf, rolls and pizza base and is the one that I use when I don't have time to make sour dough. It is quick, versatile and can be made with all plain white flour. I like the dough to be on the softer side as this will create a lighter loaf when baked. If you have a mixer that has a dough hook use it to mix and knead the bread dough.  If kneading by hand take a firm approach, you want a smooth and elastic dough. Kneading develops the gluten in the dough which is important for the structure of the finished loaf.

Proving bread can be achieved more quickly by standing the bowl containing the dough in a sink of hot water or another large bowl. Here it is in a pyrex jug so that you can see how the dough will double in size.

For a decorative surface slash the loaf with a sharp knife or blade.

If I want a nice round loaf I often do the second proving by placing a greased bowl over the dough, this keeps it warmer, stops the surface from drying out and helps it hold the shape.

As the dough proves the slashes spread to create a decorative top. Use bread glaze to hold the sesame or poppy seeds onto the loaf.

These rolls have been cut with scissors.

Basic Bread Dough

2 cups flour
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried yeast
Optional - ½ cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups warm water

Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and powdered milk if using in a large bowl.

Pour in oil and most of the water and mix thoroughly. The dough should be moist and soft but not sticky.  If necessary add the remaining liquid / extra water until a soft dough is formed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or bench top and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. (approximately a minute or so - I counted 80 kneads) Return dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic film or enclose in a large plastic bag and leave to prove until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto board or bench and “knock back” to original size.  Knead again (40 kneads), and then use to make a loaf of bread, rolls or as pizza bases.

Shape loaf or rolls and allow the dough to prove again.

If making a loaf or rolls; glaze with bread glaze and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake the bread in a hot oven (200 0) until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

Bread Glaze
1 egg
1 tablepoon water

Lightly whisk egg and water together in small bowl.


  1. Hi Kerrie. Tried your Basic Bread Dough, yum. The proving worked well, more than double in size as it was a warm day. I only had caster sugar, so it turned out very sweet. I have never had my dough prove so well as this - yes I use dry yeast which is how I found your site.
    Great recipe, thanks.

    1. Hi Doug,
      Reduce the sugar and allow more time for the dough to prove. Happy baking.