Hi Guys! How are you all doing? I hope you are all doing fine wherever you are. I had been staying home most of the time, I guess all of us are. This is definitely a tough time for everybody, while we all do not want to be lock up at home, it is the best for now. My first few days of staying home had been a challenge, and to keep my self busy, I had been doing small personal projects at home to entertain myself. I had been baking mostly the staples more than my usual baking. This means baking bread at least 1 a week as my supply. Instead of going out to buy bread, I make my own bread at home Baking homemade bread helped me feel relax, and for some reason it never failed to make me feel good. Smelling the yeast activating, seeing the dough rise at it proof, and smelling the freshly baked bread in my kitchen makes me feel good, and even better when I started eating it fresh and warm from the oven.
I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite homemade bread so that you can make it at your home too. If before you do not have time to make your own bread because of time restriction, this time is a good oppurtunity to start making your own homemade bread. Regardless if you decide to make a no yeast bread that is ready in an hour, or a yeast bread that takes 2-3 hours or even artisan bread that takes 18 -24 hours, this activity will make you feel good. Not only that you are learning new things (in case you haven’t tried making homemade made), but you can also stop worrying of running out of bread at home. Here are 10 of my favorite homemade bread all with video to encourage you to make it. I have more in my website so feel free to stop by and search under Recipe>Breads. Ok, let’s get started and let me show you these homemade breads, plus tips and tricks on making homemade bread at home.
Before we jump into the recipes, let us take few minutes to understand yeast since a lot of these recipes are yeast bread. I have also listed tips and tricks that will help you be successful in making your homemade bread. read on.
Active Yeast vs. Instant Yeast
Because yeast plays a very important role is making this soft and fluffy bread, let’s take few minutes to understand it. What it is, what are the common types of yeast, the difference among the yeast, and what role the yeast do in bread. I normally encounter 2 types of yeast in most recipes, and in the grocery so I decided to focus on this two types of yeast, although there is a 3rd type “Fresh Yeast” but I never used it.
Types of Yeast
- Active Dry Yeast – This and the Instant Yeast are what I used in most of my bread. In terms of appearance and texture, this kind of yeast are coarser and have bigger granules. It requires to be dissolved in warm water with sugar to activate it. It normally takes 5-10 minutes to do this, and you will now that it’s been “awaken” when bubbles starts to form in the surface of the water, and you would be able to smell it too. This last longer in terms of shelf life and should be kept in a cool dry place. I kept mine in the refrigerator.
- Fast Acting or Instant Yeast – In terms of appearance, this kind of yeast have a finer granules as compared to active dry yeast. This does not require to be dissolved in warm water and sugar. This can be mixed directly with the dry ingredients such as flour, just make sure to keep it away from salt when you mix it as salt can kill the yeast when they touch directly with each other. I normally mix the flour, salt and leavener then I add the instant yeast last. This should also be kept in cool and dry place. You basically save 10 minutes of time when you use instant active yeast as you skip the activation process.
You can interchange active yeast and instant yeast in the recipe, I sometimes do this when I have the other and the recipe calls for the other. You just have to be mindful of the measurement. For dry active yeast you generally need to use half the quantity of fresh yeast stated in the recipe and for instant yeast you need to use 1/4 of the quantity of fresh yeast. The fresh yeast has higher measurement, followed by active yeast, then instant yeast. Let’s say the recipe calls for 30g (1 ounce) of fresh yeast, you can substitute it with 15g (.5 ounce) active dry yeast, or 7g(.25 ounce) instant yeast. Just don’t forget the when you substitute instant yeast with dry active yeast, you have to dissolve it first in warm water to activated it. Do not just mix it along with other dry ingredients unless specified in the recipe.
So, now that’s the basic of yeast. Let’s have a look at some very important tips that we should bear in mind in making yeast bread.
4 Ways To Make the Bread Dough
Whether you have a stand mixer or not, you can still make homemade bread at home. Althouh quite a lot of times, to save time we use stand mixer to make the dough this doesn’t mean that you cannot make it without one. All the dough that an be done using a stand mixer or bread machine can be done manually. Of course it will take more time, arm exercise and most especially patience. So do not limit yourself not to make homemade bread because you do not have a mixer. Instead of limiting yourself, challenge yourself. If you already own a mixer, then what are you waiting for? Let us make some homemade bread now.
- Stand Mixer – This is what I always use when I make this dough. It’s the fastest and easiest method and less manual handling. This is the step outlined below in the instruction.
- Hand Mixer – It’s doable but I never used it because I don’t have a dough attachment. Just for the sake of demonstrations , I used hand mixer in the video as this is what most people will have. Important point to remember, use DOUGH attachment, a regular hook attachment will not work as it will be jammed with dough. Also, it’s going to be too heavy for the hook attachment to mix the dough.
- Manually – If you don’t have any electronic baking equipment for making the dough, you can do it manually. Simply follow the same instructions, do the mixing in a large bowl and transfer in counter top and knead manually. It will take a lot of arm exercise, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it.
- Bread Machine – If you happen to have one, use the dough setting. Add all the wet ingredients first, followed by all dry ingredients. Remove the dough after the 3rd rise and shape and fill then bake in the oven. Do not forget to remove the dough otherwise it will continue into the bake stage.
Tips for a Successful Soft Homemade Bread
- Liquid Temperature – Yeast grows in temperature between 105 – 110F, so its important to have the water that you are using to “proof” it in this range. If you go lower or higher, the yeast might not proof properly. That means the bread will not rise as much, resulting to a flat and tough bread.
- Check Yeast Expiry a Date – you might be wondering how come the bread did not rise when you followed exactly the recipe. Well, first thing first, make sure the yeast is not yet expired. Expired yeast is the common reason for flat and dense bread. If your bread did not expand or rise during the rest period, it is most likely that the yeast is not fresh or the water temperature is too hot or cold.
- Amount of Yeast – Just because you want a tall bread doesn’t mean you have to put as much yeast in the mixture. Sometimes adding too much yeast can cause the bread to collapse during the rest period. Just imagine putting more air than what is needed in a balloon, the balloon will explode. The same case with bread.
- Right Type of Yeast – We’ve discussed the 3 types of yeast above. Make sure to use the right one for your recipe, and make necessary adjustments if you want to swap one from another.
- Rest Period – Yeast bread needs time to rise. There are bread that uses less yeast but requires more rest time, the likes of No Knead Bread or Artisan Bread which usually require 8- 16 hours rest period to get the volume and to develop the flavor. There are 1 hour bread like my Rosemary Dinner Rolls which used this same bread dough. The point is, give it time to rest, don’t touch it just leave it in a warm place. The first rest period will normally tell you if your dough is good or not. If it rise and almost double in size, then your on the right track.
- Expiration and Quality of the Flour – The quality of the flour greatly affect the texture of the bread. All-purpose flour could differ from country to country although they are all called as all-purpose flour. Sometimes it depends on the brand too. The closer the flour to expiration date or if it is already expired, the flour could tend to be drier, which means it would require more liquid than mentioned in the recipe. This is a common issue of way sometimes the dough tend to be tough and dry. This is why sometimes you have to add few more tablespoon from the suggested flour measurement to get the right texture. The dough should be soft, smooth and elastic. If it is too wet, add a bit more flour until it is no longer to sticky to handle. If it is too dry, a small amount of liquid helps provide moisture to the dough. A clean side of the bowl, with the dough slightly sticking at the bottom, a soft, smooth and elastic dough is what You are aiming for.
These are the 6 common points that I remind myself when making homemade bread. Bear this in mind and you’ll sure to have a nice soft homemade bread.
Why is My Dough too Wet or Too Dry?
Don’t get frustrated if your dough did not turn out immediately as what you see in the photo or video. Most likely It is not because you did not follow the recipe. When it comes to bread making, the amount of flour and liquid is not always 100% precise. This is way often times you will encounter recipes that says, if your dough is dry, add a bit more liquid. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour. This instructions are not meant to confuse you, they are meant to guide you on how to adjust as you work through your dough. The reason for this is that although the measurement of water and flour are specified in the recipe, it still could slightly vary depending on many factors. For instance, all-purpose flour could very from country to country, or even from brand to brand. Don’t be surprise if you find that some brand tends to require a bit more liquid as the others. On top of this, the amount of liquid is also affected by the state of your flour. How old is the flour that you are using? Older flour nearing expiry tends to be drier and this requires more liquid. Then there is humidity, the more humid it is, the more likely the dough will be sticky than usual. Bread making requires patience, and practice. Once you learn how to feel the right texture of the dough, everything will be quick and easy. You can instantly tell if you need to add more water or flour o get the dough in right state.
How Do I Know if I Made the Yeast Bread Dough Correctly?
This is not written on the stone, but so far this is how I check if I am on the right track when making yeast dough.
- Activating the Yeast – This is the first thing that you should get right, otherwise do NOT proceed. After 5 – 10 minutes you should see a foam forms on top of the water, this is an indication that the yeast is alive. If you do not get this, either the yeast is old or the liquid temperature is too hot or cold. The temperature should be 100F, lukewarm but not hot.
- Clean Bowl After Kneading – The sides of the bowl should be clean, while the bottom is slightly sticking to the dough. This means that amount of liquid to the flour is correct. Enough to make a clean bowl and still make a slightly wet dough.
- Soft Dough – Soft dough means the amount of flour to liquid is enough. Too much flour could make the bread dense and heavy, and too much liquid could make it too wet. Both will affect how the bread rise in the rest period. Try to push your fingers in the dough, it should leave a “dimple” on the dough and should gradually disappear.
- Smooth Dough Surface – Again, this is a sign of correct flour to liquid ratio. A “bumpy” surface could mean that the dough is dry and tough.
- Elastic Dough – A soft dough is usually elastic. If your dough is dry and tough, it wouldn’t be as elastic when you pull it apart.
- First Rest Period – The dough should almost double in size. This is a sign that the activation of the yeast work which is crucial to making a soft and fluffy bread. This also means the yeast is alive (not yet expired) and the liquid temperature is correct. I always use baking thermometer to check the temperature of the liquid.
- Second Rest Period – The bread dough should be really puff up and should fill in the gaps between each bread. This is crucial and the final state of the bread before baking. If you are able to make it puff-up, that is a good sign that there are air trapped inside which will make the bread fluffy.
Now that we have a background about Yeast and tips for, bread making, let’s check 10 recipes that you can put this tips and tricks to practice.Watch, learn and put it to practice.
This All Around Bread Dough is so versatile you can use it for sweet and savory bread variation. It’s simple and easy, this will totally change the way you look at homemade bread. This recipe comes with small and big measurement so whether you are baking for 2 for a large group, you can rely on this recipe.
This sweet spiced Hot Cross Buns are mostly popular during the Lenten season, but can also be made any day of the year. My variation is Orange Hot Cross Buns. Soft, with slight sweetness and nice subtle blend of spices and a nice citrus Orange flavor. This bread is worth every minute of the wait and effort.
Looking for way to flavor your dinner rolls with herbs? Try this Rosemary Dinner Rolls. Soft, fluffy and it does not require a lot of rest time. You can have this bread in about 1 – 1 1/2 hour, that fast. Fresh dinner rolls on the table from scracth.
Italian Herbed Jalapeno and Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
This Italian Herbed Jalapeño & Cream Cheese Pull Apart is over the top delicious in every level. It was filled with 3 types of cheese plus bits and pieces of fresh Jalapeno peppers and assortment of herbs and spices that made it so flavorful and tasty
This Homemade Dinner Roll is the best thing that could happen in your dinner table. Soft, fluffy and can be eaten on its own without even any spread. A perfect portion for sharing for two so nothing goes to waste. This dinner roll uses a very simple bread dough recipe that you can easily tweak to make different variations. Add some grated cheese, chopped jalapeno, stuff it with meat or even use it to make sweet rolls. Simple bread dough and yet versatile. Check it out.
Simplified Not So Traditional Bagel
This simplified version of Homemade Bagel skips the process of using baking soda solution. Don’t worry, this Bagel taste great even without submerging it in baking soda water. The texture of the Bagel is slightly dense and chewy, but at the same time soft. It is amazing, and easier to make. Almost like a Bagel, but maybe not quite but still I am calling it my simplied Homemade Bagel.
No need to cancel pizza night with your family. Here I have a simple and easy Pizza Dough recipe that could feed your hungry family. Make it in singles and freeze it, or make a double or large size pizza. The decision is in your hands, make it happen. Pizza time!
Homemade soft and fluffy Sesame Burger Buns made possible with this simple recipe. Conquer your fear of homemade yeast bread, with this recipe you can totally have a burger bun that is a LOT better than store-bought. In this recipe, I will walk you through the process, plus checkpoint items for you to know if have what is expected in each crucial steps. Watch the video and see how I made it.
This recipe is the simplest and easiest way to make Empanada Dough from scratch. The dough is light and flaky, the steps are simple and the ingredients are basic.
Layers of sweet bread dough filled with sinfully delicious Nutella spread then twisted and shape into this adorable star shape, sound difficult but it’s not. Bring smile to the face of your family and challenge yourself to something really delicious and rewarding and make this Nutella Starbread.
If you’re tempted to skip reading this because you think homemade bread are tedious and difficult, well that’s not always true, at least not for this dinner rolls. This Italian Herbed Dinner Roll is a yeast bread, but it is a simple and easy yeast bread to start with. Don’t be scared, you can do it.
There you go! 10 homemade bread recipes to keep you busy at home. Let me know which one you like.
I have more bread recipes HERE, check it out!
My Latest Video
These homemade bread recipes are the good start to learn homemade bread making, and once you got the idea and the feel for the dough, there are endless variations that you can make in your home. Here are more homemade bread recipes that you can practice on. MORE BREAD RECIPES
More Bread Recipes
- [VIDEO] All Around Bread Dough: One Bread Dough, Unlimited Variations
- Small Batch Dinner Rolls for Two (Makes 4)
- Homemade White Bread Loaf
- Jalapeno Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
- [VIDEO] All Around Bread Dough: Nutella Star Bread (Plus Bonus Twist Bread)
- Egg FREE All Around Bread Dough: Braided Purple Yam Loaf Bread
- Small Batch Apple Cinnamon Roll (Makes 4), BEST Ever!
- Small Batch Honey Pumpkin Bread (Makes 6)
- Small Batch Simplified Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bagel, Quick and Easy!
- Small Batch Hot Cross Buns
- Everything Bagel
- Pumpkin Irish Soda Bread
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