Welcome to the world of Homemade Bread! Basic Steps Involved In How To Make Bread at home, will take you on a short yet crisp tour into the amazing world of baking bread.

Once you understand these basic steps then making bread is just a matter of practice. You do not need any recipe to make bread (except in the initial stages) and it will easily come to you on its own just like you started making chapatis.

Remember, bread making is an art. You master this art, like any other art, only with practice. But for practice, you need to undergo theory lessons first. 

 

 

Must Read: All about Yeast

 

Basic Steps in Bread Making

Homemade bread is addictive. Its taste, its aroma is simply intoxicating. Once you taste the freshly baked homemade bread, you will never have the store-bought one.

How to bake bread at home involves a series of steps. Initially, it may seem somewhat confusing but after 2-3 bakes only you will get into it.

 

Trust me, the more you will bake the better it will get. You will see that each subsequent loaf is better than the previous one. And it is so simple that after a few bakes only you will start doing it your way.

 

Making bread at home is simple! There are only 4 ingredients to make bread- flour, yeast, water and sugar but… it requires lots n lots n lots of practice. Perfection will come with practice only. Just like swimming or driving or making perfect round chapati. The more you do the better it becomes. Go thoroughly through your lessons, understand the steps involved, learn to read your bread dough through your eyes also rather than just going by time, follow the recipe and very soon you will start making bread, your way….no recipe, no clock, no measurements

So, before we proceed, ease out yourself, grab a cup of hot coffee and join me in this journey. There is no recipe in this post, all it wants is your attention. Go through this post in a relaxed manner, if need be read it twice or maybe thrice to get a hang of the topics and terms involved in it.

 

                  Flow Chart of Bread Making Process                                                                                                                                                

Proofing Yeast
↓ 
Kneading Dough

First Proofing/ Rise

Knockdown

Shaping

Second/Final Rise

Milk Wash & Slashing

Baking

Cooling Completely

Slicing

Enjoying Your Homemade Bread With A Broad Smile

 

Now, let us understand each and every term specifically and in detail.

Proofing Yeast

In very simple words, Proofing yeast means activating the yeast. It is done by adding yeast to warm water along with sugar. After 10 to 15 minutes (even longer in cold weather), yeast swells or blooms, and this water becomes frothy and bubbly.

Ensure that the water you are using to proof yeast is warm.

Hot water kills yeast and even in less warm water yeast does not activate. Some people use a thermometer to gauge temperature but everyone doesn’t have it. Even I don’t have it. So to check whether the water is sufficiently warm or not, just dip your finger in it. As long as it feels warm and comfortable to you, it will be warm and comfortable for the yeast too. (Another test is if asked to take bath with it, will it be okay for you?)

 

Why Sugar Is Added For Proofing Yeast?

Basics Of Bread Making

 

Basics Of Bread Making

 

Basics Of read Making

 

 Kneading The Bread Dough

Though nowadays we have no-knead bread also but that depends on the recipe. If the recipe asks for kneading the dough then you have to.

Why do we knead the bread dough?

Well, kneading is essential to strengthen the gluten.

And what is Gluten?

How to knead the bread dough?

Once you mix everything and start kneading, then initially it is very tough. The dough is very heavy and sticks badly to your hands.

 

When you start kneading the dough it is like a wild animal totally out of control. But don’t worry it’s just a matter of a few minutes. You simply keep kneading it, preferably on the kitchen counter as then you can use both your hands. Knead it using the stretch and fold method (like that of washing clothes by hand). You may lightly grease your hands in between. Soon you will be amazed to see your clean hands and also that how easily you can handle the dough the way you want. Now it is like your tamed animal, who will obey your command. Roll this dough in your bowl (with flour stricken all over) and once again you will feel happy to see your clean bowl.

My tip: After mixing everything, cover it and just leave it for 6-7 minutes. As they say, time is a big healer, the same way time plays its role here and the dough becomes manageable. Then I gather it roughly into a ball and just flip it between my hands, from one hand to the other and after 8 to 10 flipping it stops sticking, then I put it on the counter/food processor for kneading.

 

I don’t have a stand mixer but, I sometimes knead it in my food processor using the kneading blade (the one of plastic). Results are beautiful with less labor. So, you may knead it by hand for 15 to 20 minutes or in the food processor for 5 minutes.

Kneading Bread dough

 

Kneading the dough



How Do You Know That The Bread Dough Is Kneaded Enough?

Look for the following indications to check whether or not your dough has been sufficiently kneaded…

Poke Test

 

Poke Test

 

 

Windowpane test

 

Basic Steps Involved In Bread Making

 

 

First Rise

Basic Steps Involved In Bread Making

 

Q) How do you know that the Bread Dough has Risen Enough?

Ripe Test

 

Ripe Test

Q) What happens if the dough is over-proofed?

If the dough is over-proofed, the yeast runs out of readily available food and goes dormant or dies off. When that happens, you don’t get a good rise the second time because the yeast is no longer eating and creating the CO2 that forms the bubbles in the bread.

 

Knockdown

Basic Steps Involved In Bread Making

 

Q) Why do we deflate the dough?

  1. First is that the gluten which developed during kneading gets a chance to relax.
  2. The other reason is to release the alcohol built up during the first proofing. If it is not released then it creates a toxic environment that subsequently kills the yeast.

Basic Steps Involved In Bread Making

 

Final Proofing (Second Rise)

Basic Steps Involved In Bread Making

 

Slashing

 

Baking

 

Brushing Butter and Cooling on Wire Rack

Once out of the tin, brush butter on the top and keep it on a wire rack till it cools down completely. Also, cover it with a damp cloth. Butter gives shine to the bread, the wire rack stops it from getting soggy from the bottom and the damp cloth makes the crust soft which is hard when out of the oven.

 

Slicing Bread

Please…slice it only when the bread is completely cooled down otherwise you will have more crumbs than slices.

 

Enjoy with Smile

Once you go through these steps, then first try Garlic bread or Pizza or Chocolate Braided Bread, as these are the simplest ones and do not require a loaf tin.

Thereafter, as you gain confidence, you are the boss and try making Basic Sandwich Bread or Orange Marmalade Bread or Pizza Rolls or Garlic Rolls.

And, don’t stress about your bread being perfect. Don’t compare your loaf with the one you get in stores or you see in pics. As long as it tastes good, continue baking. One day, your loaf will be better than the ones shown in pics.

There’s no point in baking at home if it doesn’t bring you joy. If a part of the loaf burns, don’t worry. People like the crispy parts. If one part isn’t as firm as the rest, that’s cool. People like the soft parts. The ultimate thing to keep in mind is that if the bread is fresh and warm, people will pick it the second it hits the table.

 

Related Posts:

 

Let’s Connect!

I hope you have found this post on the basics of baking bread useful.  I would love to have your views regarding this.

Thank you for reading this post. If you have liked this recipe then do let me know by leaving a comment below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm. You may share this post with your dear ones by clicking on the little buttons below. You may follow me on  Facebook   Pinterest  Instagram for the latest recipe updates. 

 


Happy Bread Making…

My heartfelt acknowledgments to the following links for the valuable inputs,

27 Responses

  1. I enjoyed reading the recipe for bread making and I must tell you that you are a generous person to include every little detail that would determine the outcome of a perfect bread. Thank you so much. I am really inspired and excited to try my hand at this recipe. I have tried making bread earlier but wasn’t very happy with the result. The tips you shared will definitely come in handy.

    1. Thank you so much dear for your kind words. I am sure you will be able to bake excellent breads. Feel free to contact in case of any doubt/confusion. Happy Bread making…

  2. Very well written considering all stages of bread making.
    Some articles I have read on bread making suggest using room temperature water and not warm water. This is because they suggest a slow rise for enhanced flavor to bread.
    What is your opinion about this?

    1. First of all thanks dear for liking the article.
      Coming to your query, warm water is must for activating yeast. It should be slightly warm wherein you can dip your finger easily for few seconds. It should not be hot. May be in peak summers you can use normal water but I have never used it. The best is that you do an experiment. Take 3 bowls, put equal quantity of yeast and sugar in all 3. Now put normal water in one, warm water in second and hot water in the third bowl and watch it. It will be clear to you.
      For slow activation, we keep the dough in the refrigerator. Like if you keep it in the evening, it will be ready by the morning. Hope it is clear to you now.
      Feel free to ask in case of any other doubts/ confusions.
      Happy Baking…

  3. Wow! Such wonderful post on bread making. Excellent tips for beginners like me who like baking but r afraid of trying something difficult
    Thanks. Looking forward to more such osm articles

    1. Thank you so much dear for your kind words.
      Start your beautiful journey of baking breads. One thing would like to add that be patient and start with easy breads like pizza, garlic bread etc.
      Happy Baking… Feel free to ask in case of any doubt.

  4. Dear Samira , thank you so much for the valuable information. I must say i thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit.
    I baked all purpose flour bread for the first time.. i followed the same process. It came out well.
    But from inside ,it is not evenly baked and has some part unbaked as well. I preheated the oven for 5 minutes at 200deg C ( convection mode) and later baked for40 minutes at 180deg C. I stopped it before 5 minutes as the outer crust turned brown in color. Any suggestions in temperature change mam?

    1. Hi Lathika… I an glad that you liked it and found it useful too.
      It’s really commendable if you got your first loaf well.
      But as you said, it remained unbaked from parts then this is purely due to temperature settibgs.
      First of all. Preheat it for 10 to 12 minutes atleast or wait for the beep if its automatic. As in convection, we generally have beep system.
      Do not reduce the temperature to 180. Keep it atleast 190.
      If the outer crust gets brown then you can cover it with aluminium foil.
      Bake for 40 minutes. You can’t do skewer test but before letting it cool completely tap at the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow. If not, then bake for few more minutes.
      Later, keep the loaf on a wire rack, cover with a damo cloth and let it cool completely before slicing.
      Happy baking once again…
      Next time, if possible, share the pic too. Would love to see it🙂

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