Thursday, January 28, 2010

White bread

You need a basic white bread dough recipe in your bag of tricks if you are a from scratch cook. You just do. But, I suppose you can use wheat bread dough for anything we would make from white bread dough. You can use this basic bread dough for homemade pizza crusts, scones, fry bread for Navajo tacos, fry bread just for the heck of eating fried bread dough with honey on it, bread sticks, rolls, cinnamon rolls and on occassion I have even attempted to make soft pretzels out of it. I got this recipe off of Martha Stewart's Living website. I will paraphrase the instruction part of it as my printer cut off a word or two here and there.

Patricia's Basic Bread Dough
from Martha Stewart Living

Makes 1 1/2 lbs. dough
One simple, easy-to-prepare bread dough can be transtformed into breads, both sweet and savory. Chef Patricia Wells likes to use this dough in everything from pizza to dinner rolls.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 C. lukewarm water (about 105 degrees)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use what's in the blue canister, Morton's)
4 C. bread flour, plus more if necessary

1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine yeast, sugar, and water, and stir. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and salt.

2-Add flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until the flour has been absorbed, and the dough forms a ball. Continue on lowest speed until soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes. Add more flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. The dough should be soft.

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator until double in bulk, 8-12 hrs. The dough can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Simply punch down the dough as it doubles.

NOTE: I don't do steps 2 and 3 the way stated above. After the dough becomes a ball, I then knead it in the mixer for 5 minutes on high. I transfer to an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to double in size. I then punch down and shape into loaves and put into greased pans, making sure a little oil in on the tops to avoid drying out. I cover with plastic and allow to raise. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. ANOTHER NOTE: I usually double this recipe and make 3 loaves out of it.


  1. Do you grind hard white wheat for this dough? Sounds yummy.

    Get this, my son made Laura's bread the other day. Came out perfect. He really enjoyed it. Only change is we doubled the salt. 2 tbls seemed a little blnd to us. Otherwise, that recipe is a universal success.

  2. I use straight store bought white flour for this recipe. I like King Arthur's bread flour but any bread flour or all purpose flour would be great.

  3. Just thought I'd mention this. I know Mindy mentioned in another post about bread that she didn't have enough bread or loaf pans for the amount that the recipe made and that weird free form loaves of bread were just too much for her kids to take. When I made the wheat bread recipe a month ago I made 2 or 3 loaves out of it, then made dinner rolls with the rest of the dough. Worked out great. Family gobbled them up in a day and a half.