Baking Bread Made Easy
Bread is almost basic when it comes to people who like to bake, it’s like the first thing you should know to master more complicated recipes. If you’re looking to bake the perfect AND the easiest bread, you just have to follow this recipe step by step.
1. Gather all of the ingredients
For this easy bread recipe you’ll only need some warm water, granulated sugar, a packet of instant or active dry yeast, salt, vegetable or canola oil and flour. Easy- peasy!
2. Dissolve the yeast and activate it correctly
This is probably the most “complicated” part of baking bread, and it’s still just a 5 minute process. Remember that dropping the yeast in water that’s either too hot or too cold can kill it, that’s why we insist on using warm water. Combine the packet with the water and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in a mixing bowl. Give the mix a quick stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should puff up until it covers the surface of the water.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients
Once the yeast is done, add the rest of the sugar, the oil, the salt and the flour and mix everything using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. You can also mix by hand but we warn you it could take longer and you might get tired quickly.
4. Knead the bread
It’s one thing to combine the ingredients, but once this mix is done you’re going to enter the process of kneading, which is the most important step in creating bread with the right texture. By kneading the dough, you let the gluten form, thus letting the dough rise even more and get fluffy. You can start by kneading with the dough hook of the mixer for about 5 minutes then finishing up kneading by hand.
5. Let the first rise come
Once you have an elastic bread dough in your hands, place it in an oiled bowl and cover it all up with plastic wrap or a towel. We recommend opting for the plastic wrap since it traps the heat and lets the first rise come sooner.
6. Punch the dough and shape it
By punching the dough you’re releasing any air pockets that might’ve been trapped inside, and it helps your bread get a more consistent texture. Shape the dough by rolling it into a ball then 2 or 3 more times on the countertop to get an oblong shape.
7. Allow for the second rise
The second rise takes about 30 minutes and it’s where the shape of the loaf of bread is determined. It can be done at room temperature or you can do it in a turned off oven that’s been preheated a few minutes ago.
Place your bread in the oven and cook it for about 30 to 40 minutes. If you really want to make sure it’s well cooked you can use a digital cooking thermometer to check that it reached 190-200 degrees Fº. The top of the loaf of bread should look golden brown.
9. Cool the bread
Our final step to get the perfect bread is to let it cool for about 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack or a folded towel. This step is crucial because if you leave it in the pan it’ll steam and get soggy. Nobody wants to taste that!