New to Yeast Breads? Start here!

March 11, 2012 · 39 comments

in Appetizer/Side, Bread/Baking, Recipe, Vegetarian

Detailed instructions to follow skyscraper step-by-step picture guide.

Step by Step Bread



Time for some fun stuff.  How to make yeast bread!  I post a lot of bread recipes, but some people have an aversion to making breads with yeast. I’m here to help you overcome that fear.  I’m your navigator for the yeast bread world.  Coming clean, I haven’t been to any sort of school for baking, but I love making yummy breads and I do it a lot.  We’ll start by talking about the different ingredients in bread, then move on to the recipe with step by step pictures, and then I’ll have the recipe without pictures for people that prefer that.  Ready?  Ok, here we go.

What goes into a yeast bread?

Flour.  For your first loaf of bread, just use all-purpose flour.  It’s easy to find and easy to use.  Flour is the foundation of your bread and contains gluten which is the main protein of bread.  It gives bread its texture and strength.  When you knead your bread, they become long strands that trap the carbon dioxide given off by the yeast.  The baking process solidifies these strands.

Water.  Water mixes all the other ingredients together.  It makes your bread uniform.

Yeast.  This ingredient is alive.  To test to make sure your yeast is good, you can add a little bit of sugar and some of your yeast into a glass of warm water and mix it up.  After a few minutes you should see bubbles starting to form.  That means your yeast is alive and eating the sugar to produce carbon dioxide.  Yeast is what you have to be most careful with in bread.  The water you use with yeast should always be warm (like your bath water).  If the water is too cold or hot for your bath, it’s too cold or hot for yeast.

Salt.  Salt adds the flavor you want in your bread and makes it so the yeast does not produce too much carbon dioxide.  Your loaf would have huge holes and probably collapse without salt.

Those are the four ingredients you MUST have in your bread for it to work.  The following are all optional.

Sugar/honey.  Sugars will make your bread have a darker crust and will also sweeten your bread.

Butter/milk/eggs.  Yum.  Who doesn’t love butter?  In addition to making your bread tasty, it will also soften your bread.  The same for milk and eggs.  If you want your bread to have a softer crust, use some milk in place of water.  The fats from these ingredients also make your bread last a little longer.  They keep the moisture in your bread so that you can store it without it going stale.

 

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 oz or 2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

4 tbsp melted butter plus 2 tbsp for brushing on later

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

5 cups (plus some if necessary) flour

Picture Instructions:

Combine the yeast and warm water.  Mix until the yeast is dissolved.  Let sit until a few bubbles appear.

Add the sugar, salt, egg, milk, and butter.

Slowly add the flour mixing after each cup is added.  You can mix at first with a spoon, but when it gets too stiff you will have to mix with your hands.

This is an example of dough that is too wet.  It sticks to your fingers.  If this happens to you, add more flour until it is no longer sticky.  If your dough is too dry, it will feel very hard and be difficult to manipulate.  If this happens to you, add more water until the dough becomes soft.

This dough is just right.  It does not stick to my fingers, it springs back when I push down, and it is soft enough to knead.

Knead the dough until the dough is soft (about 10 minutes).  Kneading is pretty easy.  Use this video to help.  When you press your fingers in the dough, the indents should stay.  This is how you will know you are done kneading.

 

Pour a little oil into a large mixing bowl.  Spread it around using a paper towel.  Place your dough in the bowl and turn it over to ensure that all sides of the dough are oiled.  Cover with a towel or loosely place the lid on and let rise in a warm area (like your microwave above your stove) for about an hour to an hour and a half.  This does not need to be super precise, so don’t worry.

The dough should at least double in size.

After the dough has risen, knock it back (punch it).

 

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into 16 equal pieces.

 Shape each piece into a ball.  I do this by tucking the sides under and then twisting the bottoms.  You can also roll it into a ball if you want.  If your dough was dry, cover the pieces you are not working on with a damp towel.

Place the rolls on a lightly oiled cooking sheet.  Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes (the picture above is before they have risen).   Again, if your rolls were dry, cover with a damp towel.  Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes or until they are a beautiful brown color.  You can also test to see if they are done by removing one from the oven and sticking a knife in the bottom and examining it.  If the insides are still dough-y, then place back in the oven and bake for longer.

 Wasn’t that easy?  I told you that you could do it!

 

Regular style recipe:

Printable Version

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 oz or 2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

4 tbsp melted butter plus 2 tbsp for brushing on later

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

5 cups (plus some if necessary) flour

Active time: 30 minutes

Inactive time: 2 hours

Servings: 16 dinner rolls

Cooking Instructions:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Let stand until the mixture begins to bubble.  Add the salt, sugar, butter, and eggs and mix.  Slowly add the flour while mixing.  Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is very pliable.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and elastic.  Place in an oiled bowl and turn over to light coat the dough entirely in oil.  Cover loosely and let rise in a warm spot for 1 to 1-1/2 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 pieces of equal size.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Place on a lightly oiled cooking sheet and allow to rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Brush the 2 tbsp of melted butter on the tops.  Place the rolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on cooling racks for a few minutes.  Enjoy with soup, pasta, or whatever you’re having for dinner!

 

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 12, 2012 at 5:16 AM

These look so yummy :) I’ve never had the courage to make bread at home ~ because it looks so difficult but then you make it look so simple! LOL it’s flour and water and yeast but then…the kneading and the resting scares me :P But one day I’m going to try making bread at home! thanks for sharing!

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Holly March 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

It’s not as difficult as you think! If you have any questions, you can just post them here or email me at hollyshelpings@gmail.com. Be brave! You can do it! :D

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NESRINE March 12, 2012 at 6:29 AM

I LOVED THEM ! am a big fan of baking anything especially bread .

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Vaishnavi March 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

With your kind guidance, I will be making bread this weekend. I think this is the first post I have ever come across making bread without any yeast. Thanks

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Holly March 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

This recipe does have yeast in it. I have another bread recipe here: http://hollyshelpings.com/2011/12/23/crumbly-pepperjack-garlic-bread/ that does not use yeast.

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Maria August 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Your rolls look so wonderful! Beautifully baked! I love baking with yeast, it took me a little while to learn how to work with it, but there’s nothing like some homemade bread or rolls fresh out of the oven! :)
Maria recently posted…Blueberry Streusel Muffins

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Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured Life August 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Your pictures made this look so easy and unintimidating! I am one of the people you referred to – a little afraid to make bread from scratch! Absolutely think I could give this a try now! :)

Thanks for sharing at the Mommy Brain Mixer!
Beth
Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured Life recently posted…Chore System for Little Ones and MBM!

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Holly August 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Don’t be afraid! It really isn’t that hard. And once you make bread you can make pizza doughs, or bagels, or anything else that you normally buy too. It’s also a lot of fun.

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Amy Perdew August 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I have been wanting to start making bread instead of buying….great guide! Thanks for linking this recipe up to “Inspiration in Progress.”

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Holly August 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Thanks so much! :D

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Kathy C August 16, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Thank you for these instructions. I never knew how to test if the kneading was done, or how sticky the dough should be. i also struggle with “double in size”. I don’t know how to know if it has risen enough. I’m going to try some of these rolls.

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Holly August 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Hello Kathy! I’m glad you stopped by. They actually make dough rising buckets so that you can see exactly how much it has risen. If you just search for it on Amazon, you should be able to find one that will suit your needs. As for how sticky the dough should be, it should not be sticking to your hands. I searched online for a reference for how sticky it should be and this one seems pretty accurate: http://yumarama.com/1644/sticky-vs-tacky-dough/. It also depends on what kind of bread your making as some need to be wetter than others. For the rolls I made here, this is a good explanation. Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

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Swapna August 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Looking great. can’t wait to make it. I was so excited to find your post on Violet imperfection’s Mommy mixer

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Holly August 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

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Debbie Warren August 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Great tutorial! Your bread looks delicious! Thanks for posting this.
Debbie Warren recently posted…Sunshine Fruit Bread

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Holly August 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

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Krista @ joyfulhealthyeats August 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Ok, I seriously LOVE your step by step pictures for making bread. Beautiful pictures and easy steps! Thanks so much for sharing at Show Stopper Saturdays Holly! :)
Krista @ joyfulhealthyeats recently posted…Link Party: Show Stopper Saturday #1

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Holly August 18, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Thank you! I’m glad you think I made it look easy. :)

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Michelle August 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

My son loves homemade bread. We call him the Bread Man. Your rolls look absolutely beautiful. And the butter brushed on top…well, yeah! Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo. It’s nice to have you join in!
Michelle recently posted…See Ya in the Gumbo # 96 {potluck}

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Holly August 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Thank you! My mom used to make fresh bread for us all the time and I’m sure that’s why I love it so much. It was like a delicious special treat. It’s great that you’re making homemade bread for your son too.

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Sarah August 20, 2013 at 3:32 PM

You make it look so easy! Thank you so much for sharing & linking up at Thank You Honey’s Whatever Wednesday Party!!
Sarah recently posted…Whatever Wednesday XIII

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Holly August 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

I’m glad I made it look easy. That was my goal. Thanks for dropping by!

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Stacey @ This Momma's Ramblings August 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM

I have always wanted to bake yeast bread like my grandma used to make. Oh the smell that would fill the house! You truly make it sound so very easy, I may just have to grab the bull by the horns and do it! :) Thanks for sharing and a new follower!
Stacey @ This Momma’s Ramblings recently posted…Showing Some Love Hump Day Blog Hop # 18

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Holly August 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Thanks for following! I’m totally voting that you try to make bread. It’s really not that hard and sooo worth it. Let me know if you need any help. :)

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Alexis @ We Like to Learn as We Go August 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Wow these look amazing! I love a good homemade bread recipe. And great tip with cutting the dough into pieces. I’ll have to try that next time. I’m featuring this at my link party tonight and pinning!

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Holly August 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Thanks for featuring this at your link party! I’m glad you liked it. :)

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Krista Low August 22, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Miss Holly, your rolls look fabulous! I love the pictures and it’s is fabulous that you have your nutritional information too! Perfect! Thanks so much for linking up :) This is a great post for those learning how to work with yeast! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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Holly August 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I’m glad you liked it. :) I use SparkRecipe’s recipe calculator: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp and it’s really easy. I think there are some other tools available too.

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Sande Sivani August 22, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Really excellent tutorial and instructions for new AND old yeast bread makers!!
The gang over at My Personal Accent, invites you to link-up this fantastic post at our rules free Blog Strut Link Party/blog hop, Thursdays at 5:00 PM PST. Our Blog Strut isn’t your average blog hop, it offers many ways to promote and give exposure to your blog and posts. We pin all links, featured posts, as well as offer free co-host spots and button/logo redesign, plus free social network link ups. Join us and show what you’ve got!! http://www.mypersonalaccent.com/linkyparty/
Sande Sivani recently posted…The Blog Strut Peacock Style # 7

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Holly August 23, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Thanks Sande! I’ve added this post there. :)

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janice schaub August 23, 2013 at 6:02 AM

The rolls look perfect. Making bread is on the top of my list this winter. I want to print this all out with the pictures so I can try iit
Janice

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Holly August 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Let me know if you run into any problem! Making bread is so worth it. :)

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Lori Who Needs A Cape? August 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Hi Holly!

Thank you for sharing your post at our SUPER SUNDAY Link Party…your link had the most clicks, CONGRATS! Stop on over and link up again, we love friends that stop back by!

Lori
Who Needs A Cape?
Not Your Average Super Moms!
Lori Who Needs A Cape? recently posted…40 Meals/4 Hours Recipe Collection

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Holly August 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Wow! That’s super awesome. I’ll definitely be posting again.

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