Making basic bread from scratch for the first time bread baker

I decided to make this story in the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic when it became obvious that there were going to be people who did not have the ability to go to the store to get bread. The video is a walk through of making the most basic of breads, but one that is still tasty and better than what you would have bought at the store anyway.

I chose to make it completely from scratch, and provide some tips on ways you might change it to work with the circumstances you are having in your own home.

Recipe:

  • 5 to 6 cups of all purpose flour, this could be any kind of flour but you will need to adjust your water to flour ratio with other flours.
  • 2 Cups of warm water, about 105 degrees F or the temperature you would use to warm up a baby’s bottle for feeding. Just over body temperature and under 110 degrees.
  • 1 Tablespoon of rapid rise yeast, or any yeast you have on hand
  • 1 Teaspoon (or up to 1 Tablespoon) of table salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of sugar, to get the yeast growing
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (optional)

The video shows how to get the yeast growing so you know it is working before you mix it into the flour. I also mixed the flour completely by hand in the video to show how easy it is to do this with almost no equipment other than a stove.

The video is long, but very informative about the Why of making bread from scratch. This is aimed at the first time bread maker.

Making Bread from Scratch for the first time bread baker

Time to make the Pizza

Yummy looking pizza

Making pizza is a process.  In previous posts, I have covered preparing the yeast, and making the dough.  In this post we complete the process.

This is the easy part, just roll out your dough, put it in the pans, add the sauce and the toppings and cook it.

I generally set my oven between 450 and 500, but if you are going to do a deep dish you will need a lower temperature.  The top shelf is going to be hotter on the top and cooler on the bottom, the bottom shelf is going to be hotter on the bottom and cooler on the top.  Ideally you would only cook one pie at a time in a standard oven, but who has time for that.  You just need to learn to work with your oven.

 

Making Pizza Dough

Yummy looking pizza

There are many ways and types of pizza dough.  This is the one that my mom taught me, and that I have adapted to use whole wheat flour.  Pizza dough isn’t hard, it just needs time and attention to the temperatures.

In my post on starting your yeast culture, I go into the details about how to get your yeast right so that your dough has the best opportunity to turn out right.  That is the first step.  The second step is the dough, I cover that in the video below.

Ingredients are simple:

Yeast Mixture:

  • Yeast – about 1/2 TBS
  • Sugar – Just a pinch to get the yeast growing
  • Water – 2 cups at between 105 and 115 degrees
  • Olive Oil – about 1/3 cup more or less

Preheat your oven for 1 minute to make it warm, then turn off the heat.  You do not want the oven hot, but you want it warm so the dough can rise.

After you have the yeast growing, then you put it in a Mixer Bowl and add:

  • 2 Cups whole Wheat Flour and mix with the dough hook until mixed well
  • About 4 cups of unbleached all purpose or bread flour – the actual amount will depend upon the way the dough mixes.

Warm a large bowl with hot water, then dry and coat with olive oil or spray.

Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth (not wet, just damp), and place it in the warm oven.  Let it sit for an hour or hour and a half until the dough has risen to twice the original size.

Take dough out and divide.  This can be used for two large pizzas with a thicker dough, two deep crust pizzas, or three thin crust pizzas.

Roll the dough out so that it will fit your pans.  Then, if you want thin crust, add toppings.  If you want thicker crust pan pizza, put it in the oven and let it rise again.  You will need to watch it to see when it has risen to the level you want.

Preheat oven to 450

Add Pizza Sauce and toppings.

Put pizza(s) in oven for 20 minutes (start checking after 15 min. just in case).  Watch the cheese, and the color of the crust to tell when it is done.  The crust will start turning brown when it is getting done.  You can put a fork under the crust to get an idea of how crispy it is.  Everyone has different preferences, so the amount of time you spend is a trial and error approach.

Starting a Yeast Culture for your Dough

Growing Yeast

Growing Yeast
Yeast actively growing

The key to getting good yeast dough is getting the yeast growing.  It isn’t hard, it just requires attention to temperatures to get it right.  In this video Doc T shows you how to get that yeast started so that you have the ever crucial foundation for any of your yeast doughs.

Ingredients:

  • Active Dry Yeast – about 1/2 TBSP.
  • Water at between 105 and 115 F. – Depends upon dough recipe, in demo we use 2 cups
  • Sugar – a good pinch
  • Olive Oil – Optional, depends upon recipe that yeast will be used in.