100% WHOLE GRAIN SOURDOUGH STARTER RECIPE

If baking whole grain sourdough bread is one of (or your only) bread baking goal, you’ll find it’s not complicated to develop a starter. It just takes time.

You will also find that a whole grain starter has a stronger flavor than a starter developed from all-purpose flour. If you’re new to sourdough bread baking, it may take some time to find the right mix of grains and exact starter flavor/intensity to suit your taste. Trust me when I say it’s well worth the time it takes to explore your options and zero in on your preferred flavor.

Here’s the super simple sourdough starter recipe:

½ cup flour (any variety)

1/3 cup water (use filtered water or allow your water to sit on the counter overnight so the chlorine evaporates)

Don’t skimp on the water or your mixture will be too dry and not ferment properly.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the flour and water. Do NOT use a metal spoon. Silicone or wood is preferred.

Once mixed, place the flour/water in a glass container. A quart jar works very well. Wide mouth is ideal but regular mason jar works, too.

Cover the jar with either a paper towel or cheesecloth secured with a rubber band or the jar ring. I use a screen that fits inside my jar lid. You just have to keep the jar open so the fermentation can progress.

Allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours.

The next day, Day 1, you may or may not see some bubbles forming in the flour/water mixture. Either way, mix another ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water and stir it into the jar.

On days 2 and 3, remove (pour out) ½ cup of the mixture. Place it in a container (my favorite is a pint jar) and cover it so it doesn’t dry out before you can use it. Mix ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water; stir it into the starter.

Day 4: by now you should be seeing bubbles in your starter. You may also detect a “fermented” odor coming from the jar. It’s time to “feed” the starter 2x/day, as close as possible to every 12 hours.

Day 5-7, “feed” the starter 2x/day, removing one-half cup each time and using the same ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water to replace it. On day 7, the starter will be ready to use to bake bread.

The amount of starter you use in your bread recipe will vary according to the amount of flour and size of the loaf you’re making. Watch for more information on how to modify a bread recipe to convert it to a sourdough bread recipe.

Also, know that you will achieve the best baking results with sourdough bread by implementing these two practices:

  1. You can bake sourdough bread in a regular bread pan. It will rise beautifully and may give you a larger loaf than you achieved with commercial yeast. However, you will have a somewhat tougher crust. I don’t know the science behind this, but the crust is better if there’s a source of steam during the baking.
  2. To resolve this crust issue, consider investing in a bread cloche. The cloche cover traps steam as the bread bakes, giving a crispy crust. Cloche price ranges start at around $50 on up to $360+. The main feature is a tight seal, which traps the steam.

 

BREAD MACHINE SOURDOUGH TIPS

If you’re taking the sourdough plunge, you will soon find there are as many sourdough starter, sourdough bread recipes and ways to use sourdough discard as there are cooks!

That being said, be aware that some recipes and methods found in online posts and videos may not be as tried and true as they appear.

The first sourdough recipe I tried had far too much water. Of course, by the time I added enough flour to even things out, I didn’t have enough starter in the mix and my bread was a flop. I’ve learned that, in general, the bread baking flour to water ratio is 5:3, five parts flour to three parts water. Each batch of bread dough – sourdough or not – will vary somewhat in the amount of flour required. However, using equal amounts of flour and water/starter in a bread recipe will result in a very unsatisfactory dough.

If you’re attempting to modify a bread recipe you like, begin by mixing small amounts of flour into the recipe liquid. My sourdough bread recipe calls for 3 2/3 to 3 ¾ cup flour along with 1 cup water and 1 ½ cups sourdough starter. I begin by mixing flour into the water, into the starter, then mixing the two. You’ll get a moister, lighter bread if you don’t overdo the flour. Sourdough bread dough can be somewhat stickier than bread made with commercial yeast.

If your sourdough goals include producing whole-grain bread, you may want to develop a whole-grain starter, but you don’t have to. (Find this starter recipe at www.bakeyourbestever.com)

You’ll find that, generally, sourdough bread is baked at temperatures of 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) or higher. These high temps assist the rise of your bread. To further aid the dough’s rise, preheat a pan along with your oven. At the same time, you put the dough in the oven, add a cup of hot water to the hot pan. The resulting steam will help slow the browning of the crust and give the loaf optimum time to rise before the crust shapes up.

Whether you’re baking your bread in a regular pan or shaping it in rounds, you’ll want to slash the top of the dough, creating an “ear” on the top of the dough. Why?

The intense baking temperature used for sourdough bread causes a rapid rise of the loaf. Slashes in the dough will allow the rising energy to push up and out through the slash. Without a slash, the energy will erupt at some other point in the loaf (ask me how I know!), distorting its shape. It may also hamper the full rise of the dough.

While the taste of the bread – and it’s very healthy benefits – is more important than how it looks, it’s still a good practice to make the slashes. You can purchase a baker’s lame or use a sharp knife to make the slashes.
If you’re taking the sourdough plunge, you will soon find there are as many sourdough starters, sourdough bread recipes and ways to use sourdough discard as there are cooks!

That being said, be aware that some recipes and methods found in online posts and videos may not be as tried and true as they appear.

The first sourdough recipe I tried had far too much water. Of course, by the time I added enough flour to even things out, I didn’t have enough starter in the mix and my bread was a flop. I’ve learned that, in general, the bread baking flour to water ratio is 5:3, five parts flour to three parts water. Each batch of bread dough – sourdough or not – will vary somewhat in the amount of flour required. However, using equal amounts of flour and water/starter in a bread recipe will result in a very unsatisfactory dough.

If you’re attempting to modify a bread recipe you like, begin by mixing small amounts of flour into the recipe liquid. My sourdough bread recipe calls for 3 2/3 to 3 ¾ cup flour along with 1 cup water and 1 ½ cups sourdough starter. I begin by mixing flour into the water, into the starter, then mixing the two. You’ll get a moister, lighter bread if you don’t overdo the flour. Sourdough bread dough can be somewhat stickier than bread made with commercial yeast.

If your sourdough goals include producing whole-grain bread, you may want to develop a whole-grain starter, but you don’t have to. (Find this starter recipe at www.bakeyourbestever.com)

You’ll find that, generally, sourdough bread is baked at temperatures of 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) or higher. These high temps assist the rise of your bread. To further aid the dough’s rise, preheat a pan along with your oven. At the same time, you put the dough in the oven, add a cup of hot water to the hot pan. The resulting steam will help slow the browning of the crust and give the loaf optimum time to rise before the crust shapes up.

Whether you’re baking your bread in a regular pan or shaping it in rounds, you’ll want to slash the top of the dough, creating an “ear” on the top of the dough. Why?

The intense baking temperature used for sourdough bread causes a rapid rise of the loaf. Slashes in the dough will allow the rising energy to push up and out through the slash. Without a slash, the energy will erupt at some other point in the loaf (ask me how I know!), distorting its shape. It may also hamper the full rise of the dough.

While the taste of the bread – and it’s very healthy benefits – is more important than how it looks, it’s still a good practice to make the slashes. You can purchase a baker’s lame or use a sharp knife to make the slashes.

From start to finish, my sourdough recipe takes right at four hours. Once the temperatures are warmer and we have more humidity in the air, the rise time may be somewhat shorter. You can use an overnight rise for sourdough. I’ll share more on that as I make more bread that way.

There’s certainly a learning curve when you work with sourdough bread. However, I’m finding that all the health benefits and the delicious taste of the bread make it all worthwhile!

 

 

SOURDOUGH FACTS AND BENEFITS

It still seems amazing to me that, within a couple of weeks, I’m hooked on sourdough. That was the last thing I expected to happen when I set out to explore what sourdough was all about.

 

My hesitation was rooted in a lack of information. The only sourdough breads I had ever consumed were served in restaurants. While they were tasty enough, they couldn’t hold a candle to the breads and other baked goods I’m making now.

 

Here are some sourdough facts I never knew. They may help you decide if you want to try your hand at baking with sourdough.

 

  • The “yeast” that initiates sourdough fermentation is found in the flour.
  • Sourdough starter isn’t limited to using in bread; it can be used in baked items such as cookies, cake, pastries – anything that contains flour.
  • Fermentation processes the starter’s flour, making it easier to digest. It also reduces the sugar spike regular bread causes when we eat it.
  • Sourdough starter has two ingredients: water and flour. Use filtered water so nothing used to treat tap water affects the fermentation.
  • Sourdough bread keeps at room temperature far longer than regular bread. My sourdough bread sat on the counter for one week without any molding issues.
  • Why the longer shelf life? Bread baked with a sourdough starter has its own culture of microbes – good bacteria – which fight off bad bacteria, the kind that brings on mold.
  • While it takes 12-14 days for your initial starter to be ready for baking bread, for the rest of the starter life its refrigerated and “fed” 1x/week.
  • Why do you need to feed sourdough starter? Once fermentation begins, the yeast must have something to “feed” on, the flour. Unless it’s fed, it will eventually die off.
  • What does “feeding” involve? Mix water and flour then add to the starter and stir it into the starter. It takes about 5 minutes to complete this.
  • Isn’t all this “feeding” pretty inconvenient/time consuming? No and no. When you start developing your own starter, you’ll feed it 1x/day for 7 days. For an additional 5 days, you feed it 2s/day. Regular feedings – 12 hours apart – are best. If you miss a feeding or fall behind on the time, it’s okay. Just don’t make that a habit.
  • Don’t use a metal bowl to mix feedings or house your starter. The fermentation is an acidic reaction and will eat through the toughest metals. The metal will dis-color and the starter will take on an unpleasant metallic taste.
  • Don’t use a metal spoon to stir feedings or when handling starter. Either wooden or Teflon spoons or Teflon spatulas are recommended.
  • Flour and water used in sourdough starters can be measured by weight or volume. Weight is highly accurate; volume will be most convenient.
  • While all-purpose flour works fine, bread flour is preferred by some bakers because it has extra protein in it.

 

If you decide to enter the sourdough arena, don’t be discouraged with the time it takes to get a starter established and learn how to use it. I assure you the final products are well worth the effort.

 

You will also learn that every baker has some of their own unique takes on creating/using starters. Explore what works best for you – and enjoy!

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

COST OF SOURDOUGH STARTER

It will cost about .13/week to maintain your starter and about .13 cents each time you use it.

COST OF SOURDOUGH STARTER

It will cost about .13/week to maintain your starter and about .13 cents each time you use it.

BREAD MACHINE 100% SOURDOUGH BREAD

Print

BREAD MACHINE SOURDOUGH BREAD

  • Author: Loretta

Description

There’s nothing “sour” about this delicious bread which produces one two-pound loaf! Make sure your sourdough starter has “worked” for at least a week; 12 days is ideal. From start to finish, this recipe takes close to four hours. Three hours are necessary for the rising time.

It makes a large loaf, so use a 9×5 loaf pan for a beautiful loaf of bread. It can be baked in an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan, too. Just know the dough may push out over the side of the pan.

The bread is very soft, moist and tasty. You will not taste anything “sour.” The main reason I use sourdough is to take advantage of consuming a fermented grain.

Since the baking temperature is high, the crust becomes quite dry. You can modify this by brushing the baked loaf with melted butter or olive oil. If you don’t use butter or oil, the crust will soften to a great degree within 24 hours.

As part of the method for this recipe, I use my bread machine to knead a portion of the ingredients for 15 minutes before adding the sourdough starter. This helps develop the gluten in the grain, contributing to a higher rise. You don’t have to complete this step but leaving it out may affect your final rise.

In the bread machine, you want the dough to ball up like this:

When you place it in your bread pan for the rise, it should look like this:

When it’s ready to go into the oven, it should be raised up like this – use a 9×5 bread pan to avoid having it come over the side of the pan:


Scale

Ingredients

33 2/3 cup flour

1 c water (filtered is ideal)

¾ teaspoon salt

3 T sugar, honey or maple syrup

3 T butter or oil

1 ½ c sourdough starter (leave out overnight at room temperature)


Instructions

MIX/KNEAD:

Place 2 cups flour, 1 c water, salt, sweetener, and butter/oil in the bread machine canister. Mix/knead for 15 minutes. Monitor the mixture throughout this time to ensure that the dough isn’t too sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the canister and form a ball of dough within the first 5 minutes. If the dough doesn’t ball up, add 1-2 T flour at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Once the 15-minute mix/knead cycle is completed, add the sourdough and remaining 1 cup of flour. Monitor the dough to ensure that it pulls away from the sides of the canister to form a ball within 5-10 minutes of mixing. If it’s too sticky, add flour 1-2 T at a time to reach the desired consistency. If you haven’t used enough flour, it will fall over the sides of the pan as it rises (ask me how I know).

This dough will be somewhat sticky when it’s ready to go into the bread pan. However, you don’t want it to stick to your fingers when you handle it. If necessary, gradually add more flour to reach the desired consistency.

Place the dough in a well-coated loaf pan. Brush or spritz the top of the dough with butter or olive oil to help keep it from drying out while it rises. Place the pan in a warm location (oven with the light on is ideal) and put a towel over the top of the dough. Monitor the rise; don’t allow it become more than two inches above the side of the loaf pan, as it may fall when you bake it. It should rise to some degree during the first 15 minutes of baking.

Once the dough reaches a satisfactory rise, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, monitoring the browning of the crust. Once it’s baked, immediately remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Once the bread is cooled, store in either a refrigerated bread keeper or bag it and store in the refrigerator.


BREAD MACHINE SOURDOUGH WHITE BREAD

Print

BREAD MACHINE SOURDOUGH WHITE BREAD

  • Author: Loretta

Description

After making several batches of sourdough bread, researching and reviewing numerous recipes, here’s a recipe that works for me. It’s an adaptation of my original bread machine bread and contains some commercial yeast. It doesn’t have a strong sourdough taste, but it is a high-rising, softly textured loaf.

If you’re just starting to learn how to develop a sourdough starter, it will take 7 days before it’s ready to use in a bread recipe. Here’s a summary of the sourdough starter process:

Key points: 1) Don’t use metal mixing spoons; wooden or silicone are needed. 2) When you “feed” your starter, mix the flour and water, then add to starter and mix it in well. 3) Refrigerate the starter removed at each feeding. It can be used right away in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, etc.

Day 1: To begin the starter: Mix ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water (filtered or let chlorine evaporate overnight)

Place the mixture in a clean quart jar or glass container. Cover the top with either a paper towel or cheese cloth. Your starter will sit at room temperature for up to 12 days.

Day 2: Your starter may or may not be “working.” If there are no bubbles, allow the starter to sit another 24 hours. If you do see bubbles on day 2, add ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water, mix well.

Day 3: By now (48 hours after first mixing) you should see bubbles starting to form in the starter. Remove ½ cup of the starter and refrigerate it. Then add ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.

Days 4-5-6 – Feed your starter 1x/day by removing ½ cup starter and replacing with ½ cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water.

Day 7: You can remove ½ cup starter and use in a bread recipe or other types of recipes. Feed the starter as usual.

Day 8-12: You can begin feeding your starter 2x/day. By day 12, you will have an active, healthy starter. Refrigerate it and feed it no less than 1x/week. You may use a portion of this starter to begin a second starter, using the same feeding method and time frame.


Scale

Ingredients

Sourdough white bread:

1 cup water, warmed to between 105 to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)

1/3 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon yeast

½ cup sourdough starter (at room temperature)

1/3 cup sugar, honey or maple syrup

3 ½ – 3 ¾ cups all-purpose or bread Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)3 tablespoons of melted butter or oil


Instructions

Using hot tap water, warm measuring cup for the liquid and bread machine canister. Use hot tap water for the 1 cup water; dissolve your sweetener in the water. Add the milk.

Check the temperature of the liquid. You want it to be between 105 and 110. If it’s less than that, warm it up. If it’s over 112 degrees it will kill the yeast, so cool it down.

Once your liquid is in the desired temperature range, dissolve the yeast in it. Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes.

While the yeast is activating, measure and mix the flour and salt. Prepare the butter/oil. Butter can be melted or chopped.

Remove the hot water from your bread machine canister; add the yeast mixture, flour mixture, sourdough and butter. Mix/knead cycles (2 of them) should be no less than 10 minutes and not longer than 15 minutes. Between these cycles, allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

Coat an 8.5×4.5 bread pan; gently shape the dough and lay it in the pan. Cover with a light cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place (oven is ideal) for 30 minutes. You can allow it to raise for up to 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes and enjoy!


Notes

If you’re looking for a recipe for 100% sourdough, no commercial yeast, stay tuned – my test loaves are in the oven!

 

VERY EASY SOURDOUGH STARTER RECIPE

I have to laugh at myself for thinking that keeping a sourdough starter on hand would be too complex and time-consuming. It’s neither!

And the photo here illustrates the high rise this type of “starter” can provide for baked goods. Since I’ve had no experience with sourdough in the past, I still used commercial yeast in this loaf, too. In a few days, I’ll try using just the sourdough starter. I think it will work fine!

Here’s the super simple sourdough starter recipe:

½ cup flour (any variety)

1/3 cup water (use filtered water or allow your water to sit on the counter overnight, so the chlorine evaporates)

Don’t skimp on the water, or your mixture will be too dry and not ferment properly.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the flour and water. Do NOT use a metal spoon. Silicone or wood is preferred.

Once mixed, place the flour/water in a glass container. A quart jar works very well. Wide mouth is ideal, but regular mason jar works, too.

Cover the jar with either a paper towel or cheesecloth secured with a rubber band or the jar ring. I used a screen that fit inside my jar lid. You just have to keep the jar open so the fermentation can progress.

Let the mixture sit for 24 hours.

Day 2: You may or may not see bubbles in your starter. Either way, mix another 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water and add it to the starter, leaving it at room temperature.

 

Day 3: By now you should see some bubbles. Each day from now on there should be more and more bubbles and the starter should expand in volume. Today, remove ½ cup of the starter (this should be about ½ of what’s in the jar). Store the starter you removed in a covered container in the refrigerator. Replace it with another well-mixed batch of ½ cup flour, 1/3 cup water. Continue to store at room temperature.

 

On days 4-5-6-7, you can “feed” the starter 2x/day, removing one-half cup and using the same ½ cup flour and 1/3 cup water to replace it. On day 7, the starter will be ready to use to bake bread.

 

Use half the starter in your bread recipe (I will share mine next week), feed it, and store it in the refrigerator. At this point, you only need to feed it once per week if you’re not using any of it.

 

As you remove half the starter those first few days, you can use it in recipes such as pancakes or muffins. Here’s a delicious pancake recipe for two. If you need to make more of them, you can easily double this recipe. These were not only delicious but filling and made an awesome low-cost breakfast!

 

1 c. flour

¾ t baking powder

¼ t baking soda

¼ t salt

2 T sugar

2/3 c buttermilk (I use a powdered version)

½ c sourdough (let it come to room temperature or sit out overnight)

1 egg, beaten

2 T butter, melted

 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the buttermilk, sourdough, egg, and butter. Combine the two mixtures. Take about ¼ cup batter per pancake as these really raise high and become thick. Cook until bubbly on top; flip and finish cooking. Top with syrup, honey, etc.

 

Over the coming weeks, I will share additional sourdough recipes and insights I gain through this venture.

 

SOURDOUGH: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

If you’re one of the folks who has asked me if I have any experience with sourdough breads, I have great news: I’ve finally identified what seems to be simple method/recipe for creating a sourdough starter and using it.

 

Part of my research included finding out why it might be worth the effort to learn how to make sourdough bread. Turns out, sourdough bread and baked goods offer quite a few health benefits.

 

Creating a sourdough starter involves fermenting grain, a common practice that originated in Egypt around 1,500 B.C. Sourdough bread was the only type of bread available until baker’s started using yeast obtained from beer brewers a few centuries ago.

 

If you’re a health buff, you may know that fermented foods have been found to be highly beneficial in nearly any diet. Fermented foods included yogurt, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut and sourdough.

 

In addition to the unique flavor fermenting adds to bread, it also helps degrade the phytates found in grain. Phytates occur naturally in grain, but they make grain more difficult to digest and cause the healthy minerals in the grain more difficult to absorb.

 

Through fermentation of sourdough, researchers know that the phytate content of sourdough bread may be reduced by as much as 50%. That makes sourdough easier to digest and more nutritious than regular yeasted breads. Other studies indicate that sourdough bread may be better for blood sugar control because it appears that the fermentation process may modify the structure of carbohydrate molecules.

 

If you’ve successfully navigated all the scientific aspects of sourdough bread and are still interested in learning a simple, nutritious and tasty way to make sourdough, here are some beginning tips. I will develop recipes that include use of a bread machine, stand mixer and knead-by-hand methods. As I learn more I’ll keep sharing!

 

To help answer questions you may have:

  1. You can use different types of flour to make sourdough, including white, all-purpose flour.
  2. In initiating and feeding your starter, use filtered water to ensure no chemicals interfere with the fermentation process.
  3. Do NOT use metal utensils to stir your starter. In decades past, wooden spoons were commonly used. I am currently using a silicone spoon. Silicone works well because the dough doesn’t stick to it.
  4. If your house is fairly cool, as ours is over winter, turn the light on in your oven to help create a consistent temperature over 70 degrees (Fahrenheit). The light will warm the oven to 90 degrees after a couple of hours. Turn it off and warm the oven again after a few hours (this is only necessary for about 5 days).
  5. Once it’s properly fermented, store the starter in the refrigerator. To use it in a bread recipe, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature before using it.
  6. Also note that you will bake sourdough bread at a high temperature – 400-450 degrees (Fahrenheit). You may want to use either a baking stone or a Dutch Oven for the baking process.

 

Next week, look for a recipe and pictures of my first sourdough loaf!

WHITE BREAD – MIXER VERSION

Print

WHITE BREAD – MIXER VERSION

  • Author: Loretta

Description

This recipe makes one two-pound loaf of bread. The key to a high-rising loaf is keeping the dough – and thus the yeast – within a temperature range so the yeast remains active. It’s also essential to thoroughly knead the bread.

 

To help keep the dough warm, use hot water to warm your mixer bowl and dough hook before starting to mix ingredients. After the first mix/knead cycle (15 minutes), cover the top of the mixing bowl with a light cloth to help keep the dough from drying out. During the first rise, set the bowl in a warm place (a warmed oven is ideal) while it rises. Follow mix/knead instructions and baking instructions, which are the same as when using a mixer as a bread machine.


Scale

Ingredients

Equipment:

2-cup measuring utensil

Tablespoon

Measuring cups, from ¼-cup size on up

Whisk or fork

Digital thermometer

Stand mixer

Bread pan (no larger than 9×5)

Butter, oil or no-stick spray to coat bread pan

Ingredients:

1 cup water, ranging from 105 to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)

1/3 cup milk

1 ½ teaspoons yeast

¼ cup sugar

3 ½3 ¾ cups all-purpose or bread flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)

3 tablespoons of melted butter or oil


Instructions

If necessary (typically during the winter months), use hot tap water to heat the measuring cup you use for activating your yeast and for the bread machine canister. This helps keep your dough warm throughout the prep phase, so the yeast performs well. It takes just a few minutes once hot water is added to the utensil. Pour the water out before using either the measuring cup or canister.

 

Place 1 cup of hot tap water in 2-cup measuring utensil. Add the milk and sweetener of your choice. Mix well.

 

If you’re using refrigerated milk and sweetener, it will significantly cool your water, which means your yeast won’t perform well. Use a digital thermometer to test the mixture’s temperature. If it’s too cold, it can be heated to the proper temperature. If it’s too warm, allow it to sit at room temperature until it reaches the 105-110 degree temperature range. If too cold, you can heat about 2 tablespoons (till it steams) on your stovetop and mix it into the rest of the liquid. This should bring it to the desired temperature, 105-110 degrees.

 

Once the recipe liquid’s temperature is in the appropriate range, dissolve the yeast in it by stirring thoroughly. Allow the yeast mixture to sit about 3 minutes and form a foamy “head” to indicate that the yeast is activated.

 

While you’re waiting for the yeast, mix your dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and salt. Blend the ingredients well.

If using butter, either melt it just till it’s soft enough to easily blend into the bread dough, or cut it into small pieces that will easily blend into your dough.

 

Pour out the warm water in your mixer bowl Carefully pour the yeast mixture into the canister, using a spatula to clear the measuring utensil. Slowly add the flour mixture. Pour the oil or melted butter on top of the flour. At a low speed, using the dough hook, mix/knead the bread for 15 minutes.

 

Once the initial kneading/mixing is complete, cover the mixer bowl with a light towel and set the mixing bowl in a warm location for 20 minutes while the dough rests/rises.

 

For the final knead cycle, at low speed, knead the dough for 15 minutes. Before the second cycle completes, prepare your bread pan. If necessary, warm the pan before coating it (spraying with non-stick product, insert parchment, etc.).

 

After the second kneading cycle is done, gently place the dough into the coated bread pan, cover it and place it in a warm area (I use my oven, which I heat to near 100 degrees). It will take 30-45 minutes for the dough to raise.

 

Once the dough is raised, place it in a pre-heated 350-degree oven. Bake it for 30-45 minutes until the crust is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Try to give it some time to cool before you cut any slices!

 

Once it’s thoroughly cooled, store the bread either in a plastic bag or bread-keeper product. In summer, home-made bread quickly spoils and should be refrigerated once it’s cooled.