Extension Service HOMEMADE BREADS QUICK-N-EASY Education that works for you OREGON

Extension Service
Education that works for you
Lane County Office
OSU Extension Service
950 West 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402
LC 504
January 2008
Making bread at home is fun, easy, and allows for a lot of creativity. It can be a highly satisfying, even a
“therapeutic” experience. Kneading bread is good exercise and saves an average of one-half the cost of
commercially made bread of similar quality.
Bread baking can become a family activity. Homemade breads make excellent,
inexpensive gifts enjoyed by all ages. Even though there are lots of mixes,
Know Your
machines, and commercially prepared frozen dough on the market to help
consumers make bread baking easy, there is no greater satisfaction than to make
your own from scratch and get the “feel” of good quality dough. With today’s
ingredients and a little know-how, bread baking does not have to be an all day process. Even the busiest
families can fit baking into their schedule with a little practice.
When baking bread, it is important to understand the function of each ingredient. It is especially critical if
you plan to alter recipes. In a bread recipe, most of the ingredients have a specific function to make the
bread rise. If you keep in mind what the ingredient does, you can create your own bread variations with
pride and success.
Flour (the body of the bread) - Flour is the framework of the bread, and the chief
ingredient. Wheat flour is used for bread making because it contains a protein
called gluten, which has unique properties that gives the bread the elasticity it needs
to form the structure. Gluten stretches to form the elastic framework of the dough,
which is capable of holding the carbon dioxide bubbles formed by the action of the
yeast. This, in turn, produces the texture of the bread. Without adequate gluten, it is
difficult to make satisfactory yeast bread.
There are many kinds of wheat flours on the market. The flour especially milled for bread is labeled “Bread
Flour.” It is made from hard, red winter wheat and contains the highest quality gluten especially good for
making yeast breads. All-purpose flour can be used for making bread, but will not give the superior quality
that is obtained when using bread flour. All-purpose flour is a mixture of hard, red winter wheat and soft
white wheat. By combining different wheat varieties commercially they have produced a flour that is
suitable for most baked products.
White bread flour has the most available gluten. If making whole wheat bread by hand, it is advisable to use
at least half white bread flour with the whole wheat. Whole wheat flour has less available gluten because it
is not as refined.
Store bread flour in a cool, dry place. It is best to store whole wheat flour and bran in the freezer, if you buy
in quantity. If flour is stored in the freezer, be sure to warm the flour to room temperature before mixing into
the dough. For long term storage, this will prevent rancidity and changes in gluten quality.
The amount of flour needed will vary with the type of flour used. This is the reason bread recipes usually
give an approximate amount of flour. The bread baker must learn to recognize the "feel" when he or she has
the right amount of flour worked into the dough. This comes with practice.
Milk and water are the liquids most commonly used in making bread. Water gives the bread a
hard crust, open texture, and a wheatier flavor. This is why it is commonly used in making French
Milk produces bread that is more tender, nutritious, and flavorful, as well as giving the bread a
more velvety grain and creamy white crumb. When using fluid milk, it is recommended that it be scalded
(heated to just below the boiling point) to kill the enzymes that can interfere with the action of the yeast and
cause the bread not to rise. It is not necessary to scald milk when using dry or evaporated milk.
Other liquids such as orange juice and potato water can be substituted for part or all of the water and will
give breads a special flavor and texture.
Yeast is the substance added to bread to make it rise and gives it a porous structure. It is a
tiny living organism, which is responsible for the fermentation action, which produces the
gas carbon dioxide that causes the yeast bread to rise.
The most common yeast used today is the dry active yeast. It will stay fresh at room
temperature for several months; however, it is advisable to refrigerate or freeze for a
longer shelf life. Yeast bought in bulk is much cheaper and usually fresher than in the smaller packages.
When using bulk yeast, substitute 1 scant Tbsp. in recipes calling for 1 package of yeast.
Remember yeast is a living microorganism and can easily be killed at too hot a temperature. Once yeast is
dissolved and the dough is rising, be sure to keep the dough under 100º F.
Sugar provides food for the yeast. The yeast and the sugar work together to form the carbon
dioxide gas which causes the dough to rise and gives the bread its volume. Sugar also adds
flavor and is partially responsible for the golden brown crust. Increasing the sugar hastens
rising, but too much slows down the action of the yeast. In breads, it is ok to substitute honey
and molasses for all or part of the sugar.
Salt has an important function in yeast dough. Salt controls the action of the yeast. If salt is not
added to the bread, the dough will be very sticky and rise very rapidly. If too much salt is
added, the rising will be too slow and the bread will be compact and heavy.
Another important function of salt is to add flavor to the bread. If salt is omitted, the quality of the bread will
be inferior.
Some type of fat is usually added to yeast dough; however, it is optional, because good bread
can be made without it. Fat makes the product more tender and the crust will be more evenly
browned. The more fat you add, the more tender and cake like the product; the less you add, the
tougher and chewier the bread (French bread vs. Parkerhouse rolls).
Many yeast breads are made without eggs. When eggs are included, the product will
will be more nutritious and taste richer. The protein of the egg will give the dough
additional stretch ability without making it sticky.
Other Ingredients
Many other ingredients can be added to bread dough to enhance the nutrition and flavor of the bread. Small
amounts of oat bran, cracked wheat, pureed vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, spinach, nuts, cheese,
onions, and herbs, can be added to create a special touch to your homemade bread products. Just remember
to keep the important ingredients in the right proportion and add small amounts of the special ingredients.
Kneading develops the gluten. Kneading on a pastry cloth will help prevent the
dough from sticking to the board. Be careful not to add too much flour. The final
dough should feel like a “baby's bottom.” If you add more flour, always add to bread
cloth/board, never put flour on top of the dough because it will not easily mix in. Bread is kneaded enough
when the surface develops a shiny sheen and small blisters. If it gets sticky when kneading and enough flour
has been added, let the dough rest a few minutes and then continue kneading, a little oil on hands also helps
prevent the dough from becoming sticky.
The ideal temperature is between 70-80° F. If the temperature is too hot, it will kill the
yeast. Also, if the dough rises too fast, the bread will have a coarse texture. If too cool,
the dough will rise too slowly and give the bread a yeasty taste, and the bread will often
be heavy. Don't let the bread over-rise. Over-rising can kill the yeast. If you can't shape the dough, keep
pushing it down, or putting it in the refrigerator. The yeast needs oxygen to survive.
The microwave oven can be used as a proofing box for raising your yeast dough.
The best way to use the microwave is to heat 4 cups of water (2 cups in compact
ovens) to boiling (8-10 minutes). This will heat the interior of the oven as well as
the water. Place the dough in the oven next to the water and close the door. Do not
turn on the oven. The hot water will provide adequate heat for proofing the dough. The dough will rise in
about 30 minutes using this method. When the dough has risen, remove from the oven and shape into
loaves, rolls, etc. For the second rising, let it rise at room temperature on the counter. The dough will be
warm enough for the second rising.
It is very risky to raise bread in the microwave on the warm setting even though many oven
instructions say that this is recommended. If the oven comes on and heats the dough to too
warm a temperature, it can kill the yeast and the bread will not rise.
Dull metal pans are the best. The pans should be ⅓-½ full. Teflon and glass pans will
give bread a thick crust. Cooking sprays work well to prevent sticking, but will give a
tougher crust. For loaves, use the correct size as stated in the recipe.
Bake bread on the lower rack, about ⅓ of the way from the bottom of the oven. White
bread bakes best at 375º F., wheat breads and sweet breads, such as cinnamon rolls and
tea rings, at 350º F.
When bread is golden brown on all sides and sounds hollow when tapped, it is done. Remove all yeast
products immediately from pans onto cooling racks.
1. Bread should be stored at room temperature (70º F.) in tight plastic bags or
frozen for long term storage.
2. Bread should not be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigeration will cause the
bread to become stale.
2 cups HOT water from the tap
¼ cup sugar or honey (2½ Tbsps. for less sweet dough)
2 tsps. salt
½ cup dry milk*
¼ cup margarine, oil or butter
1 egg (optional)
1 package instant dry yeast or 1 scant Tbsp. bulk yeast
5-7 cups bread flour
*Can substitute 1 cup fluid milk that has been scalded and 1 cup water in place of the 2 cups HOT water.
1. In a large mixing bowl add hot water and margarine, stir to dissolve.
2. Add sugar, salt, dried milk, and egg mix well. Add yeast. Stir to mix all ingredients and let set a few
minutes until the yeast is dissolved.
3. Add 2½ cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour (2-3 cups) to form a soft stiff
dough. Do not over mix.
4. Put dough on floured bread board or pastry cloth and knead until soft and silky.
5. Place dough in lightly greased bowl and cover with towel. Let rise until double in bulk.
6. Punch down and shape into two loaves,* 8½ x 4½ x 2½”. Place in lightly greased pans. Let rise until
double in bulk.
7. Bake at 375º F. for 30 minutes.
*This basic bread recipe can also be used for dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and other sweet rolls, and even
pizza dough. Makes 2 loaves or 24 rolls.
Variations of Basic Recipe
• Whole Wheat Bread – In place of half of the white bread flour use 2½-3 cups whole wheat bread
flour. Add the whole wheat flour first and then the white flour. This way you will develop more of
the natural gluten from the whole wheat bread with the first mixing. You might have to knead a little
longer when using whole wheat flour.
• Wheat Germ Bread - Add ½ cup wheat germ to dry ingredients.
• Nut Bread - Add to recipe 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts and 3 Tbsps. honey in place of sugar.
• Date or Raisin Bread - Mix 1 cup chopped dates or soaked raisins into bread.
• Cracked Wheat - Mix into bread 1 cup soaked cracked wheat and substitute honey for sugar.
• Rye - Substitute 3 cups rye flour for 3 cups white flour. Add 2-3 tsps. caraway seed.
• Rye-Raisin - Add 4 Tbsps. honey in place of sugar, 1 cup rye, and 1 cup soaked raisins.
• Rye-Molasses - Add 2 Tbsps. molasses, 2 Tbsps. dark corn syrup, in place of sugar, and ¾ cup rye flour.
(Raisins and chopped nuts may be added.)
Basic white bread or sweet roll dough can be used with any of these fillings.
Tea Ring Mix - Melt ¼ cup margarine or butter; add ½ tsp. cinnamon plus ¾ cup brown sugar. Mix
should be stiff. More brown sugar may be added. This mix, plus nuts, candied fruit, and raisins, is used
as filling for holiday tea rings.
Sticky-Roll Sauce - Melt ½ cup margarine or butter. Stir in 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and ½ cup
light corn syrup. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup chopped nuts. Put sauce in roll pan before
putting in dough. (Variation: Add 1½ cups shredded coconut in place of nuts.)
Almond Paste - Can be purchased commercially, or made from blanched almonds, sugar, lemon rind,
and egg.
Pie Fillings - Commercial canned pie fillings may be used directly from the can as fillings, or
homemade canned pie fillings using Clear-Jel can be made from cherries, berries, peaches, and apples.
Apricot or Prune Filling - Combine 1½ cups dried apricots or prunes with 1 cup boiling water in a
saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed and fruit tender,
about 25 minutes. Sieve. Stir in ½-1 cup firmly packed brown sugar until dissolved. Cool before using.
Maple Nut - ¾ cup chopped walnuts and ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1 tsp. maple flavoring.
Orange Sugar - Shape rolls, dip in melted butter and roll in orange-sugar mixture made by mixing
cup sugar with ¼ cup grated orange peel.
Crunchy Rolls - Cut circles of dough with a cookie cutter. Dip in melted butter or margarine and roll in
a mixture of 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsps. cinnamon. Twist rolls into figure “8” shape before
placing on baking sheet.
Icings or Glaze Toppings
• Orange Icing or Glaze - Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 Tbsps. orange juice. Beat until
smooth. Sugar and orange juice amounts can be varied. To make a thicker icing, add more sugar, and to
make a thin glaze, add more orange juice. Glaze and icings can be topped with chopped nuts.
• Basic Glaze - Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 Tbsps. milk. Beat until smooth. The amount
of sugar and milk can be varied according to thickness or thinness of glaze desired.
1 cup chopped walnuts or filberts
18-24 frozen dinner rolls or
bread dough to make 18-20
small dinner rolls
6 Tbsps. melted butter
1, 3½ ounce package butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
Mix together pudding, cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl. Melt butter. Put chopped nuts in a
greased or sprayed 12 cup bundt pan. Roll each frozen roll in butter and then into the pudding mixture. Place
dipped rolls in a tight single layer in the bottom of the bundt pan. Pour remaining pudding mixture and
butter over top of rolls. Cover with a clean towel and let stand at room temperature until double in bulk.
Bake at 350º F. for 30-40 minutes or until done. Cover with foil during last 15 minutes of baking if too
brown. Turn rolls out of pan onto a platter as soon as you remove them from the oven.
™ If you are not using frozen dough, you can make the rolls and store in the refrigerator overnight, or make
the rolls, let rise and bake immediately after assembly. The overnight rolls can be made and frozen in the
bundt pan. When ready to bake, remove from freezer, let thaw and rise, and then bake.
½ cup melted butter or margarine
½ cup chopped nuts
⅓ cup chopped maraschino cherries
⅓ cup flaked coconut
1 package (3½ ounce) instant lemon pudding
18-20 frozen dinner rolls or enough bread dough to
make 18-20 small dinner rolls
Melt butter. Spoon about ¼ cup butter into the bottom of a 12 cup bundt pan (greased or sprayed). Set aside
remaining butter. Sprinkle nuts, cherries and 3 Tbsps. pudding mix over the butter in the bundt pan. Cut
bread into 18-20 pieces. Roll dough into balls. Combine remaining pudding mix and coconut in a small
bowl. Dip each dough ball into melted butter and roll in coconut mixture. Place in baking dish. Sprinkle
remaining coconut mixture over dough.
Follow rising and baking instructions for overnight breakfast rolls.
Use basic white bread recipe for the crust. Roll dough to desired thickness and immediately add toppings
and bake. Bake at 425º F. for 12-15 minutes.
Pizza Sauce
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. basil leaves
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. garlic or onion salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper
Mix all ingredients. For more blended flavors let stand at least 1 hour.
Toppings - Brush a thin layer of sauce on pizza dough and add your favorite pizza toppings.
Top with shredded Mozzarella, Jack, or cheddar cheese.
Examples of toppings:
Cooked sausage, hamburger, sliced ham, or pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, etc.
You can use the basic bread recipe to create your own animal breads. Kids and adults alike will enjoy a
teddy bear, alligator or even Easter Bunny bread as a gift. They are fun and easy to create. Use your
• Keep all the pieces of dough about the same thickness so they will bake evenly.
• Pinch on pieces tightly so they won’t fall off as the dough rises and is baked.
• Cut slits for eyelashes and place raisins under eyelid to hold “eyes” in place.
• Using a pair of scissors you can cut small snips in the top of the dough to add scales and other features.
• Rise until almost double in size and bake until golden brown
• Butter tops to make a shinny surface as soon as the creation is baked.
• Use your imagination. Kids love to create creatures with a ball of dough.
You can successfully make frozen yeast dough for bread and rolls similar to the ones you can purchase
commercially by following these simple suggestions:
1. You can use your favorite yeast dough recipe for making frozen dough. It is best to select a rich dough
for freezing, one that has more yeast, sugar and fat. The flavor and texture of the finished product will be
2. If you want to adapt your favorite recipe for frozen dough to store for longer than a day or two in the
freezer, it is best to double the yeast and increase the sugar by approximately one-fourth.
3. When making frozen dough, you must work quickly to get the dough into the freezer as soon as possible
after kneading. The longer the dough is out of the freezer, the more chance the yeast has to “work.”
4. To freeze dough, shape into loaves or rolls and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze uncovered 1-2 hours or
until frozen. Remove frozen loaves or rolls and wrap for freezing in freezer bags, removing as much air
as possible. Loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap before placing in freezer bags.
5. For best results, use frozen dough within 4-6 weeks.
6. When making sweet rolls, select a filling that will freeze well, such as nuts, dried fruits, etc. Avoid
cream fillings.
7. Be sure to allow plenty of time to let the dough thoroughly defrost and rise before baking. This will take
4-6 hours. You can speed up the process by placing the frozen dough in the microwave with 4 cups of
boiling water.
To make brown and serve rolls, you need to partially bake the rolls and then finish
baking when you are ready to serve. The secret to the success of such a product is
to bake the bread at a low temperature (250-275º F.) for the length of time you
would normally bake the product, or just until the bread begins to change color.
Remove the bread from the baking pan and cool. When cool, tightly wrap in
plastic wrap, foil, or plastic bag and refrigerate. When ready to serve, bake at 375º F. for 10-12 minutes or
until golden brown.
Brown and Serve rolls can be stored up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
There are many different types of bread machines on the market. Each has different
features that make them unique. One important thing to remember is to read the
instructions carefully and follow the recipes that come with your machine to learn its
features and what your machine can and cannot do. When you are familiar with your
machine, you can begin to experiment.
™ Use recipes adapted for bread machines and follow the order listed in the recipes.
This will keep the dry and liquid ingredients separated until the machine is ready to mix, knead and
proof the dough.
™ When adding raisins and dried fruits and nuts, check the machine instructions for which part of the
process is best for adding these ingredients. Raisins and dried fruits will be plumper if they are soaked in
water before adding to the dough.
™ Use standard dry and liquid measuring cups and spoons. Be sure to measure ingredients accurately. This
is not important if you make bread by hand, but vital to success with the bread machine.
™ Temperature control is important for successful bread. If you store your flour and yeast in the
refrigerator or freezer, it is important to bring them to room temperature before putting them into the
When making loaves in succession, be sure to cool the machine about 30 minutes between loaves. If
machine is too hot, it will kill yeast.
Do not eliminate the salt from the recipes. You can cut it down a little, but it is a necessary ingredient to
control the action of the yeast.
Bread flour will give a higher quality product because it contains more gluten.
Remove the bread as soon as convenient after baking. If you allow it to stand in the machine until it is
completely cool it often becomes very damp and soggy.
It is important to measure the yeast accurately for the size loaf you are making. It is cheaper to buy dryactive yeast in bulk than in little packages. Try different brands - some brands work better in some
Recipes using whole grains will usually require more yeast. Each machine differs in how it
compensates, so you will need to do some experimenting. Make notes so you won't forget.
You might notice the quality of your bread will change with the humidity. On high humid days you
might need to add a little more flour (2-3 tsps.) to compensate for the moisture in the air.
When making whole grain breads, such as whole wheat and rye, adding 1-2 Tbsps. gluten will help the
bread rise and give a better texture.
When substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs, you need to use approximately 3 times as much.
Most recipes call for large eggs. One large egg is equivalent to a scant ¼ cup liquid. You can substitute
¼ cup liquid egg substitute or two eggs whites for each egg. For recipes calling for ½ egg, use two
Tbsps. (beat egg and measure).
If you are having problems producing that perfect loaf, take time to stop the machine halfway through
the mixing process. If you find the dough very stiff, add a little more liquid, and, if it looks too soft, you
can add a little more flour. This is also important to do if you are baking on a very hot or cold day or if it
is very humid weather.
Don't limit your bread baking to plain loaves of bread. Use the bread machine to help you with the
mixing and then turn the dough into masterpieces. You can stop the bread machine cycle after the bread
is kneaded and proofed. Braid it, twist it, and roll it into tea rings, cinnamon rolls, teddy bears, etc. Brush
the tops of bread and rolls with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, etc. Make a
basket of bread sticks, or just a batch of dinner rolls. Then let the dough rise again and bake in a
conventional oven like you would bread made by hand. Baking can be fun and your imagination is your
only limitation.
Prepared by Nellie Oehler, Extension Faculty, Revised January 2008
S:\Shared\LCE Pubs\LC 504 Homemade Breads Quick-n-Easy.doc
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