If you’ve never made bread, you might think that it’s difficult to do.
Nathan Myhrvold, author of a huge 2,462-page book called Modernist Bread, researched recipes expecting to find a high degree of precision. In fact, he discovered that recipes were so variable that his advice is to “do whatever you want”.
Baking bread takes a little knowledge and some technique. But you’ll be surprised at how easy this KitchenAid bread recipe is. Read on to learn how to make delicious bread.
This is the simplest of bread recipes. You will need only five ingredients. With so few ingredients, there is very little to go wrong.
Use a strong white bread flour rather than all-purpose flour. You will need 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Bread flour is made from harder varieties of wheat and is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour. This makes it more elastic and better able to rise. It results in a more stretchy, chewy, and more satisfying bread.
Yeast is the raising agent in this bread recipe. You will need a package of active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons if you are measuring from bulk.
Yeast is a living organism. When it’s at the right temperature and provided with water and the sugar from flour, it goes through a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. It’s the carbon dioxide bubbles that make the bread rise.
The fat in this bread recipe is provided by oil. You can use olive oil, but a healthy alternative is rapeseed oil. You will need 4 tablespoons.
Salt helps the flavor of the bread and is, to some extent, a matter of taste. Use between one and two teaspoons of sea salt. Sea salt is courser and has a more complex salt flavor than table salt.
The last ingredient is warm water. You can get very precise about the temperature, but if you can comfortably put your finger in the water and it feels warm, it will be fine. You will need 1/2 cup.
Some recipes call for a teaspoon of sugar, and this will help the yeast and make for a sweeter bread. Try it without, because the sweetness will tend to detract from the real flavor of the bread.
Mixing Your Ingredients
Using the mixing bowl from your KitchenAid mixer, add the dry ingredients. Take care to keep the salt and yeast apart, to begin with. The salt will kill the yeast if it is exposed to a high concentration of salt.
Add the oil and warm water. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and then put the bowl in place. Lock the head in place and mix the dough on speed setting 2.
If you were kneading this bread by hand, you would do it for about 10 minutes. With the KitchenAid mixer, you only knead it for 2 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. That’s a tremendous saving in time and effort.
You may need to use a plastic spatula to push some of the ingredients down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Don’t over mix the dough, as it will climb up the kneading hook.
Rising Your Bread
Prepare a bowl by greasing the inside with a little oil. Take the dough out of the mixer bowl and shape it roughly into a ball. Transfer the dough into the bowl and flip it over a couple of times so that the oil covers the surface.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl somewhere away from drafts. Leave it for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
“Knocking back” removes air. This makes it easier to form into a loaf.
Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough in the bowl. Ease it away from the sides of the bowl and put it on to a floured board or countertop. Knead it by hand briefly.
Push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand and then fold the dough in on itself. Do this for no more than a minute. Once the air is knocked out the dough, you are ready to shape it into a loaf.
Shaping Your Loaf
A loaf can take many forms. Putting it into a loaf tin creates the classic loaf of bread shape. Other shapes include complicated plaits, crowns, and rolls. For now, a simple round loaf on a baking sheet will do.
Shape the loaf by flattening the dough and then turning the sides underneath until you have formed a ball of dough. Place it on an oiled baking sheet.
Proving Your Loaf
Proving is the final process before baking. It is the second rising of the bread in the shape of your final loaf.
Prepare a plastic bag by pouring a little oil into it and work the oil around the inside of the bag. Place the bread on the baking sheet inside the plastic bag.
Seal up the bag with a knot or clip. This stops a skin forming on the outside of the dough. Leave it like this for 45 minutes to an hour.
The dough will double its size. While the bread is proving, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Baking Your Bread
Remove the plastic bag and place the baking sheet and bread into the preheated oven. Splash a little water into the hot oven to create some steam, and quickly close the oven door. The steam helps a crispy crust form on the bread.
Bake the bread for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes check if the bread is baked by removing it from the oven and tapping the bottom. It should sound hollow. If it sounds solid, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes and then re-check it.
Once baked, stand the bread on a rack to cool.
Enjoy Your Kitchenaid Bread Recipe
The taste of your own fresh baked bread is a joy. You can eat it with your favorite accompaniments or use it for sandwiches, but first try eating it with butter. When you’ve completed your first KitchenAid bread recipe, you deserve to savor that fresh home-baked bread.
Learn more about how to use a stand mixer.