Making Dough in a Bread Machine and Baking It in the Oven

Best Ever Crescent Rolls

My daughter and I have cranked out dozens of these homemade crescent rolls. It’s a real team effort. I cut the dough into pie-shaped wedges; she rolls them up. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin

Blue-Ribbon Herb Rolls

These rolls have been a favorite of ours for nearly 25 years. I even baked them in an old wood stove when we lived on a farm. I developed the recipe using several techniques I learned while studying the art of bread making. The recipe won a blue ribbon at our county fair. —Mary Ann Evans, Tarpon Springs, Florida

Old World Rye Bread Exps Hca19 15222 E06 22 3b 12

All Your Favourite Recipes in One Place!

Become a member of and get these benefits:

  • Save, upload, and track all of your favourite recipes.
  • Plan your meal for the week with the Meal Calendar.
  • Create a full course menu for special events.
  • Personalize and create as many recipe collections as you want.
  • Generate shopping lists.

go to top

Got a question or feedback? Please comment below! That way, other readers will be able to see the answers to your question and will benefit from your feedback.

Get in Touch!

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.

go to top

Onion French Bread Loaves

Since I love variety in my cooking, I tried adding dried minced onion to my usual recipe in attempts to copy a bread I had tasted, creating these two tasty loaves. Using the bread machine on the dough setting is a great timesaver. —Ruth Fueller, Barmstedt, Germany

Best Ever Crescent Rolls Exps Atbrs21 199388 E11 19 5b 1

How to Make Bread

To start your bread baking journey, opt for a simple, straightforward recipe like our top-rated Basic Homemade Bread. It has only a few ingredients, and it’s super versatile—you can slice it for sandwiches, serve it up with soup or toast it for breakfast.

Hey, baker! Come on over to Bakeable, our online baking community,
where you’ll find our best tips and top-rated recipes. Then, share your bakes in our Bakeable Facebook group. We’d love to see ’em.



  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water, about 110ºF
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups bread flour


Step 1: Proof the yeast

Before you can get to mixing and kneading, it’s important to proof the yeast. This means ensuring the yeast is still alive and ready to create carbon dioxide, the gas that gives bread its lift.

To proof the yeast, dissolve it in a dish of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. You want the water to be around 110º. If you go hotter, you can risk killing the yeast (and then you have to start again). You’ll know the yeast is alive and ready for bread when it starts to bubble and foam.

Step 2: Mix the bread dough

With the proofing taken care of, add canola oil to the yeast mixture.

In another bowl, whisk together half of the flour, as well as the sugar and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and work it into a sticky dough. When the mix comes together, add in the additional flour half a cup at a time until you have a soft bread dough.

Step 3: Knead the bread dough

Now for the fun part! When your dough is made, turn it out onto a floured surface to knead.

Kneading is the process where you push, pull and stretch the bread. The purpose is to develop gluten. Gluten helps give the bread structure (without it, it would crumble) and gives it that bit of chew we all love.

To knead, take the heel of your hand and push the dough forward to stretch it. Then fold it in on itself, give it a quarter turn and repeat. Knead until your bread dough is stretchy and doesn’t tear when you spread it between your fingers. Kneading times vary, but for this specific loaf, aim for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry about overkneading by hand—you will be tired long before you overwork the dough.

Step 4: Proof the dough

Next, let your bread proof. That means setting the dough aside so the yeast can do its work: creating air bubbles.

To proof the dough, coat it with a touch of oil or cooking spray. Place it in a large container, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest until the dough doubles in size. To get the best proof possible, make sure your kitchen is warm (above 75º) and humid. If it’s a bit chilly or dry, you can try these tips for how to proof bread in different weather conditions.

Step 5: Punch down and proof again

When the bread is doubled in size, punch it down. This just means using your knuckles to press out some of the air inside the dough. After punching the bread down, divide it into two equal portions. Shape and place the dough into greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and let it proof a second time, until it doubles. This should take about 60 to 90 minutes.

Step 6: Bake and enjoy

When the bread has grown a second time, pop it into a 375º oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 200º. Remove the loaves from the pans, and let them cool on wire racks. Then, slice and enjoy!

Cheddar Pan Rolls

Thanks to the cheesy dough, these rich cheddar rolls have a gorgeous golden color and fabulous flavor. —Esther Current, Kitchener, Ontario

Exps84161 Tohca153054b11 07 6b 7

Potato Pan Rolls

My family loves these rolls and requests them often. They don’t take long to make because you use quick-rise yeast. —Connie Storckman, Evanston, Wyoming

Exps37055 13x9163826b10 27 5b 11


I divide kneading into three stages. The first is the “incorporation stage”, then “slow mixing”, and finally ” fast kneading”.

The three-pronged approach encourages the gluten structure to develop into a well-hydrated, strong structure that will retain gas. Good gas retention qualities are vital for good bread dough. Proper kneading is where good dough begins.

Hand kneading techniques

Bakers can increase or decrease the time and intensity of kneading. Different dough mixer speeds or changing their hand kneading technique alter the intensity. How dough is kneaded changes the characteristics of the bread, even when the same ingredients are used. The amount of kneading that a dough undergoes is referred to as gluten development. 100% gluten development is when the dough is ready to be moulded and proofed right away, whereas a lower level of development will require more kneading or a longer bulk fermentation (the next step).

Towards the end of mixing, extra ingredients can be added that would have been crushed if added at the start. Common additions include; dried fruit, olives, cheese and herbs.

Another kneading method I like is bassinage. This is where extra water is added near the end of kneading, which makes the bread crumb more irregular.

The addition of fat is often delayed until the end of mixing. Fat makes it hard for the gluten to develop when kneading. Delaying the addition of fat till the end of kneading will improve the gluten structure.

Further reading: Why knead bread?The windowpane testDesired Dough TemperatureCan I add extra flour when kneading?

Whole Wheat French Bread

The first time I made this recipe my husband asked it if was homemade or store-bought. When he reached for a second piece, I knew I had a winning recipe. —Roseann Loker, Colon, Michigan

Golden Honey Pan Rolls Exps12780 Hb133235c07 19 1bc Rms 1

Baking bread in a Dutch oven FAQ

Do you oil a Dutch oven when baking bread?

No, no oil is necessary to bake bread in a Dutch oven.

What is the best size Dutch oven for bread?

I like to use a 4 or 5-quart Dutch oven or a 3.2-quart combo cooker for baking bread. These sizes are large enough to accommodate most bread recipes. If you have a larger Dutch oven, that will work just fine, too.

Should I preheat a Dutch oven when baking bread?

Yes, I always like to preheat the Dutch oven inside my home oven before baking bread. I find a preheated Dutch oven helps encourage maximum oven spring (the amount the dough rises in the oven) at the start of baking.

Can I reuse the parchment paper used to bake bread?

Yes, absolutely! I typically use the same square of parchment paper two to three times before needing a new one.

Why did my sourdough bread burn on the bottom?

It likely baked for too long at too high of a temperature. Reduce the bake time and temperature until it no longer burns. Use the suggestions in this guide post to help reduce burning on the bottom of your bread dough.

Do I have to season my Dutch oven?

Yes, I periodically season the Dutch oven I use to bake my bread—it is cast iron after all. I simply apply a thin layer of vegetable oil all over the pot.

Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Perfect Dinner Rolls Exps Hplbz17 41466 B06 08  1b 15

Hungry for more? Follow us on Social Media!

Bread Baking Tips

Baking bread takes a bit of time to truly master, but even the trial and error is fun. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of bread baking in the oven? There are a few techniques you’ll want to brush up on when you dive into a new recipe—particularly when you’re learning how to make yeast bread.

How to Proof Yeast

Person pouring an open packet of yeast into sugar and water inside a glass bowlTaste of Home<!–


Proofing yeast is a precaution to take before baking any yeast bread. This step, which involves letting the yeast sit in warm water with a touch of sugar, is a way to check that the yeast you’re using is alive and ready to create carbon dioxide, the gas that gives bread all those air bubbles.

How to Knead Bread Dough

Taste of Home<!–


Kneading dough is the fun part of bread making! You can work out some of your frustrations while working to develop the gluten in the bread. This gluten development gives the bread structure and the texture you love. To knead bread dough, push it with the heel of your hand, fold it over and turn. Repeat this process until your bread dough reaches the right texture.

How to Proof Bread Dough

Taste of Home<!–


Proofing bread dough is perhaps the trickiest part of the bread baking process. To properly proof bread, you need a warm, humid environment. This encourages the yeast to create the carbon dioxide that encourages the dough to expand.

Wondering how long it takes for dough to rise? It depends on factors like the room’s temperature and the freshness of your yeast.

How to Tell When Bread Is Done

After working so hard to knead and proof your bread, you want to get the perfect bake. For yeast breads, the best way to tell if the bread is done is to take the internal temperature with a quick-read thermometer. According to our Test Kitchen, yeast breads are done when they reach 160º to 185º inside.

For quick breads, you can use the toothpick test, much like you would for cakes. When the toothpick comes out clean, the quick bread is done.

How to Store Homemade Bread

Taste of Home<!–


After taking the time to make homemade bread, the last thing you want is for it to go stale before you finish eating it. Storing bread properly is key. Homemade bread lasts for 3 to 4 days when stored correctly. Bread boxes work exceptionally well for keeping your bakes fresh for a few days. If you can’t finish your bread in a few days’ time, learn how to freeze bread—it’ll last for 3 to 6 months in the freezer.

Did You Make a Fast2eat Recipe?

I love seeing your take on my recipe!

Comment below with your experience, snap a pic, use #fast2eat and tag us on

go to top

Sour Cream Fan Rolls

I received this recipe from an email pen pal in Canada. The dough is so easy to work with, and it makes the lightest yeast rolls. I haven’t used another white bread recipe since I started making this one.
-Carrie Ormsby, West Jordan, Utah

Exps1854 Mrr143297c09 10 2b 1 7

Cornmeal Parker House Rolls

My mom deserves the credit for making this recipe a family tradition. These sweet, tender rolls have been on every holiday table at her house for as long as I can remember. —Lisa D. Brenner, Harrisburg, Nebraska

Cheddar Loaves Exps Cwfm18 34833 D10 12 5b 4

Home-Style Yeast Bread

Easy Batter Rolls Exps Ffd21 16532 B04 08 1b 21

Italian Snack Bread

I’ve served this snack bread alongside spaghetti, as an appetizer and as a main dish. Because it stays so tender, I often bake it a day before. —Joan Nowacki, Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Easy Potato Rolls Exps Cwdj17 984 08b 19 2b 1

Easy Onion Crescent Rolls

Here’s a deliciously easy way to dress up a tube of crescent roll dough. These golden bites are one of our favorite recipes—and they’re a nice addition to any buffet. We like them so much, I usually triple the recipe. —Barbara Nowakowski, North Tonawanda, New York

Garlic Bubble Loaf Exps Cpl19 3583 C11 06 7b 4

Best Ever Breadsticks

Present these delicious breadsticks alongside an Italian favorite like lasagna or spaghetti. They’re an attractive and edible addition to the table setting! —Carol Wolfer, Lebanon, Oregon

Sage & Gruyere Sourdough Bread

Honey Whole Wheat Rolls Exps Sddj17 7334 D08 05 4b 6


If making more than one piece of bread from a batch of dough, the dividing stage is when you’ll split your batch into individual pieces. When dividing, it’s best to use scales, so each dough piece weighs the same. If you don’t have scales, you can “eyeball it”, but results are rarely accurate.

Take the dough from its resting place and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Get the scales out, and use a metal dough scraper to cut and remove a piece of dough that’s approximately the weight you’ll need. Place it onto the scales and add or remove dough until you achieve your desired weight. A 5% tolerance up or down is usually used.

The expected dough weight should be provided in the recipe. If not, see making bread in bulk for common examples.

Instead of flouring your work surface, an oil slick is a great alternative, as it doesn’t risk incorporating raw flour into the dough.

Further reading: Is it safe to eat raw flour?

Top tip: Plan your bake

It’s a good idea to plan ahead before you start baking. You don’t want to be doing something else when your dough needs attention. Design a schedule that fits around your bake. This way, you’ll remember to check on your dough and turn the oven on etc. This leads to a more enjoyable experience and making better bread.

Cheese Batter Bread

Hearty breads are very much a part of our Midwest heritage. This bread has a unique flavor and is a family favorite.

Chive Pinwheel Rolls Exps H13x9bz16 19475 D04 28 1b 2

Icebox Rolls

I remember my mom making these rolls almost every Saturday so they’d be ready to bake on Sunday for company or someone just dropping by. Although they take a little time to prepare, they’re really not all that difficult to make. And there’s nothing in the stores that can compare to them! —Jean Fox, Welch, Minnesota

Asiago Dinner Rolls

I first tasted these rolls when my boyfriend made them from a family recipe that called for Parmesan. I substituted Asiago for the Parmesan with equally good results. —Bethany Shaw, Mokena, Illinois

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

These fluffy rolls go perfectly with any meal. They have a delicious homemade flavor that’s irresistible. I like them because they’re not hard to make and they bake up nice and high. —Patricia Staudt, Marble Rock, Iowa

Exps60923 Hc153382d12 18 5b 1

Garlic Bubble Loaf

I tweaked my friend’s family recipe for pull-apart rolls, and here’s the result. This homemade garlic bread loaf is a must for your next pasta night, when everyone will have fun pulling off each rich and buttery piece. —Lynn Nichols, Bartlett, Nebraska

Grandma S Rosemary Dinner Rolls Exps Cwam19 133657 B01 04 6b 3

Onion & Garlic Rolls

I wanted something different from garlic toast, so I made a dough with garlic and onions. The next thing I knew, I’d created an amazing dinner roll. —Brenda Caughell, Durham, North Carolina


After scoring, it’s straight to the oven to bake!

For best results, a baking stone is placed at the bottom of the oven before preheating. It will take around 60-90 minutes of preheating for the centre of the stone to come up to temperature.

A baking stone conducts heat directly into the base of the bread. This pushes up water vapour and gas produced to maximise the power of the oven spring and bakes the bottom of the bread.

After scoring, the dough is slid onto the hot baking stone. Bread tins and rolls can be placed directly on the stone. Steam is added with a water mister (or alternative method) if required, and the oven door is closed quickly.

Adding water to the oven to create steam is vital for a crispy crust and a strong oven spring. Bread will rise in the oven by around 20% during oven spring, sometimes more. For soft-crusted bread, steam is not added.

The best oven temperature for bread is 220-230C (430-450F) for lean bread types. Lean bread is bread that does not contain enrichments such as fat, eggs and oil, or lots of sugar.

Enriched bread types are baked at around 180-200C (350-390F) is preferred for enriched doughs to reduce excessive browning (burning).

Dough proofing in a banneton

During baking, the dough structure loses moisture, making it hard. Maillard reactions and caramelisation brown and colour the crust. A dark brown or blackened crust imparts flavour and aroma throughout an entire loaf.

Starch particles cling to the gluten and water particles in the crumb. As baking continues, water passes to the crust area of the bread, where it evaporates into the oven’s air. Once enough moisture has left the bread, it is baked and ready to be removed from the oven.

Tip: The baking time is reduced in soft bread type to retain more moisture in the crumb. This makes the bread softer.

When is bread ready to come out of the oven?

When crusty bread is baked, it will sound hollow when the base is tapped with a finger. Soft bread requires less time in the oven but won’t sound hollow. Check soft bread is ready by the colour of the crust. See how to tell when bread is done for a detailed guide.

Further reading: Baking bread in a home oven guideStop oven issuesFix common oven temperature problemsHeat spots in the ovenCan I open the oven door?

Herbed Bubble Bread

“It takes just five ingredients to dress up a package of frozen rolls to make this buttery, crusty loaf,” says Anita Whorton of Powder Springs, Georgia.

Rosemary Orange Bread

Meet the Cook: Of all the herbs, rosemary is my favorite. This bread goes great with a roast, chicken or pasta with red sauce. It’s especially festive to serve at holiday time.
My husband and I have three young children – ages 6, 3 and 1.
-Deidre Fallavollita, Vienna, Virginia

Bulk fermentation

How long can you leave dough on the counter

Bulk fermentation is also known as the “rest period” or “first rise”. It’s a stage that sounds complicated and lasts from ten minutes to two or three days. 

All you have to do to bulk ferment bread dough is place the dough in a container to rest. It’s then covered and stored, preferably at a constant temperature. Many things occur during this stage. Its purpose is to mature the dough to be ready for the final rise:


Naturally occurring enzymes break down the complex starches in the flour into simpler sugars. Yeast uses simple sugars to create carbon dioxide and often ethanol too. Carbon dioxide makes the bread rise, whilst ethanol improves flavour.

Organic maturation

Bulk fermentation supports the development of lactic and acetic acids. These organic acids are produced when acidic bacteria multiply and ferment sugars in the dough. They aid flavour, keeping quality, gas retention and many other benefits. They can produce carbon dioxide too!

Gluten development

Allowing gluten to absorb water slowly enables it to form a strong gluten matrix. Kneading is responsible for a lot of gluten development, yet it can be complemented with bulk fermentation to continue developing. Gas produced by yeast stretches the gluten strands, making them stronger and extensible.

“Stretch & folds” or “punching down”

Bakers use stretch and fold’s during bulk fermentation. These strengthen the gluten structure by realigning the gluten strands. Stretch and folds redistribute temperature and the ingredients throughout the dough. This helps to form a contestant environment and supply of food (simple sugars) for the levain.

“Punching down” is a version of a stretch and fold where the dough is punched before shaping. This forces the gluten structure to rebuild. However, stretch and fold techniques are more effective.

These processes combine with others to produce a mature dough that’s better at retaining gas and holding shape as it rises. You can find out more (and why skipping this step can be beneficial) in the bread fermentation process article.

Further reading: Why cover dough?How long can dough sit out?

How do no-knead recipes work?

Are you the master of your home kitchen? And, most importantly, do you love to cook?

If the answer is yes, and YES, then would love to feature you!

Wholesome Wheat Bread

My sister and I were in 4-H, and Mom was our breads project leader for years. Because of that early training, fresh homemade bread like this is a staple in my own kitchen.
-Karen Wingate, Coldwater, Kansas

Exps H13x9bz16 2848 C05 06 3b 8

Grandma’s Rosemary Dinner Rolls

My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania

Onion French Bread Loaves Exps32503 Fm143298b03 06 1bc Rms 8

Herbed Bread Twists

A blend of herbs and a special shape dress up ordinary frozen bread dough in my unbelievably easy recipe. —Deb Stapert, Comstock Park, Michigan

Exps16018 Fb153741c05 27 1b 2

Golden Honey Pan Rolls

A cousin in North Carolina gave me the recipe for these delicious honey-glazed rolls. Using my bread machine to make the dough saves me about 2 hours compared to the traditional method. The rich buttery taste of these rolls is so popular with family and friends that I usually make two batches so I have enough! —Sara Wing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Make Ahead Butterhorns Exps1150 Bhr133210b05 21 9bc Rms 3

What’s next?

I hope this comprehensive guide on how to bake bread in a Dutch oven or combo cooker has shown how easy it is to bake delicious bread in your home oven. Using a pot to bake your bread, it’s simply a matter of loading your dough, covering it, and baking it, and you’ll have bakery-level bread with a shiny and crunchy crust with minimal effort.

While using a Dutch oven to bake bread is straightforward, I’m still a fan of steaming my home oven and baking my sourdough bread directly on a baking surface. With this alternate method, it’s easy to bake two long bâtards. In the end, use whatever method is most comfortable for you and the bread you bake often. And if you’re like me, you might often switch between methods.

And now that you’ve baked a loaf (or two) be sure to read my guide on how to store baked bread to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible!

Bread Baking Supplies

You don’t need a lot of extra gear or gadgets to get into bread baking. A quality stand mixer certainly helps, and you’ll definitely need a loaf pan or two, but you don’t need much else to get started.

If you catch the bread baking bug, you can invest in all sorts of bread making tools to make whipping up your favorite recipe a joy. A great serrated knife, a dough whisk (we gave it a try!) and even a countertop proofer can make homemade bread even easier. Bread machines can also be super useful in the kitchen, especially when you’ve got easy bread machine recipes.

When it comes to baking pans, check out the Taste of Home cookware and bakeware line to give your gear an upgrade.

Oat Dinner Rolls

These soft rolls are out of this world. The addition of oat makes them a little heartier than other dinner rolls. —Patricia Rutherford, Winchester, Illinois

Sour Cream Chive Bread Exps Mrmz16 14964 B09 16 1b 2

Golden Crescents

Potato Pan Rolls Exps Srbz16 13129 D09 14 1b 2

Perfect Dinner Rolls

These rolls melt in your mouth. I loved them as a child, and I’m happy to make them for my kids because I know I am creating those same wonderful memories my mom made for me! —Gayleen Grote, Battle View, North Dakota

Butter And Herb Loaf Exps Gbhrbz17 41538 C07 07 5b 5

Rosemary Flatbreads

My family loves this as a pizza crust. But with a touch of olive oil and fresh herbs it makes a lovely flatbread appetizer. —Sue Brown, West Bend, Wisconsin

Cheddar Pan Rolls Exps Chmz19 20877 B10 31 3b 6

Latest Recipes

Arizona Cornbread

Unlike other cornbreads, this one uses yeast. With oil and sour cream, this moist, tender loaf has a bit of zip to it from the peppers. —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona

Whole Wheat Potato Rolls Exps78471 Th2379801a07 06 5bc Rms 2

Honey-Squash Dinner Rolls

Puffy dinner rolls take on rich color when you add squash to the dough. Any squash variety works—I’ve even used cooked carrots. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida

Exps7483 Fb153741c05 27 5b 1

Flaky Butterhorn Rolls

The recipe for these dinner rolls, slightly sweet and so very flaky, was my mother’s. They are simple to prepare because kneading skills are not required and the dough is easy to handle. My grandchildren have renamed them “Grandma’s croissants”! —Bernice Smith, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota

Honey Squash Dinner Rolls Exps Cimz18 164587 C09 17 3b 3

Creation of the levain

A preferment will have large bubbles and ripples on the surface when ripe

The most popular levain used in bread baking is yeast, though there are others.

Many artisan bread recipes use a prefermented levain or sourdough starter. The preferment is a combination of flour, water and (usually) a little bit of yeast. In the case of a sourdough starter, it is discarded and refreshed with fresh flour and water.

The mixture is left for 2-18 hours for the yeast to multiply and ferment. This develops flavour and conditioning properties in the dough. More advantages are described here: what is a levain?.

For “straight doughs” a preferment is not used.

Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Most of the farmers in our area grow wheat, so this recipe definitely represents my region. I bake these rolls often, especially when I’m making soup or stew. —Celecia Stoup, Hobart, Oklahoma

Teddy Nykiel, Taste of Home Associate Digital Editor, contributed to this article.

Sesame French Bread

Homemade French bread isn’t at all difficult to make, and it’s perfect alongside Italian foods. If you’re not serving a large group, freeze one loaf to enjoy later. —Peggy Van Arsdale, Trenton, New Jersey

Italian Pinwheel Rolls

An enticing combination of Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic makes these buttery rolls impossible to resist. The aroma that wafts through the house while they are baking is incredible. —Patricia FitzGerald, Candor, New York

Amish Potato Bread Exps Wrsm17 24277 D04 13 1b 1

Butternut Squash Rolls

With their cheery yellow color and delicious aroma, these appealing buns will brighten your buffet table. Plus, I’ve found this recipe is a wonderful way to use up squash from the garden. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri

Country White Bread Exps Hca17 208 B12 15 5b 4

French Loaves

My kids love to help me make this delicious bread recipe. It’s quite easy, and they enjoy the fact that they can be eating fresh bread in about two hours! —Denise Boutin, Grand Isle, Vermont



Autolyse is a process of combining the flour and water in a bread recipe and leaving them for around 10-60 minutes, sometimes longer. The levain can also be added or left out. The salt is usually omitted and added at the end, but some choose to add it for the autolyse for a different effect.

The Autolyse method hydrates the gluten strands, allowing them to unwind and extend to form a strong gluten network. Naturally occurring enzymes activate and break starch into smaller sugars, ready to be processed by the yeast. Enzymes also break down some gluten proteins, making the dough more extensible (stretchy) after autolyse.

Once the autolyse period ends, the remaining ingredients are introduced, and kneading begins.

Further reading: Soaker or autolyse – what’s the difference?

Weighing of ingredients – Mise en Place

Weigh your ingredients

Mise en Place is French for “everything in its place”. This means it’s time to get the bowls, equipment, recipe, ingredients, and yourself ready to bake.

When making bread, good organisation is essential. There’s nothing worse than realising the yeast has expired or you have no work surface to knead!

Get your ingredients weighed, bowls ready and the work area tidy.

Butter and Herb Loaf

This is one of my family’s favorite bread recipes. They love it with a warm bowl of soup during autumn.— Lillian Hatcher, Plainfield, Illinois

French Loaves Exps Wrsm17 47135 B03 28 1b 2

How do you keep the bottom of the bread from burning in a Dutch oven?

I get this question often: “when I bake bread in my Dutch oven, the bottom burns and is very thick; how can I fix this?” In my experience, baking in a Dutch oven will typically produce a slightly darker bottom, even with the suggestions below. However, employing one or more of these will help reduce this darkening significantly.

My methods for ensuring the bottom of my loaf doesn’t burn when baking in a Dutch oven:

  • Do not bake bread dough inside a Dutch oven on top of a baking stone
  • Reduce the oven temperature during preheating
  • Insulate the bottom of the Dutch oven with a baking sheet, baking stone, or even single sheet of aluminum foil
  • Add coarse corn meal or wheat bran to the Dutch oven before adding your dough
  • Use two pieces of parchment paper below the dough
  • Remove the dough from the Dutch oven when it’s almost finished baking

Let’s look at each method to help prevent bread dough from burning.

Do not bake bread dough inside a Dutch oven on top of a baking stone

The first important thing is to ensure you are not baking with your Dutch oven on a baking stone/Baking Steel. When the oven has finished preheating, the stone and the cast iron pot will be far too hot, resulting in scorched or burned bread.

To prevent burning, reduce the oven temperature during preheating

The first approach is to modify your baking temperatures. If you find the bottom crust burns or becomes too thick, reduce the preheat temperature. For example, some of my recipes here call for a 45-minute preheat at 450°F (230°C); you could drop this down to 425°F (218°C) for the preheat.

Insulate the Dutch oven with a baking sheet or stone to avoid crust burning

Prevent your bread from burning when baking in a Dutch oven by placing a baking sheet or baking stone below.
Place a baking stone or sheet on a rack below the Dutch oven to help prevent burning.

Most ovens have a bottom heating element that can provide far too much heat on the bottom of your dough, especially if you place the rack too close. An insulator, such as a baking sheet or stone, can provide enough thermal mass between the heating element and your dough. This will help insulate your dough when the heating element kicks on, which happens often.

Place a rack on the bottom of your oven, and then place another one or two rungs up above that. Place your baking surface on the bottom rack. Then, use the rack above to hold your Dutch oven when baking.

Additionally, a thin aluminum baking sheet or even a single layer of aluminum foil placed underneath the Dutch oven will help to reflect most of the infrared heat from the bottom of your home oven.

To prevent burning, use coarse cornmeal or wheat bran

Sprinkle cornmeal into combo cooker (or Dutch oven)

Coarsely ground corn (polenta or corn grits) works exceptionally well to provide a thin layer of insulation between your dough and the Dutch oven. This layer helps keep the dough from sticking to the cast iron but also lifts it up to prevent burning.

Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse corn onto the pan after it’s preheated and just before you turn your dough onto the pan to score. Cover the pot with the deep end and center the pot over your baking stone insulator as sown above.

If you frequently mill your flour and have a sifting screen, save the wheat germ or bran you sift out of your flour. These coarse particles (which you can always add to the dough later) perform a similar function to the corn.

Using sifted wheat bran or germ to insulate the bottom of bread dough to prevent burning.
Using sifted wheat bran or germ to insulate the bottom of bread dough to prevent burning.

The image above shows the large germ/bran particles I’ve sifted out with my sifting screen. The fine, high-extraction flour falls through my screen into a bowl which I then use in the dough mix. Then, I collect these larger bits to either add to the dough as porridge or use to coat the bottom as insulation.

Bottom of the baked boule with wheat germ/bran is used as an insulator.
The bottom of the baked boule with wheat germ/bran is used as an insulator.

Bake on two pieces of parchment paper to help prevent burning

Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven via @theperfectloaf

As you might have noticed in my Beginner’s Sourdough recipe, I typically use parchment paper (I love this natural, non-stick option) to help drag dough into the blisteringly hot Dutch oven. As I describe in that recipe post, lay parchment paper over your proofing basket containing the dough and cut it to fit. Invert the basket on a pizza peel, slide the parchment into the preheated Dutch oven, score the dough, and bake.

Additionally, you can sprinkle coarse corn (as discussed above) into the pan before you drag in the parchment holding your dough. In this way, the corn will not stick to the dough, but it will help further insulate your dough and prevent burning.

Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven via @theperfectloaf

To prevent burning, remove the dough from the Dutch oven when almost done

Another method to help prevent burning your bread dough in a Dutch oven is to remove it once the crust has set, about 30 minutes into baking. This means the dough has baked for 20 minutes with the lid on (and with steam), then uncovered and baked for another 10 minutes.

By this time, the crust should be a pale golden brown and sturdy enough to gently remove the dough from the Dutch oven to finish baking on the oven rack directly.

Additionally, remove both sides of the Dutch oven and the parchment paper at this time and continue baking until done.


Once the dough has reached its intended size, it is scored before entering the oven.

Tip: If proofing in a banneton, before scoring, the dough is tipped out onto a board or baker's peel. When a loaf tin or tray is used, the dough is not tipped.

Cutting through the surface of the dough with a sharp blade allows gas to escape during baking. See, during the early stages of baking, yeast rapidly produces gas due to the warmth. Much of the extra gas produced is retained in the dough, making it “spring” up, which is why it is called “oven spring”.

Scoring stops excessive amounts of gas from exploiting weak points in the dough and rupturing the crust. As white loaves have a plethora of simple sugars available to feed the yeast, they produce the most gas during oven spring.

Whole wheat doughs made from wheat and other whole grain flours (rye and spelt) produce less gas during oven spring, so they do not need to be scored.

A clean cut from a sharp blade improves the look of the loaf and the quality of the crust. To achieve this, a specialist baker’s lame is preferred, but a serrated knife will do a reasonably handsome job in most cases.

Easy Potato Rolls

After I discovered this recipe, it became a mainstay for me. I make the dough ahead of time when company is coming, and I try to keep some in the refrigerator to bake for our ranch hands. Leftover mashed potatoes are almost sure to go into these rolls. —Jeanette McKinney, Belleview, Missouri

Exps7994 Mrr143297b09 09 5b 1

How to bake bread in a Dutch oven

How to bake bread in a Dutch oven
Turning proofed bread dough out right into a preheated Dutch oven instead of on a pizza peel.

My method for baking bread dough in a Dutch oven:

  1. Preheat your home oven to 450°F (230°C) with a Dutch oven inside for 30 to 45 minutes
  2. Line a pizza peel, inverted baking sheet, or cutting board with parchment paper
  3. Turn out your proofed bread dough onto the parchment paper (trim the paper to fit, if necessary)
  4. Score your dough
  5. Slide the parchment paper with dough into your preheated Dutch oven and return it to the oven
  6. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes, covered
  7. After 20 minutes, remove the lid from the oven and continue baking per the recipe (typically 25 to 35 minutes)
How to bake bread dough in a dutch oven timing diagram

When finished, a free-form loaf should have an internal temperature of around 205°F (96°C) when fully baked.

As with most things in baking, you might have to adjust the baking duration and oven temperature to suit your environment. See my guide to baking bread at high altitude if you’re a high altitude baker.

Should I preheat the Dutch oven for bread?

Yes, I always preheat my Dutch oven before baking bread dough inside.

I’ve tested using a cold Dutch oven, and I do not get the same oven spring and final loaf volume as when I bake bread dough in a preheated Dutch oven.

How do you get a loaf of bread out of a Dutch oven?

When your loaf is finished baking, use a pair of oven-safe gloves to carefully reach down into the pot to remove the bread. The crust will be fully hardened off by this time, so there’s no worry of collapse.

Additionally, if you baked your bread dough inside the Dutch oven on a piece of parchment paper as I recommend here, you can lift the corners of the parchment paper to remove the baked loaf of bread.

Want More? Check Out My Cookbooks!

Did you know you could make more than bread in the bread machine? My cookbooks will walk you through how you can make pizza dough, pasta, cake, and of course, bread in a bread machine. With over 130 recipes, there is something for everyone!

Don’t have a bread machine? No problem! The book contains a guide to convert all bread machine recipes to manual recipes. The guide also allows you to convert manual recipes you may already have to bread machine recipes.

Check out “Bread Machine Foolproof Recipes” and “Bread Machine Tips and Tricks” on Amazon!

Disclosure: “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

go to top

Benefits of baking bread in a Dutch oven (or any sealed pot)

A Dutch oven helps increase loaf volume

Without steam in the oven during the first part of baking (when oven spring occurs), the rapidly expanding dough quickly forms a hard crust on the exterior. This early crust formation limits optimal oven spring and will hinder overall loaf volume, resulting in squat and dense loaf.

Conversely, when you provide adequate steam the exterior of the dough remains moist and supple, allowing it to expand and stretch further before starches gel and the crust hardens and sets.

Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven via @theperfectloaf

It doesn’t require a lot of steam to provide benefit. When the pot is sealed during the first 20 minutes of baking, the moisture escaping the dough provides the right environment to encourage optimal loaf volume.

Use a Dutch oven for a deeply colored and shiny bread crust

There’s little as elegant as a crust that’s well-colored with a gradient from almost-white to a deep mahagony—the contrast is striking. Add to this a subtle catch of light and shininess: your mouth starts watering even before the intoxicating aroma surrounds you.

As Jeffrey Hamelman states in his book BREAD, the reduced temperature on the exterior of the loaf allows the enzymatic activity to continue for longer. This activity, which is the same activity that’s been happening throughout the entire fermentation process, continues to “unlock” sugars which add to crust coloring during baking.

the perfect loaf beginners sourdough crust

A well-steamed oven also promotes gelatinization1: in the presence of heat starch molecules on the exterior of the dough begin to absorb available moisture (hello, steam), start to swell, and eventually pop to form a thin liquid layer (starch gel). This layer finally bakes hard and becomes a thin and crispy exterior, with a subtle shine.

As we discussed earlier, steam inside the closed environment of the Dutch oven settles on the outside of the dough, forming a thin layer that prevents the temperature from reaching too high too fast. This helps ensure the exterior of your loaf doesn’t darken before you finish baking the interior.

With all these benefits, baking in a sealed pot is a good idea. However, there are some issues with the method, the biggest being a thicker, and possibly burned bottom crust. Let’s take a look at a few ways to help mitigate this issue.

Garlic Herb Bubble Loaf

I adapted an old sour cream bread recipe for this deliciously different pull-apart loaf that smells heavenly while baking. It has a light crust, tender interior and lots of herb and butter flavor. We think it’s wonderful with a hot bowl of potato soup. —Katie Crill, Priest River, Idaho

Exps6771 Fb143426a05 07 6b 2

Icebox Butterhorns

These beautiful golden rolls just melt in your mouth! People will be impressed when these appear on your table. —Judy Clark, Elkhart, Indiana

Exps17681 B163857d11 06 6b 4

Skillet Rolls

Baking these rolls in a skillet makes them soft and tender. My family requests them for holiday dinners and other special occasions. I most enjoy them split and spread with butter and black raspberry jelly.

Herbed Accordian Dinner Rolls Exps Cwdj19 47804 B08 10 4b 15


How to choose a glaze, wash or topping for bread

This stage of bread making is not used in many bread recipes, but essential when it is included!

A glaze or topping can be added to bread after baking or once cooled. A glaze (often warmed apricot jam) is applied with a pastry brush. Fruit and nuts can be sprinkled after a glaze to adhere to the sticky surface.

Note: Egg wash is a popular glaze added to unbaked dough before baking

For a savoury glaze, a drizzle of olive oil can be dripped onto the bread after baking.

Old-World Rye Bread

Rye and caraway give this bread wonderful flavor, while the surprise ingredient of baking cocoa adds to the rich, dark color. I sometimes stir in a cup each of raisins and walnuts. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington


Homemade bread loaves are usually shaped twice. Double shaping gives the dough the strength it needs to hold its shape during its final rise.

Preshaping involves taking a piece of the dough and shaping it into a ball or cylindrical shape, known as a “batard”. The dough is “degassed” during preshaping to remove pockets of gas. A long-fermented dough (long bulk rise) will likely contain more gas, therefore, shouldn’t be degassed as much as quickly-made bread dough.

To remove more or less gas when shaping, push or less air out of the dough.

After preshaping, the dough piece is left on the work surface, covered with a towel or sheet of baking paper.

The bench resting takes 10 to 30 minutes. A more mature (and gassy) dough should be left longer than a quick bread so the gluten can relax, but not so long that it loses its strength.

After the bench rest, it is time for final shaping. Here, the dough is flattened on the work surface and then moulded into the desired shape. The moulded dough is then placed in its proofing basket (or tin, board, tray, bread tin etc.), ready for the final proof.

Here’s how dough is shaped when making tin bread:

Parmesan Garlic Breadsticks

These tender breadsticks fill the kitchen with a tempting aroma when they are baking, and they’re wonderful served warm. My family tells me I can’t make them too often. —Gaylene Anderson, Sandy, Utah

Mother’s Rolls

These golden cloverleaf dinner rolls were one of my mother’s specialties. We always looked forward to them on holidays and special occasions. —Patricia Baxter, Great Bend, Kansas

Flavorful Herb Bread

This bread is one of my favorites. It has a wonderful texture and slices beautifully, and the flavor of the herbs really comes through. (Psst—If you don’t have a bread machine on hand, learn how to make bread without one!) —Gerri Hamilton, Kingsville, Ontario

Parmesan Garlic Breadsticks Exps Cwfm19 25358 B10 12 9b 14


It can be tempting to tuck into your delicious bread when it’s warm, but a better crumb and crust texture is achieved if you have the willpower to wait! Once the bread is ready, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool.

The cooling time for bread is determined by the size of the loaf and how dense it is, but 2-3 hours is typical.

Tip: When removing soft rolls from the oven, give the tray a bang on the work surface. This helps them set and reduces the likelihood of wrinkles appearing.

Amish Potato Bread

A tasty mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour and a small amount of mashed potatoes combine to give this golden bread its wonderful texture. The loaf is very moist and stays that way for days. —Sue Violette, Neillsville, Wisconsin

Best Ever Breadsticks Exps Thca18 3015 B05 18 3b 14

Sweet Potato Pan Rolls

This tender rolls are one of my brothers favorites so I make them often. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, they are great along side a wide variety of dishes from chicken to a bowl of chili.—Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland

Exps178678 Hc153382b09 18 2b 1

Swiss Cheese Bread

This bread will receive rave reviews, whether you serve it as an appetizer or with a meal. For real convenience, you can make it ahead of time and freeze it! —Karla Boice, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Icebox Rolls Exps Thca18 4356 C05 18 6b 6

Focaccia Barese

This focaccia recipe has been in my mom’s family for several generations. It’s one of my most requested dishes. In fact, some hosts tell me I can’t attend their parties unless I bring this with me! —Dora Travaglio, Mount Prospect, Illinois

Tender Garlic Cheese Breadsticks Exps Chmz19 120495 B10 25 2b 15

Sesame Wheat Braids

When I started making this bread, my husband and our six children liked it so much that I was baking every day! I was thrilled when the judges at our county fair gave these braids both a blue ribbon and a best of show award! —Nancy Montgomery, Hartville, Ohio

Overnight Rolls Exps Thca19 7525 B08 21 2b 17

Dilly Rolls

These versatile rolls are so welcome served warm alongside any dinner. I always make a big batch since my family enjoys them after they’re cool, too, stuffed with a filling like egg salad or ham salad. —Mary Bickel, Terre Haute, Indiana

Arizona Corn Bread Exps17113 Ac2930252b01 15 9b Rms 3

Types of Bread

Once you’ve mastered a basic bread, there are so many more delicious bread recipes to explore. Each recipe falls into one of two main camps: quick bread and yeast bread.

Within those categories, there are seemingly endless possibilities for interesting recipes depending on your preferences and dietary needs.

  • Restaurant copycat bread recipes: From copycat Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits to Olive Garden breadsticks, there are so many recipes to replicate your favorite restaurant carbs.
  • Bread recipes from around the world: No matter where you go, every culture has its own unique bread. Try Indian naan, Korean cream cheese garlic bread or purple Filipino ube bread.
  • Special diet bread recipes: No matter what kind of diet you’re on—from keto to paleo—there are ways to enjoy the comforting taste of bread. There are plenty of gluten-free bread recipes, too! If you’re looking for something that’s just generally healthy, Ezekiel bread is a popular choice.

Quick Bread

Taste of Home<!–


Quick breads are made without yeast. They rely on other leavening agents to rise, like baking soda or baking powder. Compared to yeast breads, quick breads are much faster to make. You can stir up the dough, pop it into a pan and bake—no proofing necessary. There are so many easy quick bread recipes, and they often fall into these categories:

  • Sweet quick breads: From banana bread recipes to zucchini bread recipes, some of the most popular quick breads are sweet.
  • Savory quick breads: Quick breads are often associated with sweeter flavors, but cornbread falls into the quick bread category, too! We also love this Herb Quick Bread recipe.
  • Irish soda bread recipes: Unlike most quick bread, soda bread is formed into a round loaf and baked on a tray rather than in a pan. It can be sweet or savory.

Yeast Bread

Taste of Home<!–


Yeast bread recipes are just what they sound like: recipes that call for yeast. They also typically require kneading and proofing, depending on the complexity of the recipe. So many classic bread recipes—like pizza dough, monkey bread and breadsticks—all require yeast. Some of the most popular types of homemade yeast breads include:

  • Shaped yeast breads: Different from breads made in a loaf pan, shaped yeast breads include rolls, pretzels and braided bread recipes, like challah.
  • Flatbreads: Despite a name that might imply they don’t rise, some flatbread recipes—including pita bread and naan bread—require yeast.
  • Sourdough bread: Sourdough bread is unique in that it uses naturally occurring yeast. However, you can use store-bought yeast to make a quick sourdough starter.

Yogurt Yeast Rolls

People tend to snap up these fluffy, golden rolls, in a hurry whenever I take them to a potluck. It’s a nice contribution since rolls are easy to transport, and one batch goes a long way. — Carol Forcum, Marion, Illinois

Exps3325 Hb143427d07 31 3b 3

Variations in shaping the dough

People like the various shapes they can achieve in shaping and baking their bread in the oven.

Traditional sandwich loaf

Traditional sandwich loafYou could take your dough ball, stretch it into a traditional bread pan (Pullman Pan), and bake that in the oven if you want the classic loaf shape you get at a grocery store.

Prepare a loaf pan by spraying it generously with pan spray or coating it with oil.

Once you have folded the bread dough, flip the dough over so that the seam is on the bottom and tuck the layered sides underneath so the entire exposed surface of the dough is smooth.

Place the dough into the prepared pan. Gently pull it towards the edges of the pan to create a taut skin. The dough does not need to fill the entire bottom of the pan because it will expand to fill the pan as it rises.

Bread pan size

Deciding the size of the loaf pan you want to use is crucial to the result.

Don’t go any smaller than noted in the recipe. Too small, and your bread will rise out of the pan. Or you can use a smaller pan, pull out some of the dough and make rolls with it instead.

Too large, and your bread will appear squatty or like it wasn’t allowed to rise long enough. You may go a little bigger; however, pay attention and don’t let your bread rise more than double its original size.

Note: The pans come in various sizes and names depending on what a manufacturer decides to offer.

If you don’t have a larger pan, consider baking part of the dough in your smaller pan (enough for the unrisen dough to fill the pan 1/2 to 2/3 full) and making rolls from the rest.

How do I know what size pan to choose?

As a rule of thumb, the pan should be enough for the unrisen dough to fill the pan 1/2 to 2/3 full.

The loaf pan is at its limit if the unrisen dough fills the pan 2/3 full.

The round bread
The round

This larger version of the roll is the simplest and most common pre-shape for a whole loaf of bread.

After you have folded the bread dough, fold it until the round has a taut, smooth surface and can hold its shape on its own.

Round Dinner rolls

Round Dinner rollsWhen making dinner rolls, this is the only shaping that’s necessary!

Divide dough into the desired portions; 60-85g/2-3 ounce pieces are great for many single-serving applications.

When portioning, cut with a bench knife rather than pulling or tearing. You’ve worked hard to build that gluten strength – don’t break all the strands now.

Try to portion with as few cuts as possible. Again, you want to maintain the network of gluten strands that you have created. Additionally, it is harder to shape a roll made up of many small pieces. It is much easier to work with a single piece.

Fold your dough in half with small pieces folded into the centre to have a smooth surface on the top. A well-shaped piece will hold its rounded shape as it sits on the counter.

Another option is: Cup your hand so that your fingers create a cage. Roll it against the table, passing it around the outer edge of your palm and place it in greased muffin cups.

Cover, let rise and bake as directed.

Potato rolls buns Fast2eat

Stop buying rolls and buns and make this recipe. These rolls are amazing! They came out very light, tender and fluffy, and with such a great taste, they melt in your mouth. This has definitely become my go-to roll recipe.

Check out this recipe

Potato rolls buns Fast2eat

Australian Bushman Rolls Fast2eat

Australian Bushman bread is the bread you get at Outback. It’s a honey, and molasses wheat roll, most well known for its dark brown colour. But since we can’t go out to eat every day, this copycat recipe is perfect! Make this Outback’s favourite Australian Bushman brown bread without leaving your home!

Check out this recipe

Australian Bushman Rolls Fast2eat

Arracacha buns Fast2eat

Bread Maker
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Liquid measuring cups
Oven Mitt
Non-stick silicone spatula
Wire cooling rack

Check out this recipe

Hamburger buns

Hamburger bunsYou can use the same approach with more dough to make hamburger buns.

You’ll want to cut off a piece of dough and shape it into a bun. You do this by folding the dough under itself until you have a dough resembling a bun.

You can top the buns with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or other toppings.

Remember, it will rise to 2 or 3 times its size.

Homemade hamburger buns Fast2eat

These soft buns are not just epic for hamburgers. They’re just as impressive for any sandwich filling – pulled pork, fried chicken sandwiches, club sandwiches, BLTs, sloppy joes, you name it.
They taste way better than anything that comes out of a plastic bag. You’ll never want store-bought ever again!

Check out this recipe

Homemade hamburger buns Fast2eat

The snake

This method works well if you want to work your bread dough into a knot or twist.

Divide your dough into the desired portions to cut long, thin pieces. The gluten won’t want to stretch too far in any one direction, so longer pieces to start will allow more flexibility in your end length.

Flatten the rectangular piece into a long rectangle, so the longer edge is parallel to your body. Fold the far horizontal edge towards you, and press the edge into the centre of the rectangle.

Continue rolling and pressing until you’ve formed a tight log. Roll against the table under your palms until it reaches the desired length.

If your dough begins to spring back as you roll, let it rest for five minutes to allow the gluten to relax. Because you are stretching the gluten strands in just one direction, they are bound to get a bit upset – they prefer to stretch equally in every direction. After a short rest, they should become more cooperative.


Knots/ braid breadAfter the pre-shaped snake has rested for ten minutes, tie it into a knot or braid.

Take the right end and pull it under the left to create a loop. Then pull it up, over, and through the centre hole. Tuck both ends underneath the bottom of the knot.

Place onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, sprayed with pan spray, or lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal.

This works nicely with a hearty dough, like a lean (meaning without butter or eggs) whole wheat, brushed with honey and sprinkled with sea salt.


Once your pre-shaped snake has rested, fold it in half. Holding onto the creased side in one hand and the two ends in the other, gently tap the dough against the counter to lengthen.

Twist the pieces together, then wrap the ends toward one another, and press them together into a ring. This shape works nicely with lean dough in sweeter applications.


SwirlsMaking a “swirl” is a fancy way to shape your bread. It works best for fillings that can endure some heat since part of it will be exposed to the oven hit and for fillings that don’t contain too big pieces.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Divide dough into equal pieces.

Using your hand, roll each piece into a pencil-like strand about 25cm/10 inches long on a lightly floured surface.

Beginning at one end of the strand, continue wrapping each piece around the centre to form a swirl.

Place rolls 2 to 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Cover, let rise and bake as directed.

French bread
French bread

French bread is traditionally long and thin.

Roll the dough ball with two hands into a tube shape, pull it into shape with the dough distributed as evenly as possible across the loaf, and let rise.

Or, for a perfect French bread:

Divide it out into even pieces

Note: Weigh the dough by cutting it (do not tear it). You can also eyeball this if you do not have a scale.

  • For a flûte or Parisienne – about 560g (19.75oz) of dough for a 400g (14 oz) baked bread.
  • For a baguette – about 350g (12.3 oz) of dough for 250g (8.8 oz) of baked bread.
  • For a ficelle or breadstick (thinner and skinny baguette) or demi-baguette or half-baguette (20cm/8″) – about 175g (6.2 oz) of dough for a 125g (4.4 oz) baked bread.
  • For a small French sandwich bread – about 70g (2.4 oz) of dough for a 50g (1.75 oz) baked bread.

Pre-shape and rest the dough

Note: The point of this process is to start creating tension in the dough to rise up instead of spreading out.

Pat the dough into a rectangle and then pull out on the short sides. Bring the short sides into the centre and press with your fingertips to seal. Then bring the long ends into the centre and press to seal.

Cover with an oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before the final shaping.

Shaping the dough

After the dough has rested, stretch each rectangle slightly by folding it down on the long sides into a cylinder, sealing the seams and pulling it into a tight log form.

Gently stretch out the ends again and, using your fingertips, press them together into a point, forming the baguette shape.

Using your hands, with the seam side down, roll the cylinders into a tube shape, gently stretching them to the desired length, roughly about 4 cm/1.5” in diameter.

Taper the ends of the log slightly to create the baguette’s typical “pointy” end. Use your hands and the back-and-forth rolling motion to gently taper the ends. Pinch seams and ends to seal.

Note: Keep your fingers damp to prevent the dough from sticking. Or sprinkle each rectangle with a little bit of flour, a very light dusting, so your hands don’t stick.

Note: See tips for shaping baguettes at

Place each loaf on a lightly floured couche

Note: Once you’ve finished your final shape, let the dough proof before baking.

Transfer the shaped loaves to a lightly floured (sprinkled with cornmeal or all-purpose flour) lint-free cloth, large tea towel, or baker’s couche to rest.

Pull the cloth up around each loaf to create folds, a ridge between each baguette (think taco stand). This will help the dough maintain its shape while you let them rest for the final time.


You can top any with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or other toppings such as cheese or grilled onions.

French-Style Bread Fast2eat

Homemade French-style bread is the ultimate bread-making experience. The ingredient list is short, but the flavour is impressive. It feels like such a simple pleasure in life!

Check out this recipe

French-Style Bread Fast2eat

50% Whole wheat French baguette Fast2eat

Is there anything better than a homemade loaf of bread? Homemade bread is always a family pleaser. If you are looking for a delicious way to get a little more whole grains in your (or your children’s) diet, this 50% Whole wheat French baguette is a fantastic place to start.

It’s perfect for making sandwiches, French toast or served with a nice hot bowl of soup!

Check out this recipe

50% Whole wheat French baguette Fast2eat


When ready to be shaped, roll each dough ball into a 18X22.5cm (7″X9″) rectangle.

Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into thin strips. Slice each rectangle into 8 sticks of about 2.5 cm (1″) width.

Or you can make these any size you want, from thin to larger. Just adjust the cooking time.

Twist each stick if desired.

Place on a greased baking sheet (or parchment paper) with the dough distributed as evenly as possible, about 12 mm (1/2 inch) apart.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Just let it rise until it doubles in size.

Garlic parmesan breadsticks Fast2eat

These tender Olive Garden-style breadsticks at home are by far one of life’s greatest pleasures! They fill the kitchen with a tempting aroma when baking, and they are wonderful served warm. They are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for endless restaurant-style breadsticks at home and will indeed create delicious memories along the way.

Check out this recipe

Log/Hot dog buns
Log/Hot dog buns

Decide whether you’d like to make your bread into small or bigger log loaves.

Pull the dough into a log shape and again fold it under itself until it resembles a long bun shape.

Honey Molasses Whole Wheat Rye bread Fast2eat

You may go to the Outback Steakhouse for the red meat, but the wonderful dark bread, served before the food arrives, is definitely a highlight of the meal. Luckily, you can make it at home. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love my Outback bread copycat recipe!

Check out this recipe

Log with diagonal scores

Shape it into a log.

With a blade or a sharp knife, make diagonal (at a 10 to 30-degree angle) cuts 6-12 mm (¼- ½ inch) deep across the top of each loaf, leaving about 2.5 cm/1″ uncut on each end. Never cut it entirely across the top of the loaf.

Attention: The scoring process is done just before the loaf is put into the oven. Don’t try to change its shape or rise once the cuts are made.

Swiss bread Fast2eat

This Swiss Bread contains eggs, milk and butter, which gives it a lovely soft texture. It has a shiny, crisp exterior and an interior that manages to be both fluffy and chewy.

This traditional Swiss bread recipe will bring the taste of the Alps right into your kitchen.

Check out this recipe

Swiss bread Fast2eat

Dinner rolls

Roll each ball out on a silicone mat (or flat, floured surface) until it’s about 13 mm/½ inch thick. Fold it in half and gently seal.

Cut into 16 even size squares and place them on two cookie sheets with parchment paper (or lightly greased).

Note: use a pizza cutter for quick, easy cutting without tearing the dough, which a knife would do.

Keep all the rolls with about a 5 cm/2” distance between them.

Cover them and let them rise for 40–50 minutes at a warm place (25-30°C/80-85°F) until doubled in size.

Texas Roadhouse rolls copycat recipe Fast2eat

The best delicious, soft, and fluffy homemade dinner rolls that melt in your mouth and taste just like Texas Roadhouse Rolls! They are an incredible addition to any meal.

If you have ever been to Texas Roadhouse and tried their soft and fluffy bread rolls for yourself, you know why everyone goes crazy for their heartwarming taste. If you haven’t, then it’s about time to recreate those flavours at home.

Check out this recipe

Butterhorns (croissant)

Butterhorns (croissant)Butterhorns or crescent-shaped bread have been made since the Renaissance. The French version was named croissant and has become an identifiable shape worldwide.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

Roll dough into a 30 cm/12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.

Brush dough with melted butter.

Cut into wedges.

To shape rolls, begin at the wide end of the wedge and turn rolling towards the point.

Place rolls point side down, 5-8 cm/2-3 inches apart, on a prepared baking sheet. Cover, let rise and bake as directed.

40-Minute Hamburger Buns


Here on our ranch, I cook for three men who love burgers. These fluffy hamburger buns are just right for their big appetites. I also serve this homemade burger buns recipe plain with a meal. —Jessie McKenney, Twodot, Montana

Oat Dinner Rolls Exps Thca19 9825 B11 16 034 5b 4

Learn how to proof yeast, knead bread dough and much more in our bread baking guide. We’ll also share some of our favorite bread recipes.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Baking bread is one of the most satisfying at-home cooking projects. That freshly baked bread smell alone is worth the effort. Easy bread recipes are the way to go if you’re new to baking bread, and quick breads, made without yeast, are particularly simple to master.

After you learn the basics, we’re sure you’ll be absolutely hooked on making your own bread and the magic that comes with the process. From mixing to kneading to proofing, we’ve got all of the tips and techniques you need to make bakery-quality bread right in your own kitchen.

Crescent Dinner Rolls

These light, golden rolls have a heavenly homemade flavor and aroma. Mom never hesitates to whip up a batch of these from-scratch rolls, since they’re a delightful way to round out a meal. —Debra Falkiner, St. Charles, Missouri

Home Style Yeast Bread Exps Mrr16 12013 A09 01 3b 6

Chive Pinwheel Rolls

These light, pleasant-tasting rolls complement almost any entree. With the chive filling swirled through the golden bread, they’re attractive enough for special occasions. —Ann Niemela, Ely, Minnesota

Oatmeal Rolls

Most people tell me what they like best about these rolls is they’re so moist. I like them because they’re simple to make, freeze well and because I grew up on oatmeal and still love it! —Jeanette Fuehring, Concordia, Missouri

Exps3329 13x9153596b10 30 2b 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *