Master Bread Dough

This basic recipe can take on a life of its own. Many bread variations are possible from these easy first steps. Directions for using either Active Dry OR RapidRise Yeast are included.

Master Bread Dough

Master Bread Dough

difficulty

Intermediate

Yield

2 loaves

Prep Time

0:20

difficulty

Intermediate

Yield

2 loaves

Prep Time

0:20

ingredients

  • 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Instant Yeast
  • OR Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter OR margarine

DIRECTIONS

  1. If using RapidRise Yeast:
  2. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half.
  5. Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.
  6. Makes 2 loaves.
  7. If using Active Dry Yeast:
  8. Combine water, milk and butter; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Place in large mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  9. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  11. Punch dough down. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.
  12. Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.
  13. Makes 2 loaves.
  14. VARIATIONS:
  15. WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Replace 1 to 3 cups all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

  16. SOFT HERB BREADSTICKS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; roll each to 15-inch rope. Twist each rope several times, if desired. Place on 2 greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until risen slightly, about 10 to 20 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg white; brush over breadsticks. Sprinkle with herbs or herb blends such as oregano, dill weed, Italian herb seasoning, or fines herbs. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks. Makes 1 dozen breadsticks.

  17. FOCACCIA (use 1/2 of dough): Grease 15- x 10-inch pan. Roll dough to rectangle and press evenly into pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until slightly risen, about 20 to 40 minutes. With handle of wooden spoon, make indentations in dough at 1-1/2-inch intervals. Brush dough with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons rosemary and 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Let cool on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 1 focaccia.

  18. DINNER ROLLS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape dough into smooth balls. Place balls, about 2 inches apart, on large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over rolls. If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 dozen rolls.

  19. HEARTH BRAID (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 16-inch rope. On greased baking sheet, braid 3 ropes together; pinch ends to seal. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 90 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 braid.

  20. OVAL LOAF (use 1/2 of dough): Form dough into an 8 x 4-inch oval loaf. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If desired, slash top of bread with sharp knife before baking. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of bread is tapped lightly with finger tip. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

  21. FREEZING TIPS:
  22. TO FREEZE: After kneading, divide dough in half. Flatten each to a 6-inch disc; wrap airtight in 1-gallon plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to one month.

  23. TO DEFROST: Keep dough sealed in plastic bag. Defrost and allow dough to rise slightly before shaping. Defrosting times will vary; use times below as guidelines only.
  24. REFRIGERATOR: 8 to 16 hours or overnight
  25. ROOM TEMPERATURE: 1 to 9 hours
  26. MICROWAVE OVEN: Microwave on LOW (10%) for 10 minutes. Turn over; rotate 1/4 turn. Let rest 10 minutes. Repeat 1 to 2 times or until dough is defrosted.

  27. TO USE: Shape dough; let rise and bake as directed. Rising time may need to be extended.

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Master Bread Dough

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Prep Time: 0:20

Ingredients

  • 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Instant Yeast
  • OR Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter OR margarine

Directions

  • If using RapidRise Yeast:
  • Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  • With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half.
  • Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.
  • Makes 2 loaves.
  • If using Active Dry Yeast:
  • Combine water, milk and butter; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Place in large mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  • With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.
  • Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip. Remove from pans to cool.
  • Makes 2 loaves.
  • VARIATIONS:
  • WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Replace 1 to 3 cups all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

  • SOFT HERB BREADSTICKS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; roll each to 15-inch rope. Twist each rope several times, if desired. Place on 2 greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until risen slightly, about 10 to 20 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg white; brush over breadsticks. Sprinkle with herbs or herb blends such as oregano, dill weed, Italian herb seasoning, or fines herbs. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks. Makes 1 dozen breadsticks.

  • FOCACCIA (use 1/2 of dough): Grease 15- x 10-inch pan. Roll dough to rectangle and press evenly into pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until slightly risen, about 20 to 40 minutes. With handle of wooden spoon, make indentations in dough at 1-1/2-inch intervals. Brush dough with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons rosemary and 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until done. Let cool on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 1 focaccia.

  • DINNER ROLLS (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape dough into smooth balls. Place balls, about 2 inches apart, on large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over rolls. If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 dozen rolls.

  • HEARTH BRAID (use 1/2 of dough): Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 16-inch rope. On greased baking sheet, braid 3 ropes together; pinch ends to seal. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 90 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; let cool on wire rack. Makes 1 braid.

  • OVAL LOAF (use 1/2 of dough): Form dough into an 8 x 4-inch oval loaf. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If desired, slash top of bread with sharp knife before baking. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190°F to 200°F in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of bread is tapped lightly with finger tip. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

  • FREEZING TIPS:
  • TO FREEZE: After kneading, divide dough in half. Flatten each to a 6-inch disc; wrap airtight in 1-gallon plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to one month.

  • TO DEFROST: Keep dough sealed in plastic bag. Defrost and allow dough to rise slightly before shaping. Defrosting times will vary; use times below as guidelines only.
  • REFRIGERATOR: 8 to 16 hours or overnight
  • ROOM TEMPERATURE: 1 to 9 hours
  • MICROWAVE OVEN: Microwave on LOW (10%) for 10 minutes. Turn over; rotate 1/4 turn. Let rest 10 minutes. Repeat 1 to 2 times or until dough is defrosted.

  • TO USE: Shape dough; let rise and bake as directed. Rising time may need to be extended.