Making homemade bread is a hugely rewarding task, and one the whole family can get involved with. Baking bread from scratch can be wonderfully therapeutic and, once you’ve learnt the basics, you’ll start to really enjoy it!
Start with an easy homemade bread recipe, follow our tips on kneading and proving the dough, and you’ll have all the skills to create your very first loaf. Once you’ve cracked the basics, you’ll open up a whole world of baking possibilities, and you can begin to experiment with different shapes, flours and flavours. So, give yourself plenty of time, make some space, roll up your sleeves and give it a try.
A basic loaf
Our top tips for the perfect dough
- How to knead dough: Kneading is all about creating texture and developing the gluten in the flour. There is no right or wrong way to knead your dough – simply move it around, stretch it, or even pick it up and throw it down (see Jamie’s video). This is a great kitchen skill for young children to practise as it allows them to connect with their food in a fun and tactile way.
- How to prove dough: Proving is the act of letting dough rise. During this process the yeast produces gases, creating air bubbles. Most bread recipes require two proves; the first is to develop flavour and the second is to help achieve the right shape. For the best results, you need to create a draft-free, moist environment. See how to do this here.
- How to slice bread: When it’s time to enjoy your loaf, there are a few tricks to getting the perfect slice of bread every time. Jamie’s mate Pete explains more here.
Other breads for beginners
Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, there’s so much more to explore.
Get more inspiration from our Best breads for beginner bakers and, if you don’t have any yeast to hand, try one of our easy no-yeast recipes.