Lessons > How to Make Bread | Basics

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Lesson Overview

There is something magical about combining the simplest ingredients and kneading them together with your very own hands to create a beautiful, rustic loaf of crusty bread.
No matter what type of bread you choose to make, all yeast breads go through the same main bread making stages.

In this lesson, we will walk you through the main bread making stages, using the most basic dough – a lean dough – as our example. In this lesson, you will also learn how to make an épi.

Artisinal breads are much more difficult to make and require precise understanding and methodology, which we will get into down the road. The goal with this lesson is to get people baking bread.

We are trying to get those people who have never made bread before – which is actually the majority of people out there – to learn how to make bread by hand…from scratch, using the most basic ingredients and equipment (their hands). So, for now, let’s start with the basics.

Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson you'll be able to:
  • identify suitable flours for bread making
  • understand the role flour plays in bread making
  • identify types of yeast for bread making
  • understand the role yeast plays in bread making
  • understand the roles of water and salt in bread making
  • identify the stages of bread making
  • make and bake a lean dough
  • know how to prepare and mix lean dough using the straight dough method
  • knead dough and perform a window pane test
  • understand the concept of fermentation
  • shape dough into a basic baguette
  • understand the concept of proofing
  • perform a spring back test
  • slash dough and describe why it often is done
  • bake bread and test it for doneness
  • identify the reasons for cooling bread
  • know how to properly store and refresh bread
  • identify the necessary tools required for making basic bread
  • define épi
  • shape an épi

Course Syllabus

START: Watch Lesson Platform Tour
1. Introduction: How to Make Bread | Basics 3 mins
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2. Complete Your Self Assessment 2 mins
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3. Flour for Basic Bread Making 8 mins
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4. Yeast & Bread Making 8 mins
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5. Water & Salt in Bread Making 3 mins
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6. Basic Bread Making Tools 20 mins
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7. Preparing & Mixing the Dough Stage 30 mins
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8. Kneading & Developing Dough Stage 6 mins
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9. Fermenting Dough Stage 5 mins
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10. Shaping & Proofing Dough Stages 7 mins
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11. Slashing & Baking Dough Stage 5 mins
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12. Cooling & Storing Bread Stage 30 mins
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13. How to Shape an Épi 30 mins
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14. Practice Activities & Recipes 45 mins
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15. Lesson Quiz 30 mins
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Finish Line 3 hrs 52 mins Total Time

Practice Recipes

A few of the practice recipes you'll learn in this lesson.

Prerequisites & Related Lessons

Please consider these additional lessons to support your learning and discovery. Some of these lessons are prerequisites that may help contextualize what you are learning and form a baseline of knowledge and skill. Other lessons are related and may help you explore next steps or dive deeper on a learning topic.
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Wheat & Gluten

10 Tasks | 19 Videos | 11 Recipes | 1 hr 52 mins

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Students

4,340 students from beginner to advanced have completed this lesson from 76 countries.