How To: Bake with Yeast

Baking | Recipes

How to bake with yeast

Starting on Thursday I’ll be sharing weekly menu plans and recipes with you!  Over the next few weeks some of those recipes will require you know how to bake with yeast.  I have talked to many girlfriends over the years who have never baked with yeast because the thought of it intimidates them.  I thought I would break it down into a few simple and easy steps!

The recipe you’ll practice on is a French Bread recipe that is a staple in our home.  It’ll make two large loafs of French Bread, two 9×13 pans of Pizza Rolls (which I’ll share later) or two homemade pizza crusts.  If you bake with yeast for the first time using this tutorial/recipe I would LOVE for you to come back here and comment with your experience! And if you have ANY questions please don’t hesitate to ask below!

/// ingredients ///
2 Cups of Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast (THIS is my go-to brand.  Make sure to store it in your fridge after you open it!)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 Cups All Purpose Flour

/// directions ///
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl you’ll pour in two cups of WARM water.  Now here’s the thing… you want it to be on the warmer side of warm. Definitely not hot, but leaning more towards the hot side of warm than the cold side of warm.  If that makes sense ha!

Now you’ll sprinkle in your yeast.  Then sprinkle your sugar on top of that.   Now for a random little fact.  The sugar is “food” for the yeast.  As the yeast consumes the sugar it then expels ethanol and carbon dioxide bubbles.  These bubbles are what is going to make your bread rise!

Once you’ve sprinkled in your yeast and your sugar, you’ll want to give it all a gentle stir.  THEN…. walk away.  You’ll want to let the yeast do it’s thing for a few minutes.  If you can be patient I would suggest 10 minutes to be on the safe side.  If you have successfully activated your yeast you’ll see that there is a layer of foam/bubbles.  If you have NOT activated your yeast (your water might have been too cold or too hot) then your mixture will look like it did before you walked away.  If this is the case, then dump it out and start over.  Better to start over now than to make the full recipe and have it be a flop (literally).

Once you have your activated yeast/water mixture you’ll then add in your oil, salt and flour.  You can then begin to mix it by hand or with your kitchen aid mixer (make sure to use the bread hook).  This past year has been the first year I’ve used my Kitchenaid while making this recipe. Before this I just kneaded it by hand.  If you’re not sure how to knead here’s a video that explains it.

I start by adding 5 cups of flour.  Then slowly add in my 6th cup of flour while I knead the dough.  You’ll want your dough to be a bit sticky to the touch but firm.  Once you’re done kneading divide your dough in half.

From here you can choose what you want to make with the dough!

For French Bread: divide your dough into half.  Shape them into loaves.  Bake in your pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (until the top is crusty).

For Pizza Dough: divide your dough into half.  Roll out onto two baking sheets (I use rectangular ones).  Spread on your sauce and toppings but leave the cheese OFF.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Pull out of the oven and sprinkle on your cheese.  I like to do a pound of shredded mozzarella for each pizza.  Pop back into the oven for about 5 minutes or until your cheese is melted!

For Pizza Rolls: click here!

How to bake with yeast

How to bake with yeast

How to bake with yeast

How to bake with yeast

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  1. So proud of myself for getting past activating the yeast part! Thank you for sharing this! Everything turned out well, except it didn’t brown properly. It was still very white, but the bottom was nice and gold…any suggestions? Still super yummy!

  2. Does the dough need to rise? (Like if I’m making the French bread.) I’ve only made bread a few times in the past, and I thought it always had to rise? I could be completely wrong, but just wanted to check. Thank you!

    1. You can definitely let it rise if you have time… BUT… if you proof your yeast (let it do it’s thing like in the tutorial I wrote) then you’ll be fine just mixing the dough and popping it in the oven! 🙂

    1. Oh goodness ha! That would have been helpful to add :). I just updated it, but you’ll bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes!

  3. Do you just shape the dough into loaves? What do you bake them on? How long? I’m a novice breadmaker…but I’m gonna give this a shot! It’s finally fall in Kansas! Homemade bread is a must!!

    1. Oh gosh! I’m so sorry!!! I had typed it out and then forgot to edit it with final instructions ha! I just updated everything! Let me know if you need any help or have questions! SO excited for you to try this recipe! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

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