Very Basic Bread Dough to Use All Week…

I adapted this from a recipe I saw in Mother Earth News once.   Well, as best as I could remember it anyway.  The whole idea of this bread was you make the dough once a week, and then pinch off bits to use all week depending on what you want to make.  Toward the end of the week there will be some wild yeasts mixed in creating a mild sour dough.  Either fresh or soured, this makes delightfully light and puffy breads, rolls, and pizza crust.

So without further ado…

3 cups hot water (anywhere between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit)

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp yeast or 1 packet (I buy bulk yeast)

2 tbsp oil (Olive, peanut, veg, doesn’t matter much)

6 cups all purpose flour give or take a bit depending on how humid it is

Put hot water in mixing bowl.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.  Add yeast and proof , you’ll know your yeast is good when you have a creamy foam on the top of the water.  Now pour in your oil.  Start adding the flour a cup or two at a time mixing it in completely and adding more until the dough pull away from the sides and sticks together.  This is a sticky dough, so it should be sticking to your spoon, hand, dough hook, bowl, and everything else it touches.  Flour up your board, dump the dough out of the bowl, and knead for at least 15 vigorous minutes.  Like my pasta recipe, don’t whimp out on the kneading it pays off.  Put into a flour dusted bowl and set aside to rise for at least an hour or until you poke your fingers into it and the dents stay.  Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured board and again knead.  Put back into the bowl and you’re done with the real work.  Let rise again until you’re ready to use it.

Ok, so what to do with this big bowl of bread dough now that you have it?

Artisan bread:  Take out about a quarter of the dough.  Put on a floured board and knead in herbs, spices, or seeds to make you’re own artisan breads.  Form into a loaf brush with egg white and bake at 350 for about a half hour until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Pizza crust:  take a quarter of the dough onto a floured board and roll out to a pizza crust.  Preheat oven to 500.  Slide the crust into the oven and pre-bake until the top is dry, the crust is puffy and the bottom is just starting to color and crisp.  Take out of the oven, flip over, brush with olive oil, add tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.  Slip this back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Cinnamon Rolls:  Take a bit of the dough and roll out like the pizza crust.  Soften butter mix with sugar and cinnamon.  Spread on the dough and roll up.  I leave it as a loaf then just slice it when I serve, but you could cut them into individual buns if you like.  Let rise for at least 30 minutes, better if it doubles in size but if not its ok.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 until golden brown and delicious.  If you left it as a loaf, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

  1. mos stef
    August 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Needs salt.

    • August 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Actually for a dough like this, no salt in the dough. Salt kills yeast, and over the course of a week, or weeks, you would do more harm to the little beasties than good for the end result. If you want salt in it, knead it in before baking.

  2. GregWriteman
    November 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

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  3. TimFranplou
    December 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

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