The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Breadmaking 103 - The Process of Breadmaking

raqk8's picture

Breadmaking 103 - The Process of Breadmaking

Back again! Here's the third installment of my Breadmaking how-to series. In this post I go through the first 3 steps of breadmaking - Prep, Mixing, and Kneading. As always, I appreciate any comments or advice you have to give. Here's the intro - please see my website for the whole post. Thanks for reading!

Welcome back! You’re almost ready to bake some bread. You now understand what bread is (not a stupid question!) and you have all the things you need to start making bread. The last thing we need to do is understand a bit about the process. Bread isn’t one of those spur-of-the-moment type things you can do just on a whim. For the first couple of times, making bread will require a decent chunk of time. While you can go out and do things during the rising or proofing, many novice breadmakers like to sit in the kitchen and watch the bread rise. Let me tell you – it’s not very exciting. But, anticipation can make anything exciting, so watch away!

There are 12 accepted steps to the process of breadmaking. Peter Reinhart goes through them very thoroughly in his book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which I highly recommend. Here I’ve written a quick overview of the first few steps:

Step 1: Preparation

This step is actually extremely important. If you just jump into things without preparing first, you will often find yourself in a bit of a bind – missing ingredients, out of time, or out of (oven) space! It is very important to read the recipe twice before starting – the first time to get familiar with the process, and the second to really think about the timing. Make sure you don’t have to run off somewhere when it’s time to put your bread in the oven.

The next thing you want to do is check your ingredients and make sure you have enough on hand. Half of the amount just sin’t going to do, unless you scale the whole recipe back by 50%.

Lastly, make sure you have all your tools on hand.

Step 2: Mixing...

See my blog at to keep reading! Have a great day!