Sprinkle your yeast in a warm liquid (warm like a bath) with sugar as a food source
Let it bloom for 10 min before you add flour or other ingredients
Don’t overwork your dough. That’ll give you tough, hockey puck rock bread. Once flour enters the equation, knead only as much as your need to make a smooth dough, then give it a rest (for at least an hour)
Exact Measurements Needed!
Baking is science. This isn’t the time to eyeball or guess. Use those measuring cups, or even better, use a kitchen scale and weigh ingredients by grams.
Finishing Touches to Take Your Bread to the Next Level
Place a cast-iron pan in the bottom of your oven while it heats. Boil water, then when you put your bread in the oven, pour the boiling water into the pan. The steam will give you beautiful, soft loaves.
Melted butter gives flavor and helps bread turn golden (those milk solids turn brown), while an egg wash makes things shiny. You can add additional creamy fats like coconut milk or heavy cream to make things extra decadent
The secret to soft, fluffy bread is time. Give your dough at least an hour to rise in a greased bowl to prevent sticking, then allow it to proof a second time after rolling into its shape. This second rise lets the dough expand, so you’re not left with something flat and dense
Don’t go overboard. Once the dough is done proofing, it’ll start to fall, also resulting in dense, hard bread that looks flat on top. You want maximum rise, without the fall