Daily Bread

Recipe by PJ Hamel

This simple bread can be made every day. The dough can easily be turned into rolls or bread sticks, as well.

You can make this bread dough in a number of different ways. The simplest is in a food processor using the plastic dough blade. You can also use a mixer or bread machine, or mix the dough by hand. However you do it, your goal is a smooth dough that's quite soft; please see "tips," below, for guidance on how much flour to use depending on what season of the year it is.

20 mins
20 to 25 mins
9 hrs 20 mins
1 loaf; or 8 rolls or bread sticks
Daily Bread - select to zoom
Daily Bread - select to zoom
Daily Bread - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough with a food processor: Pour the warm water into the processor and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Put the lid on the processor and pulse for a split second, just to wet the yeast.

  2. Add 1 cup (120g) of the flour, process for 10 seconds, and let rest for 10 minutes. This gets the yeast going, and lets the flour start to absorb the liquid.

  3. Add the salt and the remaining flour, and process; you want a very slack dough, one that barely forms a rough ball.

  4. Remove the dough from the food processor bowl, place it in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set it aside for 8 to 10 hours.

  5. To make the dough using an electric mixer: Combine all of the ingredients, and mix and knead to make a smooth, soft dough. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set it aside for 8 to 10 hours.

  6. To make the dough using a bread machine: Put all the ingredients into the machine, program it for basic white bread, and let the machine go through its first knead (25 minutes or so). Cancel the cycle, and turn off the machine. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 hours, right in the machine.

  7. To make the dough by hand: Stir the ingredients together with a spoon to make a rough mass. Knead the dough, right in the bowl, for 8 to 10 minutes, until it's smooth (though still very soft). A bowl scraper helps the process along. Grease the bowl, cover it with lightly greased plastic wrap, and set it aside for 8 to 10 hours.

  8. Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and make it into whatever you want. You'll have enough dough to make 8 rolls; 8 chewy, substantial bread sticks; 1 Italian-style loaf or baguette; 1 round loaf, or a 12" focaccia.

  9. Let the dough rise again, for an hour or so, until whatever you've shaped is good and puffy. Preheat the oven to 450°F about half an hour before you want to bake the bread.

  10. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven when it's golden brown, and cool it on a rack. Or bring it to the table and enjoy it immediately!

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you want a very crisp crust, mist the inside of the oven with cold water from a clean plant mister three or four times during the first 5 to 8 minutes of baking.
  • Because flour absorbs moisture from the air, and the air is moister in summer than winter, the amount of flour you'll need in your bread recipes will be less in winter, more in summer. In this recipe, you'll need about 2 1/4 cups (270g) flour in the winter, 2 3/4 cups (330g) in the summer, and 2 1/2 cups (300g) in the spring or fall.