7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (2024)

Table of Contents
I've always loved to cook; but until I found myself with lots of time on my hands during quarantine, I never really attempted much baking. Looking back now, baking bread was one of the most rewarding hobbies I picked up during quarantine. The act of playing with dough — kneading it, stretching it, shaping it, and watching it rise into a warm and fluffy loaf of bread — relaxes me, calms me, and serves as my own little form of therapy. It's something I'll continue even when the world goes back to normal. So if you're considering teaching yourself to bake bread but don't quite know where to begin, here are some recipes to get you started. And I promise, it's not as intimidating as you think. 1. Miracle No Knead Bread You simply combine the four ingredients in a bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and leave it out at room temperature overnight. I figured even I couldn't mess this up. 2. New York–Style Bagels Like any good New York bagels, these are first boiled (for that extra chewiness) and then baked in the oven until golden. After boiling, you add any bagel seasonings like sesame seeds or garlic. Now I won't say that my homemade bagels could stand up to my favorite New York bagels, but they were definitely good enough. 3. Homemade Naan Making naan is less time-intensive than many other bread recipes. In fact, it only needs about an hour to rise. You'll know the naan is done when it starts showing golden brown spots on both sides. You can brush it with butter and garlic for some extra oomph. 4. Homemade Pita Bread The process of making pita bread is similar to making naan. Mix the dough, let it rise for about an hour or until it nearly doubles in size, divide it into equally sized pieces, flatten, and bake. I decided to bake the pita on a pizza stone, which I let preheat in the oven for about 30 minutes, and it came out great. 5. Homemade Pizza From Scratch Making the dough takes about an hour total, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer. Always work with room temperature dough. Stretch it into your preferred pizza shape with your hands — not with a rolling pin. Now get creative and add your toppings. 6. No-Knead Challah Bread The whole process takes about 24 hours and it involves flipping and stretching the dough — and then letting it proof overnight in the fridge. Challah is the gift that keeps on giving because you can use the leftovers to make the best darn French toast. 7. And finally: Sourdough Bread Making sourdough is intimidating, to be sure, and there's a big learning curve. My first loaf, though very mediocre, was a huge accomplishment. Your sourdough will get more and more delicious each time you bake and practice. Timing is important when it comes to baking sourdough. When you're making sourdough, plan three days in advance. It might seem like a lot of work, but it gets easier every time. And trust me: anyone can do it! So if you haven't yet tried making bread during quarantine, I urge you to give it a try. You might just find your new favorite hobby! Trending Recipes Trending Recipes More Tasty Guides References

I've always loved to cook; but until I found myself with lots of time on my hands during quarantine, I never really attempted much baking.

Walt Disney Pictures

But when I saw my entire Instagram feed making sourdough starter, I figured it was the right time to try making bread.

Looking back now, baking bread was one of the most rewarding hobbies I picked up during quarantine. The act of playing with dough — kneading it, stretching it, shaping it, and watching it rise into a warm and fluffy loaf of bread — relaxes me, calms me, and serves as my own little form of therapy. It's something I'll continue even when the world goes back to normal.

So if you're considering teaching yourself to bake bread but don't quite know where to begin, here are some recipes to get you started. And I promise, it's not as intimidating as you think.

1. Miracle No Knead Bread

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (2)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

When I first decided to try baking bread, I had my sights set on sourdough. But I figured I should start with something simple to make myself more comfortable in the baking arena. So I started with this miracle no knead bread, which only calls for four ingredients: all-purpose flour, salt, instant yeast, and water.

You simply combine the four ingredients in a bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and leave it out at room temperature overnight. I figured even I couldn't mess this up.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

And I was correct! After the dough rests overnight at room temperature, you just roll it in some flour, transfer it to a Dutch oven, and bake it. Give it 30 minutes in the oven covered with a lid and then uncover it for about 10 more minutes. When you remove it from the oven, you have a loaf of crusty, perfect bread with an airy, delicious interior just begging to be topped with butter. I would highly recommend this recipe as a first foray into bread making, and any beginner baker should give it a try.

Recipe: Miracle No Knead Bread

2. New York–Style Bagels

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (3)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I'm a New Yorker, which means fresh, boiled-then-baked bagels are part of my DNA. But for the six months of quarantine that I spent in Massachusetts, I severely missed New York bagels. So when I found this New York–style bagel recipe with incredible reviews, I figured it was worth a try. As for ingredients, you don't need much — only active dry yeast, granulated sugar, warm water, bread flour, and salt (plus your go-to bagel seasonings). After making the dough and kneading, the dough has to sit at room temperature for an hour to double in size. Then you can begin shaping the bagels.

Like any good New York bagels, these are first boiled (for that extra chewiness) and then baked in the oven until golden. After boiling, you add any bagel seasonings like sesame seeds or garlic.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Now I won't say that my homemade bagels could stand up to my favorite New York bagels, but they were definitely good enough.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

They tasted amazing fresh from the oven, but the texture and taste deteriorated overnight. So eat 'em while they're hot!

Recipe: New York–Style Bagels

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I absolutely love naan, the oven-baked flatbread you probably associate with Indian cuisine. I almost always have a bag of Trader Joe's garlic naan in my freezer, which I whip up whenever I'm feeling lazy. So I figured: why not try making it from scratch? I found a recipe from Once Upon a Chef that looked simple enough. And I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen. All you need is all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, salt, plain yogurt, olive oil, and warm water.

Making naan is less time-intensive than many other bread recipes. In fact, it only needs about an hour to rise.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

You basically just cover the dough to let it rise, then cut the dough into smaller, equally sized pieces. Shape the balls of dough into flat ovals and cook them in a hot skillet.

You'll know the naan is done when it starts showing golden brown spots on both sides. You can brush it with butter and garlic for some extra oomph.

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (5)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

And that's all there is to this pillowy, chewy homemade flatbread.

Recipe: Homemade Naan

4. Homemade Pita Bread

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (6)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Once I made naan from scratch, I was hooked on this whole baking thing. Next on my list of recipes to try was homemade pita bread, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flatbread. It's similar to naan but the dough doesn't call for any yogurt. You'll need flour, active dry yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. I used a mix of whole wheat and white flour because I prefer the flavor.

The process of making pita bread is similar to making naan. Mix the dough, let it rise for about an hour or until it nearly doubles in size, divide it into equally sized pieces, flatten, and bake.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I decided to bake the pita on a pizza stone, which I let preheat in the oven for about 30 minutes, and it came out great.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

It made for a great sandwich, stuffed with lots of veggies and hummus!

Recipe: Easy Homemade Pita Bread

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

My family is obsessed with pizza. Like, all of us. We might have a problem. But when we are together, we make pizza. And we don't mess around with store-bought dough. We make it from scratch, which is actually a whole lot easier than it might sound. To make your own pizza dough, you'll need active dry yeast, olive oil, salt, sugar, and flour (I'd recommend 00 Flour).

Also, I took a pizza-making class before the quarantine and put together this article full of tips, which you can follow in detail.

Making the dough takes about an hour total, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

You mix the wet ingredients into the salt and flour mixture, knead it with your hands, divide the dough into equally sized pieces, and store them in plastic takeout containers at room temperature until they rise. At that point, you're ready to make pizza!

Always work with room temperature dough. Stretch it into your preferred pizza shape with your hands — not with a rolling pin. Now get creative and add your toppings.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Transfer the pizza to a semolina-dusted pizza peel, baking sheet, or pizza stone. Just make sure to give the oven enough time to get super hot. Looks like you're ready to make homemade pizza!

Recipe: Ultimate Pizza Dough

6. No-Knead Challah Bread

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (7)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

IMHO, challah (a braided bread popular in Jewish cuisine) is one of the most delicious things in the world. It's enriched with eggs and olive oil — so the resulting loaf is moist, chewy, and basically melts in your mouth. And thanks to this recipe from Food52 for no-knead challah, it's actually incredibly simple to make at home. To make it, you'll need bread flour, instant dry yeast, salt, eggs, olive oil, honey, and water. Simple enough, right? You don't need much baking experience to make this challah. You just need some patience!

The whole process takes about 24 hours and it involves flipping and stretching the dough — and then letting it proof overnight in the fridge.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

You can braid the dough however you like best. I personally prefer a long challah as opposed to a round one. Let it rest for a few hours more, then brush the bread with egg whites, and bake it in the oven. Twenty minutes later, you have golden-crusted, eggy challah ready to be devoured.

Challah is the gift that keeps on giving because you can use the leftovers to make the best darn French toast.

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (8)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I always follow Ina Garten's amazing recipe because no one knows challah French toast like the Barefoot Contessa.

Recipe: No-Knead Challah Bread

7. And finally: Sourdough Bread

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I can look back on my quarantine in two parts: the pre-sourdough phase and the sourdough-making period. Once I gained the confidence to make sourdough, there was no turning back. Now, let's not forget that this pandemic also included a flour shortage, so I first had to track down whole wheat and bread flour, which was a struggle.

Next, I made a starter. One of the highlights of my quarantine is when I noticed my starter had come to life (sad, I know). You can read all about that journey here.

Making sourdough is intimidating, to be sure, and there's a big learning curve. My first loaf, though very mediocre, was a huge accomplishment. Your sourdough will get more and more delicious each time you bake and practice.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I wrote all about my experience learning how to make sourdough, and you can read my step-by-step guide here. And there are plenty of beginner-friendly sourdough recipes online. My absolute favorite is Claire Saffitz's recipe from New York Times cooking. The Perfect Loaf also has a great one.

To make sourdough, all you need is an active starter, flour (I achieve my best results by using a mixture of bread flour, whole wheat, and rye), kosher salt, and water.

Timing is important when it comes to baking sourdough. When you're making sourdough, plan three days in advance.

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (9)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

On day one, feed your starter. Day two is where the bulk of the work happens. You'll feed your starter again, combine the flours, fold the dough, and let it proof overnight in the fridge. On day three, you bake.

It might seem like a lot of work, but it gets easier every time. And trust me: anyone can do it!

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (10)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

There's nothing like taking a steamy boule of homemade bread from the oven that you literally made from scratch — starter and all. Cut into that baby and you'll have airy, tangy, and chewy sourdough that will put all other bread to shame.

Recipe: Beginner's Sourdough Bread

So if you haven't yet tried making bread during quarantine, I urge you to give it a try. You might just find your new favorite hobby!

7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (11)

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Trending Recipes

Trending Recipes

More Tasty Guides

More Tasty Guides

    See all
    7 Beginner Bread Recipes To Try, As Told By A Novice Baker (2024)

    References

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Rubie Ullrich

    Last Updated:

    Views: 5434

    Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

    Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Rubie Ullrich

    Birthday: 1998-02-02

    Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

    Phone: +2202978377583

    Job: Administration Engineer

    Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

    Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.