Straight Bread Dough Recipe

Donna Currie

Since The Art of Baking Bread by Matt Pellegrini is technique-heavy book rather than being recipe-heavy, the first four posts this week were techniques rather than recipes. Now that you've got an idea how detailed those instructions are, here's a recipe from the book. This should give you a good idea how the recipes integrate with the technique instructions.

What Worked: This was a good, solid, basic recipe, and a perfect one to use to practice all of the techniques in the book.

What Didn't: A small glitch is that there's no indication in these instructions when to preheat the oven. With all the flipping from recipe to technique and back again, it's easy to miss that detail.

Suggested Tweaks: Since each step in the recipe requires a look back in the book to find the technique instructions, it's easy to say, "oh I know how to do that" which could make the recipe less effective. Sure, you can wing it, but I suggest following all the instructions at least the first few times.

Adapted from The Art of Baking Bread by Matt Pellegrini. Copyright © 2012. Published by Skyhorse Publishing. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

Recipe Details

Straight Bread Dough Recipe

Prep 25 mins
Cook 3 hrs 20 mins
Total 3 hrs 45 mins
Serves 12 servings


For White Dough:

  • 567g bread flour

  • 5g yeast

  • 385g water

  • 14g salt

For Whole Wheat Dough:

  • 340g bread flour

  • 227g whole wheat flour

  • 5g yeast

  • 397g water

  • 14g salt


  1. Select which recipe from above that you are going to use.

  2. Mix the ingredients according to basic bread making (reference here as needed).

  3. Knead according to the instruction contained in the “Kneading”. Because this dough has a relatively low hydration, I recommend using the convention kneading technique, although you may need to use the French method a few times just to get the dough into a more workable consistency. Knead until the gluten has fully developed and the dough can pass the window test. Note: The whole wheat dough recipe will never pass the window test because the hulls in the flour cut the gluten strands, just make sure that the dough is nice and elastic before moving on to the next step. This may take from 10 to 15 minutes of kneading depending on how fast and deliberate you are. (One side effect of kneading is that you get a workout in, too!)

  4. Bulk ferment the dough according to the instructions (refer to Proofing: the Basics). Bulk ferment for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has just about doubled; fold the dough using one of the two techniques described in the “Bulk Fermentation” section , then ferment for an additional 30 minutes. Fold again and ferment for another 15 minutes. Note: For the whole wheat dough, use the second folding technique. It will work much better due to the stiffer nature of the dough.

  5. Following the instruction set forth in the “Preshaping Your Dough” portion of Breadmaking 101, shape the dough into an oblong (if you’d like the final shape to be a batard) or a round (if you’d like the final shape to be a boule). Remember, you can always make smaller loaves or rolls as well. Just divide the dough accordingly (i.e. in half for one-pound loaves and into 60 gram pieces for rolls).

  6. After preshaping, let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Using the instructions outlined in the “Step 4: Final Shape," form your dough into its final shape.

  8. Proof the dough according to the instructions set forth in the “The Final Proof." The dough should be covered, and proofing should take approximately 45-60 minutes, or until the dough springs back to the touch. If the dough remains dented after touching, continue proofing the dough until it springs back. (A perfect example where patience pays off!)

  9. Score the dough according to the instructions set forth in the “Scoring” portion of Breadmaking 101.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
172 Calories
1g Fat
34g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 172
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 455mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 51mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)