Use this guide to learn how to make homemade bread, and get tips on how to make bread with a stand mixer to begin exploring bread recipes from across the world and techniques from beginner to advanced.
Why Make Your Own Bread?
Beyond the unparalleled experience of pulling a fresh loaf of bread from your oven, there are many other reasons to make homemade bread. Since you control the ingredients, you can ensure only the highest quality items make it into your bake. It also gives you more freedom to experiment and create the exact textures and flavors you crave. In addition, you can ensure your bread is fit for those with dietary restrictions or preferences like gluten and soy intolerances or vegan diets.
What Are the Ingredients to Make Bread
While bread comes in many forms across the globe with a wide variety of ingredients, a basic loaf of leavened bread like white, rye or boule varieties, share some common ingredients. These types of bread typically start with flour, yeast, salt and water. Some varieties add oil or butter for richness, honey or sugar for sweetness, and other ingredients like sprouted grains or dried fruit to layer in texture or nutrients. Many basic bread recipes include:
Yeast: A leavening agent like active dry yeast is what causes the bread to rise.
Warm water: Water should be between 110° to 115° to activate the yeast.
Salt: Used as a flavor booster, it’s generally recommended to use non-iodized varieties.
Flour: Many different types of flour can be used including a specialized bread flour.
Vegetable oil or butter: Canola oil, olive oil or butter are often used to add richness.
Sugar: Some recipes add just a bit of sugar to sweeten the loaf.
Keep in mind that different types of bread call for different ingredients and processes. For example, a classic sourdough bread requires a special kind of yeast known as a sourdough starter. Try homemade bread recipes that call for inventive flavor combinations like cranberry oat walnut loaf or chocolate cherry rye bread.
What Equipment Do You Need to Make Bread?
To make bread by hand, you only need a bowl, a spoon and your hands to create rustic homemade bread dough that is as much a labor of love as actual labor. Today, there are many tools that can help streamline the process and take homemade bread from a special occasion treat, to an everyday dinner table centerpiece. While the exact equipment you’ll need depends on your recipe, here is some of the most common bread-making equipment:
Mixing bowl: Make sure to choose a bowl with enough capacity. If your recipe requires proofing and you plan to proof in the bowl, choose one with enough room for your dough to double in size.
Scale: Baking is all about precision, so make sure you get the most accurate measurements by weighing ingredients.
Strong spoon or Spatula: Though bread dough starts out very wet, as you add flour, the dough will become tougher to mix.
Kitchen Thermometer: Check the temperature of your water and your baked bread for doneness.
Bowl cover: From specially designed proofing covers to kitchen towels, it’s best to cover your dough while it proofs.
Bakeware: Choose a loaf pan, dutch oven, or baking stone depending on the style of bread you are making.
Bread Lame: This razor tool helps carve beautiful designs or rustic marks on your homemade bread. Note that not all bread needs to be scored.
- Stand Mixer: While optional, a stand mixer is considered an essential tool for bread making by many and can replace the need for a separate bowl, spoon, hand kneading and more with attachments and accessories.
Why Use a Stand Mixer to Make Bread?
You may find yourself seeking the meditative comfort that comes from crafting delicious homemade bread more than ever before. Whether you’re already an accomplished home baker or a novice who wants to branch out and add bread to your repertoire, you might wonder how to make homemade bread. Switching from making bread by hand to using a stand mixer can help streamline even the most technically challenging bread recipes. Using a stand mixer allows you to mix ingredients evenly, then knead the dough quickly without transferring ingredients out of the bowl. Mixing bread dough without a stand mixer is of course possible, but using a stand mixer can elevate your bread making with an appliance perfectly designed for the task.
Kneading dough in a stand mixer is more efficient than kneading by hand. The fast, efficient kneading rhythm used in stand mixer bread dough recipes helps develop gluten strands that give structure to the bread when baked. In addition, using a stand mixer to knead dough helps reduce strain on your wrists while also cutting the overall kneading time. You’ll be able to use your time efficiently to knead, shape and proof your dough so you can move on to another exciting recipe.
Using a stand mixer to make bread can:
Thoroughly and evenly mix ingredients
Knead dough efficiently and quickly
Provide multiple speed settings for a range of bread recipes
Provide additional accessories or attachments for bread making
If you use a KitchenAid® stand mixer for your bread recipes, you can explore a range of attachments and accessories to help with every step of the bread making process. Every stand mixer comes with a dough hook specially designed for kneading and you can purchase a KitchenAid® Bread Bowl Accessory that lets you mix, knead, proof and even bake all in the same bowl. In addition, the KitchenAid® Grain Mill Attachment gives you more control over your ingredients by letting you create your own custom flours. The KitchenAid® Sifter+Scale Attachment eliminates the need for a separate scale while also adding the flour to the bowl for you.
How to Make Stand Mixer Bread
The steps for making bread will vary depending on what kind of bread you’re making and a number of other factors. The steps below provide a general overview of how to make yeasted bread with a stand mixer. Make sure to always follow your specific recipe instructions.
1. Warm your bowl
Though optional, filling your bowl with hot water, then pouring it out will help maintain the temperature needed to activate your yeast.
2. Add flour, yeast, salt and additions
Add dry ingredients to your mixer bowl, attached to the stand mixer. Add the dough hook, lock your stand mixer head or bowl in place (depending on your model), then mix on speed 2 for about 30 seconds.
3. Add warm water
Slowly stream warmed water into the bowl and continue to mix on speed 2. Temperatures between 110° and 115° are ideal in most cases to activate the yeast.
4. Knead bread dough
Kneading time will depend on your recipe but if no time is recommended, allow the mixer to knead on speed 2 for around 1 ½ - 2 ½ minutes—or, until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a ball. Do not over knead. (It’s okay if some bits of flour remain around the edge.)
5. Dust with flour and proof
Remove the bowl from the mixer and dust the top of the dough with flour. Use a hand to turn and coat the dough. Transfer the dough to a proofing basket or container and cover. Put your dough in a warm, dry place and let it sit per your recipe instructions-—usually at least 60 minutes.
6. Shape the proofed dough
Uncover the bowl and gently pull the dough from the bowl onto a generously floured surface. Shape or pull dough according to your recipe instructions. Some bread needs to be kneaded gently by hand after proofing, others simply need to be shaped.
7. Proof again
Some breads call for a second proofing. This is generally shorter than the first proof. Check your recipe to see if this step is needed. If so, cover the bread again and let sit undisturbed for the recommended amount of time. This is a good time to begin preheating your oven.
8. Score and Bake the bread
Gently place your dough into the right bakeware per your recipe instructions. You’ll generally flour the bakeware or cover with parchment paper beforehand. If your recipe calls for scoring, do it after placing the bread in its final position. Follow your recipe instructions to bake your bread at the right temperature and time.
9. Let cool and enjoy!
Move your baked bread to a cooling rack and let cool before slicing or serving.
How to Make Bread with KitchenAid® Stand Mixer Bread Bowl
If you have a KitchenAid® stand mixer, the KitchenAid® Bread Bowl with Baking Lid is the perfect companion for homemade bread, start to finish. Mix, knead, proof and bake all in one bowl. The accessory features a lid that traps steam when baking to create an environment similar to a traditional steam oven. The ceramic bowl design retains and delivers even heat throughout the baking process, giving your bread a crispy crust and thorough bake. Make bread at home like traditional white, chocolate rye, brioche and more. Bake craft-quality bread at home in 4 easy steps:
The bowl pairs seamlessly with all KitchenAid® 4.5 and 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixers (sold separately). Just attach it like any other KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixer bowl, add your ingredients and start mixing.
Continue to run the stand mixer for 1 ½ - 2 ½ minutes, depending on your recipe to knead bread dough right in the bowl. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball, it’s finished kneading.
Simply remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, once your dough is ready to proof, cover with the included lid. The bowl features measurement marks* on the inside for a visual of the rise level.
Remove your proofed dough, then stretch, fold and smooth into a round that fits onto the Bread Bowl Baking Lid. Complete a second proof if needed, then invert the bowl, placing the dough round on the lid and covering with the bowl. Slide the bowl right into your oven and bake per recipe instructions.
TIP: You can also use parchment paper on the lid and place the dough on top for easy removal after baking.
*Marks are for visual reference only and will depend on recipe size used.
Stand Mixer Bread Making Tips & Frequently Asked Questions
Learning how to make homemade stand mixer bread is an effortless way to expand your recipe repertoire. Find answers to your stand mixer bread questions including how to knead bread, which accessories to use and other bread making tips.
Need a new stand mixer first? Find the best stand mixer for your bread recipes, whether you want to make basic french bread or heavy duty multigrain loaves.
How long do you knead bread dough in a stand mixer?
If using a KitchenAid® model, mix bread dough in a stand mixer for no more than 2 minutes, then knead for 2-4 minutes more depending on the recipe. You'll need to adapt the hand-kneading time in your favorite recipes so you don’t over-knead.
Two minutes might seem like a very short time when compared to a hand-kneaded dough, but when you knead bread dough in a KitchenAid® stand mixer, it is very efficient. To get the best results, remember to set a timer. If you happen to forget a timer, you’ll know you’ve let the dough knead for too long if it begins to climb the hook towards the mixer. A perfectly kneaded dough will form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl as long as your ingredients have been properly measured and mixed.
If using a different brand of stand mixer, refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how long to knead bread dough in your stand mixer.
What speed should I use to knead dough in a stand mixer?
You should only mix bread dough on speed 2 in a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. If you use a lower speed, the mixer will not be able to provide enough momentum to knead the dough properly. This may vary based on which brand of stand mixer you’re using.
What type of flour is used to make bread?
You can use nearly any kind of flour as you try a range of techniques and bread recipes. Note that your mixing bowl will hold more all-purpose flour than specialty flours such as whole wheat and bread flours, which tend to be bulkier once mixed with wet ingredients. Make sure not to exceed the capacity of your bowl.
You can explore a range of specialty flours such as ancient grains like Amaranth or locally grown heirloom varieties of wheat to bring new tastes and textures to your table. If you want to experiment with custom flour blends, the KitchenAid® Grain Mill Attachment for KitchenAid® stand mixers allows you to mill your own flours and gives you greater control over the quality and flavor of your ingredients vs store-bought flour.
To achieve consistent, quality results for homemade bread, it’s important to make sure your flour and other dry ingredients are well-sifted and weighed precisely. The KitchenAid® Sifter + Scale Attachment helps you achieve these results by letting you sift, weigh and add ingredients directly into the bowl if using a KitchenAid® stand mixer to make bread.
Find all the KitchenAid® stand mixer attachments you need for your stand mixer bread recipes.
How much water should I use when kneading bread dough?
The amount of water you use depends on a few factors including the recipe, type of flour, and the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. Add water to your dry ingredients slowly down the side of the bowl while mixing on speed 2. Hold back some of the water from your recipe. If your dough still looks a little dry, add a bit more until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Which KitchenAiD®stand mixer accessory should I use to knead dough?
Use one of two types of dough hooks—"C" shaped or Spiral shaped—depending on your stand mixer and bowl model. Use whichever dough hook came with your stand mixer or bowl. If you buy an additional bowl in a different size, make sure to check which hook will work with it. Likewise, before you buy an additional hook, check that it is compatible with your bowl. They are not always interchangeable.
Spiral Dough Hook
Some larger capacity bowl-lift models come with a “powerknead” spiral dough hook, which is shaped somewhat like a corkscrew and kneads the dough by pushing it off the bottom of the bowl. The spiral hook should only be used with mixer models and bowls that come with it. Using it with a mixer model or bowl it wasn’t designed for can damage the mixer.
How do I prevent the dough from sticking to KitchenAid®stand mixer bowls?
Prevent dough from sticking to the sides of the stand mixer bowl by ensuring the optimal balance of liquid to dry ingredients. It is not recommended that you add oil or another non-stick ingredient as this could alter your recipe. Instead, once your dough is done being mixed, transfer the dough into your KitchenAid® bread bowl to rise and proof before baking.
KitchenAid® stand mixer bread recipes
You can find inspiration with a wide selection of bread recipes that use a KitchenAid® stand mixer in the Yummly® recipe library. You can also use any of your own favorite recipes, but remember to adjust your kneading time.
Beginners who want to master the fundamentals of bread baking can start with this Basic Bread recipe. If you’re ready for a bread that incorporates specialty flours, you can try this Whole Wheat Flax Seed Bread. Be sure to read our article about How to Make Cinnamon Roll Bread and The Art of Creating Crusty Bread to learn more tips and techniques for achieving quality results with your stand mixer at home.
Find the best KitchenAid® stand mixer for your bread dough recipes
KitchenAid offers a full line of tilt-head and bowl lift stand mixers with a variety of bowl capacities.
The KitchenAid® tilt-head mixer tilts back for easy access to the bowl and accessories. It is compatible with bowls ranging from 3 to 5 quart with a maximum recipe size of 4 ½ lbs of bread dough. Pair select models with the KitchenAid® Bread Bowl and Baking Lid for start to finish bread making all in one bowl.
The KitchenAid® bowl lift mixer bowl is secured to the base by two arms that lift the bowl smoothly into place under the beater for extra stability to handle large or heavy batches. Bowl capacities range from 4.5 to 7 quarts for up to 8 1/4lbs of bread dough. KitchenAid also offers an 8-quart commercial stand mixer that is perfect for mixing in a bakery or for home cottage bakers who might sell quality bread at a local farmers’ market.
If you aren't sure what type of KitchenAid® stand mixer will work best for your bread-baking, learn more about the difference between tilt-head vs. bowl-lift stand mixers.
No matter what KitchenAid® stand mixer you choose, you can enjoy the freedom that a powerful stand mixer gives you to explore both basic and advanced techniques with recipes and flavors from around the world.
How to Use a Stand Mixer in 9 Steps Using your stand mixer properly lets you explore new recipes and techniques. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to use a stand mixer for your next creation.
Hand Mixer vs. Stand Mixer: What’s the Difference? Trying to determine whether a hand mixer or stand mixer is right for your cooking & baking needs? Our mixer guide will help you choose the perfect option.
The Art of Creating Crusty Bread with a Basic Recipe Discover the secret to making a crusty artisan bread with a recipe, baking tips and more.