This is the bread recipe I use for quite a few different recipes I make. I use it when I make homemade pizza, homemade cinnamon rolls, bread sticks and even dinner rolls. It's also great to use if a recipe ever calls for pre-made store purchased dough. I simply make my own using this recipe! It's just slightly adapted from the cookbook that came with my bread machine years ago.
If you do have a bread machine, you can put the ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer (usually all wet ingredients first, then dry ingredients and yeast is typically always last). My bread machine is almost kaput (I think from overuse) so I have had to resort to making my own (with assistance from my trusty Kitchen Aid of course).
Standard Bread Recipe
1 1/8 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tsp. active dry yeast
Mix yeast and warm water and set aside so the yeast can "bloom." I usually let it sit for about 10 minutes. The mixture should get bubbly.
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil (if making something sweet, like cinnamon rolls, I will use coconut oil)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour (I have used all all-purpose flour, all whole wheat flour, and a mixture of both--anyway you do it, it works just fine)
Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and mix together using paddle attachment. Once yeast is bloomed, add in the oil and start mixer and slowly pour in water and yeast mixture. Once dough is completely incorporated, switch out the attachment from the paddle to the dough hook. That's a tip I learned from Alton. Knead dough for about 5 to 10 minutes on medium to high speed--when finished, dough should be smooth but elastic in texture. I have noticed that when using whole wheat flour, I typically have to knead the dough a little longer.
Grease sides of bowl and let dough rise in a warm place for about an hour to hour and a half or until dough doubles in size. (I usually start my oven to heat up to 350 degrees, but turn off the oven 3-5 minutes after you start heating it--the oven will be nice and warm, but you should still be able to touch the sides of the oven without burning yourself. This creates a nice and warm environment so your dough can rise. That's a tip from Gayle--love it!)
Once the dough has doubled in size, you can punch it down and roll into dinner rolls, use to make a pizza or bread sticks or my personal favorite, cinnamon rolls. Or you can always make a loaf of bread. Imagine that! Whatever you decide to make, I usually bake at 350 degrees for about 25 - 30 minutes for loaves and dinner rolls (the bread should sound hallow when tapped), as well as cinnamon rolls. When using for pizza or bread sticks, I still bake at 350 degrees, but it usually takes between 15 - 20 minutes.
I was sooo intimidated the first time I made my own dough and let me tell you, using yeast isn't nearly as overwhelming as it sounds.
It really is super easy to make bread!