The process of making bread is very simple. Most breads use few ingredients, and once the dough is mixed making bread is all about allowing the dough to rise. The mixing and kneading process of bread-making is the hardest part of bread making. You can skip hand kneading if you have a standing mixer with a dough hook. However, many people are unaware of the proper way to use a dough hook that comes with a mixer. The process of using a dough hook is very easy, and it cuts down on the mixing and kneading time for dough by a significant amount.
Mix the dry bread or dough ingredients with the regular flat mixing blade attached to the mixer until they are all mixed together.
Remove the flat mixing blade. Attach the dough hook to the mixer by sliding the hook onto the machine and turning the hook to attach it firmly to the mixer. Set the hook down into the mixing bowl.
Turn the mixer on to the lowest speed setting. Once the mixer reaches full speed, increase the speed to the second speed setting. Never use the dough hook above the second speed setting or you can damage the mixer and ruin the dough.
Gradually add the wet dough ingredients to the mixer while the dough hook is running. Allow the dough to mix for five or six minutes until the dough is soft and spongy and forms a ball in the centre of the mixer around the dough hook. Turn off the mixer.
Pour a small amount of oil into a bowl. Spread the oil around the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough ball from the mixer and set the dough inside the oiled bowl. Place a lid or airtight cover over the top of the bowl and allow the dough to rise as normal. Allow the dough to rise for one hour, then punch it back down and allow it to rise for a second hour before baking.