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Basic Bread Dough


Loaves and buns can be baked up to two weeks ahead and frozen until ready to use.

  • Yield: Makes 4 loaves of tiny sandwich bread, 50 mini hamburger buns, or 50 mini lobster rolls

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2003


  • 1 envelope (1 scant tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups warm (110 degrees) water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces, plus more for pans
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup warm water; stir. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, beat remaining 1 1/4 cups warm water, egg, powdered milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add yeast mixture; beat on medium. On medium-low, beat in 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough comes together (it will be sticky), about 2 minutes. Switch to dough hook. Gradually add butter; beat until dough is soft and sticks to fingers slightly, about 7 minutes. If dough is too wet, add 1/4 cup flour.
  4. On lightly floured surface, knead dough several turns into a ball. Coat bowl with spray; add dough smooth side up. Cover dough with sprayed plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Shape and bake per recipes above.

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