Kneading – This ensures the dough will rise by lengthening the gluten strands and evenly distributing the yeast. Use both hands simultaneously in a pressing, folding and turning action until the dough is smooth and elastic. Kneading takes between five and 20 minutes, depending on the recipe.
Rising – Set the dough aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for at least 30 minutes. Bread that hasn’t had enough time to rise (or that has risen too quickly due to an excess amount of yeast) can have a coarse texture. The dough is ready when it’s at least one-and-a-half times its original size.
Punching – The dough now needs to be punched to remove any air pockets that may have developed. Simply make a fist and punch down the centre of the dough.
Proving – After forming the dough into rolls, scrolls, focaccias or loaves, you need to set it aside for a second rising (known as “proving”). When it has reached the size specified in the recipe, it’s ready to bake.