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Patricia's Basic Bread Dough

One simple, easy-to-prepare bread dough can be transformed into many delicious breads, both sweet and savory. Chef Patricia Wells likes to use this dough for everything from pizza to dinner rolls; the recipe has also been featured on Martha Stewart Living Television.

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 pounds dough

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1999


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (about 105 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more if necessary


  1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough-hook attachment, combine yeast, sugar, and water, and stir to blend. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and salt.

  2. Add flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until most of the flour has been absorbed, and the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix at the lowest speed until soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes. Add additional flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. The dough will be quite soft.

  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator until doubled or tripled in bulk, 8 to 12 hours.

Cook's Notes

The dough can be kept for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Simply punch down the dough as it doubles or triples.


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