How to make perfect bread at home and save money

No-knead focaccia bread is a simple flat baked bread that is crispy on the outside and airy and delicious in the inside. It is the perfect bread to pair with soups.

No-knead focaccia bread is a simple flat baked bread that is crispy on the outside and airy and delicious in the inside. It is the perfect bread to pair with soups.

Published Apr 30, 2024


Many of us buy our bread from the shop, but what if you could make your own bread at home?

Bread is a staple in most of our households as it is a very versatile and filling food. It can be used to make tasty sandwiches or as an accompaniment to any meal.

And it is the one carbohydrate that almost everyone agrees on. It comes in different shapes and forms, but, just like everything else, bread has become expensive too.

What if there was a way to save money on bread? Well, there is – you can make it at home.

Here are some tips to make the perfect bread at home.

Read the recipe and follow it

Sometimes, you just do not want to read the instructions and you feel lazy and think you can pull it off by only checking the ingredients.

In bread-making, you need to read the full instructions, especially if you are new to this. Do not go substituting ingredients and hoping for the same outcome.

A good recipe will tell you what usually goes wrong, how you can avoid it and what you should use as a substitute, if possible.

Begin with the basics

Make things easier for yourself by starting off with a standard bread recipe. This will enable you to learn the basic techniques of baking bread without getting lost in the details.

Use fresh yeast

Yeast plays many roles in developing bread dough into a fluffy loaf.

It also aids in the development and strength of the gluten in the dough. Dried yeast is probably the most confusing part of making bread because there are many choices in the supermarket’s baking section.

Do not forget the salt

Bread without salt is tasteless, and the crumb isn’t as well formed. Salt mediates the yeast and changes the texture of the bread. Too much salt can inhibit the yeast though, so do not overdo it.

Measure your ingredients carefully

Obvious, but important.

Bread-making is a very scientific process, so you have to be pretty exact with your measurements.

Wet your hands before kneading the dough

Wet your hands before you start kneading your bread dough. Most people flour their hands, but that can actually make the dough heavier. Wetting your hands will stop the dough from sticking to your hands too much.


Don’t stress about your bread being perfect. There is no point in baking at home if it does not bring you joy. If a part of the loaf burns, don’t worry. Some people like the crispy parts.

If one part is not as firm as the rest, that’s fine too – some people like the soft parts. The ultimate thing to keep in mind is that as long as the bread is fresh and warm, people will pick it apart the second it hits the table.

Preheat your oven and the pan you are using

Preheat whatever pan you are using before you add the dough and stick it in the oven. If it is not preheated, the cold temperature of the pan will bring the temperature of the entire oven down, which could negatively impact the way your bread is baked.

Let the bread cool before slicing

When a loaf is freshly out of the oven, I know all you want to do is slice it and eat it. Do not do it. Resist. Let the bread cool down first.

Focaccia Bread


3 3/4 cups Bread Flour

8-10 tablespoons extra Virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon salt plus more for topping ( flaky salt optional)

5 sliced garlic cloves optional : you can top the bread with anything you like

sliced red onion

2 sprigs fresh rosemary


In a large bowl, pour 1/3 cup of warm water, honey, and yeast. Wait 5 minutes until the the mixture froths. This step is optional to check if the yeast is alive.

Next, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining water, salt and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon.

Mix the dough until you form a semi smooth ball. The dough will be sticky so do not worry. Depending on the brand and type of flour, you made need to add additional 3-4 tablespoons of water or flour.

Note: You are looking for a semi sticky dough that you can form into a dough ball.

First Rise –

Same Day : Coat a large bowl with olive oil, place the dough and cover with a large plate or tea towel and set aside in a warm place for at least 5-6 hours.

Second Rise –

Coat a large rectangle or round baking pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil ( maybe even more depending on the size of the pan. Be generous with the olive oil) and lightly spread the dough. Do not try to spread the dough to all the corners of the pan.

Lightly spread the dough and cover the pan and place in a warm place to rise again for about 2 hours. The dough will rise and spread.

*if you placed your dough in the fridge to rise overnight, the dough will be cold when spreading it out for the second rise in the pan. If you are having trouble spreading the dough out, cover and allow to rest for a couple of minutes to relax the gluten and then come back and spread it out again.

After about 2 hours, using your fingers, imprint your fingers throughout the dough to create indents. Top the dough with any kind of toppings – garlic, red onion, rosemary etc. Make sure to drizzle some olive oil and flaky sea salt before and after you bake the bread.

Preheat oven 450 F

Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes or until the edges and top is golden.

Let the bread cool completely before cutting into it.

Cape Times

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