Bread Making Basics with Brian Peffley

Bread Making 101 with Brian

Newly Appointed ACFEFAC American Culinary Federation Education Accrediting Commission as the Secondary Chair for the country. Brian is a Certified Executive Pastry Instructor at Lebanon County Career and Technology Center, and until 2018 worked at Hershey Hotel & Resorts as well.  Brian is a leader in the area of Culinary Education.   Brian is an Approved Evaluator for Trade Competency in Culinary/Pastry Arts for Penn  State University, He is also a Subject Matter Expert in the Hospitality Industry(SME) for NOCTI

Brian Peffley

Brian Peffley is thrilled to have Brian as a contributor to our curriculum.  Welcome Brian to the chefs cooking school.  We look forward to your work and helping us learn to create pastry and baked goods.


It is hard not to imagine a crispy exterior torn only to reveal a soft tender steaming interior blanketed by a a pad of butter or dipped into a savory potato leek soup.  I love bread and there is nothing like a baguette, dinner roll, foccaccia or ciabbatta that accompanys a soup, salad or country churned butter.

Breads have been around for 1000's of years.  Jesus broke bread with the disciples for the last supper.  Breads were easily transported without the need for refrigeration.  They could be kept in ones pocket, becoming a bit stale, however they could be rejuvenated in hot bowl of campfire stew or soup.  It was able to be transported on ships across seas.

These are all good and make bread a great resource for food.  Bread, freshly baked with some creamery butter on it is one of my personal favorite treats. Thanks for sharing Brian.

Types of Bread

While there are the standard white bread and dinner rolls that we grew up with.  The brown and serve rolls that were so delicious and special at Thanksgiving are examples of some basic breads.

The world of breads is deep and goes far.  Some types of bread that are noteworthy are:

French Baguette: Crispy exterior with soft white interior.  Long and narrow in shape.  The crisp exterior is formed with the addition of steam during the baking process. 

French Baguette

French Baguette

Ciabbatta: Crispy Chewy exterior with a soft chewy interior.  Ciabbatta is a wet dough.  You see flour with mostly because it is challenging to handle without the addition of flour to aid in moving and shaping it.  Ciabbatta is a great panini bread.  Usually some form of starter is used when making this.



Foccaccia: is a type of flatbread that is rich in nature and with many flavor options. To me foccaccia is resemblant of deep dish pizza without the sauce.  Lots of rich flavors with onion, herbs, potato, cheeses a great sandwich, panini or snacking bread.  



Here Brian is demonstrating making soft rolls.  In this video Brian will go over the stages of making bread.



Fermentation 1-

Bench Resting

Final Fermentation 3

Finish the dough-


  • Precise
  • Liquids use measure, not weight
  • Lbs. need to be weighed (look in toolbox for a digital scale)
  • If your recipe uses measurements for dry ingredients, keep as measurements and if weights keep them as weights

  • Dissolve yeast in tempered water
  • Combine all dry ingredients
  • Add yeast and water into dry ingredients, slowly using a dough hook, on low speed
  • Shift to medium speed until smooth mass develops, should pull off the sides of the bowl onto the hook. Continue to mix on medium until dough is elastic, this is when the gluten has developed fully
  • Add more flour to sticky dough

  • Good fermentation is determined by Dough developed properly
  • Correct humidity (keep dough covered, away from drafts)
  • Temperature of dough (between 78 – 82)
  • This time should take about an hour or until you press a finger into the dough 1 inch and when removed the hole closes slowly, Divide the dough
  • You should use a dough cutter
  • Cut the dough into the size you want, probably weight
  • Round the dough, to form a smooth ball

  • Allows the dough to rest on the bench for a brief time to allow the gluten to relax, keep covered, Shape the dough
  • This is where you shape into the final shape of your bread, roll or loaf, this should be done quickly, panning
  • Products of different size shouldn’t be placed on the same pan

  • This should occur in warm moist area of the kitchen, often near the oven with a pot of water simmering on the stove
  • A proof box is ideal where the temperature can be controlled to between 90 – 95 and humidity 80 – 90%
  • The Final product should be doubled in size from the original

  • With a wash of either egg, or water. 
  • Use a pattern of scoring, depending on the loaf.

  •  These will vary greatly depending on size, and what bread you cook.
  • Temperature
  • Time

Michael Davis