So today, as many of you have been asking me... I'm going to show you how to simply make bread at home without a machine. Old style, kneaded barehand.
The possibilities are endless, as you can change the types of flours, the types of seeds, etc...
and the smell of fresh baked bread in a house is sooooo yummyyy!!
- 900gr (or 7 cups) Bread Flour
- 100gr (or 3/4 cup)Hard Red Flour
- 100gr (or 3/4 cup) Spelt Flour
- 650gr (or 2 3/4 cup) Water
- 30gr (or 1 3/4 tbsp) Salt
- 5gr (or 1 1/2 tsp) Yeast
- 10gr (or 2 1/2 tsp) Sucre
- 50gr (or 1/3 cup) Grains of your choice (flaxseeds, sesame, pumpkin....)
First you have to start you yeast, in order to do that, you use a tall measuring cup ideally where you put your sugar and your dehydrated yeast, poor in 65 º C and mix with a spoon until everything is dissolved, then let it sit for 10 minutes until it looks like this.
Weight your flour and salt and lay them on your countertop, be careful to have roughly the same amount everywhere as you are going to poor the liquid inside and you don't want an opening anywhere otherwise you are in trouble.
Mix in your fingers by going in circle incorporating slowly the flour on the side until you have a nice dough, the bread is a little on the humid side, i like it like that, it makes for something dense and it last a little longer. Once you have a nice dough, you want to work it out for 5 minutes with your hand, trying to develop the gluten inside. At the end of that, add the grain of your choice
Once you've done that, proof your dough in a bowl covered with a wet towel for a 2 to 3 hours in your oven.
Don't have a proofer, then it's very simple, use your gas or electric oven, set up a bowl of warm water in the bottom and turn on your oven to whatever temperature for about 3 minutes and turn it off. This will warm up the oven enough and it will give the bread a little kick to start going and there you go, you've got your proofer.
Once it's proofed, put it on your counter top with very little amount of flour and do not knead it, just flatten it up and fold the dough, it should be quite elastic so take one end, the north end of the dough and bring toward the South, do the same for all corners a couple of times, then flip it over and round up the "boule".
The folding is what is going to give the bread the power to rise. Once you've flipped it over, let it proof one more time at room temperature on the countertop for about an hour with a wet towel. An hour is what i found works well.
Right before the hour mark, heat your oven at 225 º C and put in your cast iron pan or or a heavy oven-proof pot with a tight-fitting lid without the lids, you will need the lid once the bread is in.
Score top twice using a razor blade or a sharp knife and flour the top (that will give it the beautiful texture on the top) then with your hand, grab the dough and put it in your heavy oven proof pot with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
After those first 20 minutes, drop the temperature down to 200 º C and bake it again for another 20 minutes without the lid.
After those 40 minutes, bring it out of the oven and remove it from your pot and cool it down on a rack and there you have it.
In order to keep your bread a little longer, you have a couple of options, after a day, you can slice it and freeze it, in a zip lock or you can keep it whole as is but you have to wrapped it up in a towel every time you are done using it. it will last 3 days like this.
If you like breads that are a little less dense, double up the yeast and let the dough rest longer. In our family, we like dense bread :-)
Play with the flour that you use and you'll taste very different flavors,