This is an easy way to make your brad, without scale.
The flour, yeast and the water ratio in the bread can always variate depending on the kind or brand of the flour, the humidity and temperature of the room, etc. So it is better to have an idea of how your bread dough should look like, and how to kneed it, all though you may have a recipe that indicate the grams and the milliliters.
In this way you can be creative and use any flour, or mix different flour, add seeds and other ingredients as you like, without be afraid of mistaken your bread.
Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED
- flour of your choice (i'm using about 1 kg of whole wheat flour and a bit of durum wheat one).
- dry bread yeast;
- a big bowl;
- owen pan;
- fork and tea spoon.
Step 2: YEAST
This phase is really important for the bread success.
Warm up a cup of water, not to hot, just warm.
Add a tea spoon of sugar, and a tea spoon of yeast for about a kilo. You really don't need a lot of yeast.
Allow the yeast to activate for few minutes.
The yeast ration can variate also depending on how worm it is your room, or on how much time you want it to allow to rise. But a slow cold (room temperature) rise is the better one for your bread. So 1 tea spoon for a kilo of flour is more than enough.
Step 3: FLOUR
Place the flour that you want in a big bowl.
I'm using mostly whole wheat (about a kilo), and a bit of durum wheat. But you can do any combination you like.
Add a little salt, and stir well all the ingredients.
Step 4: ADD THE YAST
Add the cup of activated yeast, and steer really well, until well mixed.
Step 5: ADD WATER
Add some water and mix really well with a strong fork.
You will notice small chunks forming.
I like to do this part with a fork, not to have my hand completely cover in dough. After this step the dough get way less sticky, and you can start to kneed with your hand.
Step 6: KNEED
Start to kneed.
Add small portions of water as you go, until the dough is in a nice ball, soft and homogeneus.
At the start of the kneed the dough should look very humid, with a watery surface, as in the 5th photo.
You should kneed for at least 10 minutes, better 15. This way the flour get slowly swollen in water, and become very homogeneus. The brad dough should look about as in the last photo.
You will notice that as you kneed the dough will become harder, and call for more water.
A too hard of a dough is not good for bread, at it will make a brad that crumble the day after that you make it.
Step 7: TIP
To know exactly when you have a good ratio of flour/water, you should observe your dough.
It should slightly stick to the bowl, but it should leave it clean as you roll it by (see photos). If it doesn't stick a little bit, you need to add more water, if doesn't leave clean your bowl, you should add flour. This is an important tip to check to make a good bread.
Step 8: ADD
(At this point I always take away 1 or 2 small balls for pizzas!)
Than add seeds as desired, or herbs or whatever you like.
Step 9: FLOUR UP THE BREAD
Put some durum wheat flour on top of your bread, and roll it in it.
It will prevent the bread to stick to the pan.
Durum wheat flour is way better than white flour for this purpose, it end up having a way better taste when done, and add crispness to the crust.
Step 10: CUT
Make few cut to the top of the dough, not mandatory, but help out the rinse of the bread, and give a nice rustic look.
Step 11: COVER AND WHAIT
Cover with a clean towel, and let rise for 2 hours or so, until about double the size in volume.
The rise timing variate a lot depending on the season and humidity. If you need the bread to rise fast, just place it in a warm place, and in just 1 hour it will be ready.
Anyways a slow rise is suggested, for a better result.
Step 12: COOK
Cook for about 50 minutes in a hot owen at about 180°C.
Every owen need a different temperature and timing.
Step 13: DONE
The bread is done when the crust is crunchy, and the crumb about dry.
Not too too dry, as it will dry up more as it get cold.
Of course with experience you will slowly know if use more salt, water, more time in the owen etc…but this is already a good start recipe on how to make your own bread.