After making my first bread instructable (Peter Reinhart - Lean Bread), I tough it would be a nice idea to post a simpler basic recipe.
In this instructable, I'll explain how to make the most basic bread loaf (imo).
It's a plain white bread; A nice canvas for your creativity.
In my case, I had in mind putting dryed cranberry... but somehow I couldn't find them, so it stayed plain (which is good on his own!).
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Step 1: Ingredients
Always the same basic ingredients :
- 17.65oz / 500g Bread Flour
- 11oz / 312g Water
- 1½ tsp (0.21oz / 6g) Yeast
- 1½ tsp 0.31oz / 9g) Salt
Make 2 1lb loaves(or 4 mini loaves in my case)
Remember to use lukewarm water!
Step 2: Tools
You need some basic tool. If you're lucky to have a stand mixer or bread machine (dough mode), use it!
But this can be made by hand
By Hand :
- Large bowl
- Large wooden spoon
- Kitchen scale
- Your hands
- Stand mixer or Bread machine
- Dough hook or bread machine paddle
- Kitchen scale
Step 3: Yeast and Water
Mix the yeast and water.
Let rest for 5 min.
Step 4: Flour and Salt
Add the flour and salt to the bowl all at once
Mix until the dough holds its mass together.
Step 5: Kneading
When the dough is holding a "shape", start to knead.
- Remove from the bowl and place on a oiled surface.
- Oil your hands and start to knead.
- Stretch, fold then push down with your palm.
- Turn 90 degree and repeat until the dough is elastic and smooth.
- Let the mixer knead until the dough is smooth. The bowl should be almost clean when it's done.
Step 6: First Proofing
Bread needs some time to rest and develop all it's goodness. This is called proofing.
- Form in a round ball and place in a oiled bowl.
- Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap.
- Let rest for 1h or doubled in size
Step 7: Second Proofing
As useless as it sounds, your bread will be far better with this second proofing. You really don't want to skip this step.
- Punch down with your fist.
- Form into a ball (doesn't need to be perfect)
- Cover with a cloth
- Let rest for 1h (again!)
Step 8: Third Proofing (last)
Finally, it's almost done with all this waiting time!
- Take the dough out of the bowl (try to keep the air bubbles!)
- Separate in 2 (or 4) equal parts.
- Shape into a log as big as your loaf pan
- Put into a lightly oiled loaf pan
- Let rest for 1h
30 min prior to baking, preheat your oven to 425F
Step 9: Baking
As with any other food, baking is the most important part of it.
- Score the loaves as you like or leave them plain.
- Put into your preheated oven on the middle rack.
- Bake for about 25-30 min. (or 20-25 min. for mini loaf)
- The crust should be golden brown.
Step 10: Result
Finaly! We're done...almost!
- Remove from oven
- Remove from loaf pan
- Let cool on a cooling rack for an 1h
- Cut into slices and eat!
Step 11: Be Creative!
Don't stop here, try new things!
For me, bread is a canvas for creating wonderful mixes. Think of it as a solid bloc pizza!
- Add nuts, fruits, chocolate... whatever !
- Try other flour types
- Try other liquid (milk, beer, tea? why not)
I hope this instructable will spark the bread baker in of you.
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