Tips for making homemade bread (without machine)

The right ingredients for homemade bread

Flour

Any wheat flour is suitable for making bread. The most common, the T55, is ideal because it gives a very elastic crumb. For semi-complete (T110) or complete (T150) flour, it must be worked with a larger amount of water during kneading. Other types of flour are suitable such as that of rye or corn. But beware, these are more difficult to work because they do not contain gluten (ideal for intolerants) and without it, the dough loses elasticity and gas retention. The dough is then very sticky and difficult to shape.

The yeast

Baker’s yeast is available in a dried or fresh version and can be purchased from a baker or a large supermarket. Both work very well, only the quantities used are different. It will take three times more fresh yeast to prepare its dough than with dry yeast.

Good gestures

The work is now starting. In a small bowl of warm water, soak the yeast and mix. In a bowl, pour the flour and salt, make a well in the flour and pour the water and yeast. Using your finger, push the flour into the yeast so that it absorbs it, then knead until you get a ball of dough.

Kneading

Making bread without a machine requires a little elbow grease. By hand, it takes about twenty minutes of kneading. You can also use a pastry robot. This step is crucial, it will activate the yeast and make the dough grow. Courage!

The right move? It is enough to fold the dough on itself then to press with the palm of the hand then to bring again the dough on itself and so on.
When it begins to take the form of a ball and it is no longer crumbly, we place the dough in the bowl, we sprinkle it with a little flour, we cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let stand for 2 hours minimum. To find out if the dough has risen well, just stick a finger in it: if the hole resolves, it is ready.

After resting, we will then break the dough by kneading it again for 8 minutes more vigorously than the previous time.

The shaping

We sprinkle the work surface with a little flour and place the dough on it. We can then shape it into the desired shape: into a ball, loaf, baguette, portions … It is also time to add additional ingredients such as flax seeds, nuts, olives, rosemary, oil olive … Once the formatting is complete, scarify the dough with a knife. It is left to stand for another fifteen minutes to allow the oven to preheat to 240 ° C with a container of water in the bottom.

The cooking

You can place your dough directly on a baking sheet, or even easier, you opt for baking in a casserole or in a cake pan. You put your bread in the oven for about thirty minutes. At the exit, we check that the bottom is well cooked and then allowed to cool for 10 minutes. When cutting, the bread should have a very crispy crust and a well-ventilated crumb.

The conversation

To keep your bread well, exit the plastic bags that promote mold, we wrap it in a clean slightly damp cloth that we then place in a bread box or a large drawer like our grandmothers did.

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