Today I made some of my favorite bread. It’s an exercise I complete regularly, almost every Sunday; a loaf for the next few days, and croutons through the end of the week. The recipe is so simple, yet so flavorful.
- 300 grams AP flour
- 50 grams Duram flour
- 227 grams water
- 7 grams salt
- 4 grams yeast
The secret to bread making is all in the kneading, but if you’re like me it took years to figure out that less force, more gentle (not crazily gentle, just not like your fighting) kneading, is the answer. Take your time and mix the dry ingredients, making a well as you go. Add the water and bring it together.
I’ve learned to use a bowl large enough in size that I can bring the ball together and knead it without putting it on the counter. Again, take your time. After it starts to feel smooth (it won’t look smooth) put some plastic wrap over the bowl and walk away for 20 minutes.
When you come back you will be surprised at how soft the ball feels. Continue kneading until it feels firm again, cover, rest another 20 and then knead one last time, ending with gently forming it into a taut ball.
Let it rise through the day, don’t worry about hurrying it.
When triple in volume, remove it from the bowl and form it into the loaf style of your choice. I usually keep this as one big round loaf since it’s going to go into a dutch oven, but it makes two good-sized baguettes, or one good-sized french/italian style loaf, or several smaller loaves.
Put in the form of your choice and cover to proof for about 80 to 90 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees now too.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the hot oven. You’ll love this bread fresh or toasted the next day!