I’ve been making bread for a lot of years.
It started with a bread machine at my dads, and watching my mom make large batches by hand.
I use both at home. I prefer it by hand. I have a simple ratio to make bread, and no solid recipe, it’s a feel thing. I find it very therapeutic.
Today I’m going to share my basic ratios, and also my sourdough experiment (link to follow, soon to be posted) from this old cookbook that’s been handed down from my grama, to my mom, to me. (it’s got all of our notes in it, it’s quite awesome.)
Homemade bread ratios – 1 loaf. ( I usually do 4, starting with 5 c liquid)
1 1/4 c room temp liquid – this can be water, milk, buttermilk, anything really. (potato water is good!) I also usually add about 1 egg to a loaf (only about 2-3 in my 4 loaf recipe) use it with the liqued to make the 1 1/4 c. I find the egg helps the crust and texture. If making vegan you can skip this.
1tbs sugar – give or take. i use a bit more honey than that. sometimes honey and 1 extra tbs molasses. can really be any kind of sugar.
2-3 tbs oil product. for the bread in these pictures i used olive oil and coconut oil in equal parts. tasted awesome. Sometimes I use butter, sometimes just oil. Up to you.
1 tsp ish salt.
Mix all of that stuff with 1 tbs yeast and let sit until frothy and smells of beer! for 4 loafs I use about 2 tbs yeast. You don’t need to multiply it, it does it itself.
While that soaks I also add things like oats or quinoa flakes into the liquid to soften. I only ever cook with quick oats.
you can add cooked oatmeal as well, or red river cereal (cooked or it’s too seedy) I love oats in my bread.
Start stirring in flour about 1/2 – 1 c at a time. The loaves (loafs?) i just made had about 1/2 c buckwheat flour, and then i alternated whole wheat flour and white bread flour about 1/3 white to 2/3 whole wheat. Play with this, there’s no rules. You don’t need bread flour, I just like the texture of it. White bread needs to be kneaded (say that 10 times fast) less than whole wheat, and is generally smoother and softer.
Once the bread is no longer stirrable, start kneading on a floured surface. Bread should be soft, but no longer stick to hands when ready.
Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise somewhere warm about an hour (depends on your yeast.) When about doubled in size, knead again for a while to get out all the bubbles and divide into bread pans. let rise a second time until doubled.
I ran out of bread pans and got this “Artisan Style” Loaf.
This Loaf sliced VERY WELL. I was impressed with myself.