We love bread! Yes, if you follow our FB page https://www.facebook.com/farmskitchen/ you can see that on all the bread posts. We bake bread for us and we bake it for customers too.
There is nothing like homemade bread. Nothing!! Well, I lied. Homemade butter is amazing too!
Ya. So, we make sourdough from various flours, and we make bread with fresh yeast too. It is an all day thing, but bread doesn’t need to be babysat, so can go about your day. When I read complicated recipes, of any kind I am like whaaaaat? I don’t do complicated 200 step recipes. Who has time for that? Yes, sourdough requires many steps, but only if you don’t have a starter. So, only the first time. Once you have an active and nicely fed starter, you are good to go and 190 steps closer. Just kidding. Or am I??? Haha. No seriously it’s not hard.
Or, you could just use cake dough or dry yeast. You will not get that tangy taste but that doesn’t mean anything at all! You will still get a delicious, open crumb, chevy crust bread, which you will inhale in one sitting hopefully after it cools. Hot bread equals very hard digestion!!!!!!!!!! And you will destroy the hot bread if you cut it too soon! So, don’t do it, man!!
I have a simple recipe which is amazing and can be applied, with small variations, to any flour bread you want.
All you need is: your choice of flour, water, salt and either a starter, fresh yeast (cake yeast) or dry active yeast. For dark breads, you will need molasses as well. If you have a bread beckers Co-op near you, you can buy your organic wheat from them AMD mill it at home! I was introduced to this place by my farm friend Annette of Cassia Fresh Farm. Amazing lady I call friend!
The only difference is the amount of water you will use. Why? Because flours hydrate differently, but once you get the touch of your dough, down, you will be able to adjust the water to your flour. It’s all about practice and feeling the dough. This will make sense once you get a hang of it and then you will have your aha moment!
Basic sourdough recipe (2 loaves)
1 cup of starter
5 cups of your choice flour
2 teaspoons salt (added after autolyse- will explain)
3-3 1/2 water (humidity plays a huge factor! The more humid it is, the less watEr you need)
If you are using rye or whole wheat, add 1 teaspoon of molasses.
That’s it. Nothing else.
Add the starter, flour and water (and molasses for the mentioned flours) to a bowl. Using your hands, mix it all together into a shaggy and sticky mass. Don’t worry about it being wet and sticky. Let is sit for 30-60 minutes. I have done even longer! Come back to it and sprinkle the salt evenly over the surface and knead the heck out of the dough inside the bowl. Pull dough from bottom and over the the top. The dough will be nice and elastic, it will stretch beautifully and you can use flour here and there to unstick your fingers. The dough will be soft because of the hydration and its ok if it sticks. Now take the dough out of the bowl, onto a lightly floured surface, let it rest while you wash the bowl and dry it. Knead the dough a couple more times. You can use 1/2 teaspoon of oil to wipe the bowl. I use flour. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and out it in the fridge over night or 12 hours.
Take the dough out of the fridge and remove from bowl onto a floured surface. Knead it and divide into 2 loaves. This is called final shaping. Place into a well floured basket, brottform, banetton or you can just let it rise free form on baking paper for easy transfer. The dough has to come to temperature which can take 2-3 hours. It should rise evenly and its ready when you lightly press the dough with your finger and it springs right back.
Should feel room temp. Preheat your oven for 45 mintues to 500F with a Dutch oven in it. When ready, remove the Dutch oven carefully onto a heatproof surface and remove the lid. Gently place the bread inside and score it with a razor blade or super sharp and pointy knife. Quick slices don’t mess around, you don’t want to deflate your bread.
Cover and place into the oven. Bake 20 minutes covered. Then, remove lid, lover temp to 450F and bake until nice and golden brown. Please let it cool off completely. Bread finishes baking after it is removed from the oven and as it cools. It is very hard to digest when its hot and it is hard to slice too!
Autolyse is hydration of dough. The time it takes for the flour to accept all of the moisture. Salt holds this process back and inhibits gluten development, that’s why it added afterwards.
Now, what if you don’t have a starter. Ok. You can substutite cake yeast, I get it at restaurant depot but you may also have luck at a local bakery. In this case, you will need 42g of cake yeast for the recipe above. Dissolve it in the water of the recipe.
For active dry yeast, instead of the starter quantity, just add 2 teaspoons of dry active yeast to the recipe and pretend its a starter in the directions.
That’s it. Crusty bread for all. It is not hard, well not after you bake a few loaves. But I promise you will love making bread for your family. Next things you know, you will be experimenting with herbs and sweet potatoes and soaked grains and nuts and chocolate and malted barley and sprouted grains and your husband keeps asking what all those amazon packages are doing in the front yard and Daisy our dog is helping with opening and you ask for banneton forms for all birthdays and Christmas and you break your oven because 500F is a lot on the heat element and you are happy that the back up outdoor pizza oven from ilFornino is only o few steps away. Oh, gosh, did I say that out loud???
The crazy bread baking lady