The idea of the most simple bread one could bake came from where I didn’t even think it would be possible, that is, from my husband. It kept me thinking about a simple homemade bread recipe, but so simple that he could make it too. I didn’t take him seriously for a long time, but one day he showed up at home with a whole loaf of bread flour, prepared for great deeds. And I told myself to try.
I then wrote a bread recipe with the list of ingredients per gram and a way to prepare it as clearly as I could. I fixed it on the fridge with two magnets and, since then, my man has been making bread! A bread that is not the most sophisticated, but it is an honest bread, without additives, without sugar and without unnecessary fats. A bread we eat every day.
On this blog you will find many more sophisticated homemade bread recipes, more for connoisseurs. More “hipster”, as my husband says. If, however, you are a beginner and want a simple and honest bread, I say that the recipe below is worth following in detail.
Ingredients plain homemade bread
for 2 loaves of 750-760 gr. By the way, shameless plug: we’re going to use the metric system for weight and temperature.
- 1 kilogram of bread flour (type BL 550 or type 650 – choose a flour with a minimum of 9.5% protein content) + 1 tablespoon with extra flour tip, for sprinkling
- 650 – 700 ml. the water
- 20 grams of fine salt
- 14 grams of dry yeast
How to make simple homemade bread
Adaptation of ingredients
This homemade bread, as I have already said, is even the simplest possible. The recipe was designed to be made by a beginner, not a very skilled one. If you do it with exactly the above ingredients, then you will surely succeed, even if your experience in the field of artisanal bakery is zero.
However, after repeating the recipe a few times and noticing that you are successful, you may want some changes.Advertising
A. You can replace 30% of the recommended amount of flour for the simple homemade bread recipe (ie 330 grams) with wholemeal flour. Be careful, wholemeal flour, not the so-called “black flour”, which is just a hoax. If you use wholemeal flour, you will need to increase the amount of water by 50 – 80 ml.
B. You can add up to 100 grams of seeds to plain bread dough. Sunflower, pumpkin, flax seeds, etc. are suitable. Be careful not to simply add the seeds to the dough, as the bread will come out dry and crumbly! The seeds used for bread are hydrated overnight in cold water. After drawing plenty of water, they drain and can be added to the dough in the last part of the kneading.Advertising
C. For this simple bread, you can replace dry yeast with fresh yeast. I do not recommend using the equivalent of 14 grams of dry yeast, 40-50 grams of yeast, but only 20-25 (one cube). Mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of flour and about 100 ml. of lukewarm water (from the total recommended amount). Leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until it bubbles. Add the activated yeast mixture to the flour mixed with the salt, followed by lukewarm water. Be careful, if in 15 minutes the yeast does not bubble, DO NOT use it for bread, it is old and the dough will not grow!
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl (of the mixer). Add the weighed salt. Know that it is a rule, salt should represent 2% of the recommended amount of flour for bread. Add the dry yeast and mix the dry ingredients.
2. Add 650 ml. of lukewarm water. Some flours have a higher absorption capacity and we may need to add about 50 ml. of extra water in plain bread dough. That’s what we’ll realize during the turmoil.
3. Mix the flour with water, with the mixer to which we attached the hook-shaped accessory or with a large wooden spoon.
4. Knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes with the mixer, respectively about 15 minutes by hand. If the dough is too thick, gradually add the remaining 50 ml. of lukewarm water. Usually it is not necessary, 1-2 tablespoons of water are enough, so we add it gradually.
5. Finally, the dough must be smooth, pleasant to the touch and detach from the walls of the bowl. Grease a clean bowl with a drop of oil. We shape the dough for our plain bread into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place. In about an hour, if it’s hot, the dough will rise and double in volume.
6. When the dough has risen, my “Teacher” at home is still calling for help. He doesn’t do much with modeling bread. It’s not a big deal, though, if you don’t have any pretensions. This simple homemade bread will grow anyway and will be very tasty, even if at first it will be a bit crooked. So, in the picture below, the raised dough almost filled the bowl.
7. On the visible surface of the plain bread dough, ready to rise, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour. Beat lightly, lightly with your palm and the flour will spread to the edge. We use a flexible squeegee to detach the dough from the bowl, all around. When we put the squeegee between the dough and the bowl, the sprinkled flour will penetrate, so it will not stick.
8. Turn the simple bread dough over on the work surface, in a single movement. In contact with the worktop, the part sprinkled with flour will come, so it will not stick and there will be no need for extra flour. You can already see in the dough section how beautiful it has grown and how many air bubbles it has.
Bread modeling and second leavening
9. Divide the dough in half, with a special pastry / bakery cutter or, failing that, with a knife. We will get two pieces of dough, for two large loaves, which after baking will weigh over 750 gr. It would be exaggerated to make a single loaf of the whole amount of dough and it would be even more complicated to bake, and we avoid complications, because we started to make a simple bread.
10. The visible part of the two pieces of dough is moist and sticky and the part in contact with the work surface is floured. Our goal is to roll the plain bread dough so that the wet and sticky part reaches the middle, so we don’t see it again. So, in turn, shape each piece of dough, forming two dense cylinders and seal the joint well, rolling them a little on the table.
10. As a preference, this simple homemade bread can be baked freely or in shape. For the first option, we simply place the two formed loaves, glued down, in a tray lined with baking paper. We prefer to bake them in shapes, so each molded piece comes in a shape with dimensions 25 * 11 * 8 cm, greased with oil or lined with baking paper. In any case, the molded breads are covered with a thick kitchen towel and left to rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, turn on the oven and set it at 230 °C , heat up and down. If we opted for the bread baked freely, in the tray, before baking it we have to increase it with a very sharp knife or a blade.
11. In the first 15 minutes of baking, any bread needs a high temperature to rise. At the same time, it needs steam, which can come from two sources:
- If you have a steam oven, it’s the simplest, set a suitable program (50% steam is OK)
- If you do not have a steam oven, prepare a saucepan / pan with boiling water. When you put the bread in the oven, place on the bottom of the oven and the tray with water, which will form steam.
So, we bake our homemade bread in the preheated oven at 230 ° C, at a medium height, necessarily with steam. After 15 minutes, the temperature drops to 200 ° C and the steam stops / the tray is removed (be very careful not to burn yourself!). The heat must come from below and from above and no ventilation is needed to bake the bread.
If you can’t stop the ventilation, you should know that the bread will come out OK anyway, only that it will have a thicker crust. To find out if it’s ready, it doesn’t help to prick the bread with a toothpick, it’s nonsense. The baked bread has a golden-brown crust and, lightly hammered on the bottom, it will sound empty.
For a more rigorous test, the baked bread has an internal temperature of 95-96 °C. Once baked, the breads are left on a grill to cool well before being sliced.
Following the recipe described above and all the recommendations, a simple and beautiful bread comes out, which is sliced without many crumbs and keeps perfectly for 5 days, wrapped in a clean cotton towel and placed in the wooden crate for bread.