Simple Bread Recipe

This simple bread recipe is based on the Saturday White Bread in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish. It is an excellent book for beginners. Find it here:

In this recipe, we’ll substitute in 10% rye flour to add a subtle hint of rye to the flavor profile. We’ll make 2 loaves here, so the recipe will be as follows:

  • White Flour: 900 g (about 7 cups)
  • Rye Flour: 100 g (about ¾ cups)
  • Water: 720 g (3 1/8 cups)
  • Fine Sea Salt: 21 g (just over 1 tbsp)
  • Instant Dried Yeast: 4 g (1 tsp)

We’re using Caputo 00 “Pizzeria” White Flour And King Arthur Medium Rye Flour for this recipe.

caputo                                                    organic-Rye

Find the White Flour here

Find the Rye Flour here

Steps to prepare the Simple Bread Recipe

Step 1: Measure

Measure out your ingredients. We recommend you measure out via a scale rather than volume. We like this scale here.

Measure active-dry Salt

Step 2: Mix the Flour & Water

Combine both the white flour and rye with all the water. It is best to have the water between 90-95 F when you mix it with the flour. An instant read thermometer like this works well.

FLour flour-and-water

Mix the flour and water together by hand, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Mix in the Salt and Yeast

mix

Sprinkle the Salt and Yeast into your flour/water mixture from Step 2. A great video on how to combine the everything together can be found here.

Step 4: Fold the Dough

30 minutes after completing Step 3, fold the bread. Below video provides a good overview of how to fold the dough. Fold the dough one more time 30 minutes after completing the first fold.

Cover the dough and let it sit for 5 hours.

Step 5: Divide and Shape

Divide the dough in half and begin shaping. A good summary can be found here.

If you want to shape-round loaves (boule) watch this video.

To make an oval (batard) watch this.

Step 6: Proof

Lightly flour your proofing baskets and put your loaves in the basket with the seam side down (the top of your loaves when they’re sitting on your counter will be the bottom when we bake. Sprinkle some flour on the loaves and cover. Let them sit for 1 hour to proof.

proofing-bowls

We like these proofing bowls here

Step 7: Bake

dutch-ovenOnce you finish Step 6, it is a good time to start your oven. Set it for 475 F.

We’re baking our loaves in a Dutch Oven. Put your Dutch oven in the oven itself as it preheats.

For our example here, we’ve shaped both a boule and a batard. We’ll bake our boule in a cast iron dutch oven, like this one. And we’ll bake our batard in a clay dutch oven like this. Both work great for this recipe, it’s just a matter of personal preference and what you have in your kitchen.

After your loaves have been proofed for an hour, carefully place them in the dutch oven such that the top of the loaf as it sat in the proofing basket is now the bottom of the loaf as it bakes. Grilling gloves like these work great for protecting your hands and arms as you maneuver the loaves into and out of the hot oven.

Once your loaves are in, put the top of the dutch oven back on and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes of baking, remove the top of the dutch oven, and bake for 15 more minutes.

Step 8: Cool

After the final 15 minutes of baking completes, take the bread out and place it on a cooling rack. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then it’s ready to eat. This is a great knife for slicing, it will definitely out-perform the standard bread knife you probably have in your kitchen.

Bread Bread-prepare simple-bread

If you liked this, get Flour Water Salt Yeast for many more delicious recipes and more details on the process above.

For other great bread books, check out:

Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman for much more detail on every component of the bread baking process, along with great recipes.

The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart for more detailed background and excellent recipes.

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