“Buying artisan bread is might be more expensive because it involves high quality ingredient made by the hand of who is highly skilled craftsman…”
When I asked my 9 year old daughter, what bread does she wants, “she answered me by another question about how to make bread.
That was my lightbulb moment for me to write and share this to you.
Here in how to make bread, I learned that making your own is not as hard as what others think but rather it is an exciting way how you can also build confidence and patience with your love ones.
At first you might thought you’ll be doing it wrong, (that’s normal in baking, we’ve been there before), but the priceless moments for me, was when kids start laughing each other especially when the flour stuck between the fingers.
Right now, my daughter’s interest is in baking as much as her mother does, with their assistance, I am so excited to start this as another segment of this site… so here we go…!
Good artisan bread can be made from four principle ingredients – FLOUR, WATER, SALT and YEAST. The book of Ken Forkish tells us the eight details for having great bread. These are:
- Think of time and temperature as ingredients
- Use pre-ferments when time allows
- Use the Autolyse Method
- Mix a Wet, Slack Dough
- Allow for complete bulk fermentation
- Handle dough gently
- Proof perfectly to point
- Bake until bread turns dark brown
- 7¾ cups of all-purpose white flour
- 3½ cups of water
- 1¼ tbsp of fine sea salt
- 1¼ tsp of instant dried yeast
- Bulk Fermentation: About 5 hours
- Proof Time: About 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Sample Schedule: Begin at 10:00 am, finish mixing at 10:30 am, shape the loaves at 3:30 pm, then bake at 4:45 pm. The bread will be ready around 5:30 pm. Perfect for Dinner!
By following the eight details, here is the 8 Step-by-Step Guide to Basic in How to Make Bread Techniques:
Mix the Flour and Water
Autolyse is the first step in mixing the dough. Here, FLOUR and WATER were mix together and allow resting for a minimum of 20 minutes.
We combine them to enhance flour hydration and gluten formation before adding the SALT and YEAST.
Don’t add the salt during this period because it will inhibit water absorption by the flour causing incomplete hydration. In a bowl, just mix them using by one hand until these two ingredients begin to incorporate.
Don’t worry if hands get sticky. Just dip your mixing hand into a bowl of warm water near you. Keep mixing until the flour and water are integrated. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 – 30 minutes.
Mix the Dough
After resting, sprinkle the salt and yeast evenly on top. When you’re new at this, this takes like 5 or 6 minutes.
I use the pincer method where you divide the dough into six small portions then fold over itself. Repeat this process until you feel that all ingredients are incorporated.
When hands get sticky, just wet you mixing hand with warm water. Cover the tub for about 5 hours and let the dough rise.
Fold the Dough
It’s easiest to apply the folds during the first 1 1/2 hour after mixing the dough. Folding the dough will help develop gluten which is responsible for the dough’s strength and contributes to good volume of final loaf.
In our recipe, it will need two folds. The action here is like repeating the step 2. Use wet hands so that the dough will not stick that much.
Reach the bottom of the dough then fold it to the other side of the dough like around five times. Grab the entire ball and invert it on the side where all the folds meet or come together, face it down. This helps the folds hold their position. Make sure the top is smooth.
Divide the Dough
About 5 hours after mixing, it’s ready to be divided. Lightly flour your working area. Turn the tub on its side where you’ll cut it.
At this point the gluten here is delicate. Divide it into two equal sizes by dough scraper.
And yes, that is my daughter’s hands; she will be using the other half for her pizza dough. 😉
Shape the Loaves
The objective here is to form each piece of dough into a medium tight round while taking care to preserve the gas that has built up in the dough.
Proof the Shaped Loaves
In baking industry, proofing is commonly used to refer to the final rise after the loaf is shaped. To maximize the full result of your loaves, you need to proof them like about 1 hour and 15 minutes completely.
The Finger Dent Test is a method for proofing. Poke the rising loaf by ½ inch deep.
If it springs back IMMEDIATELY, the loaf needs more proofing time. If it is SLOWLY and INCOMPLETELY, It’s ready to bake. If it DOESN’T come back at all, the loaf is over proofed.
You’ve waited too long.
Preheat the Oven and the dutch oven (Right now, I’m using Rachael Ray Stoneware 4-1/4-Quart )
It is important to know the behavior of the oven. Mine is 25F cooler, so if the recipe said at 475F, I set it to 500F.
As standard, preheat the oven and the dutch oven for 30 minutes at 475F.
The goal is for my Rachel Ray Casseroval Stoneware with the lid on it, be fully saturated with oven heat before we put the loaf inside. Click here for my REVIEW OF RACHEL RAY STONEWARE.
Bake the bread in covered preheated Rachel Ray Casseroval Stoneware for 35 minutes at 475F then bake it for another 15 minutes longer without the lid to get the golden brown color.
When baking always wear the mitts to avoid being burn. In my profession, I got a lot of burns in my arms for using kitchen towel. It really hurt and leaves a mark so try not to do it.
Upon baking, let the loaf rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. And finally… Meet the bread name Artisan!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the dough… (to be continued…)