View Full Version : All things bread...

04 May 2016, 09:57
Yeast, flour, water, and salt makes magic. Real, grounded, physical, literal magic. Call it chemistry, call it baking, but really, its transformation by biological processes and fire.

Bread is magic.

And, if you don't believe me (and you have Netflix), watch Michael Pollan's documentary series Cooked (http://michaelpollan.com/books/cooked/netflix-documentary-series-cooked/).

Yeast, flour, water, salt. Your most basic bread recipe is really that simple, ingredient wise.

Yeast- For this simple and basic recipe you can really use any kind of active yeast. Active dry, rapid rise, or cake or fresh yeast (though this is very difficult to find). Just donít use nutritional yeast! That is a whole other animal. If you buy bulk yeast, store it in the freezer to keep it fresh.Water- Water wakes up and activates the yeast. Here is where people may be ďkillingĒ the yeast. You want warm water. Not hot! Just lukewarm. Somewhere between 100-110 degrees F. But here is the thing: If you donít have a thermometer and are scared of killing the yeast, play it safe by going cooler. Cold water wonít ruin the recipe. It will just take it much longer to rise. Try for at least room temperature water.
Flour- Flour is the yeastís food. Yeast feeds on sugar and will break down the starch in the flour to eat and grow or rise. Bread flour or all-purpose flour can be used. If all you have on hand is self-rising flour, that is fine, but leave out the other salt in the recipe. Salt is already in self-rising flour and too much salt can kill yeast.
Salt- Salt not only flavors the bread, but also slows down the yeast a bit. Dough without salt will rise much faster resulting in larger air pockets and an uneven crumb to the bread. (note from Thalassa--its also less tasty)

source (http://bakerbettie.com/four-ingredient-no-kneadbread/)

The recipe for 4 ingredient, no knead bread has been passed around the net a time or two over the years, but the originator (best I can tell, net-wise) of the phenomenon of cooking blogs is this recipe (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread).

Nothing but 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon a yeast, combined in a large bowl. Add 1 5/8c of water (some incarnations of the recipe suggest 1 1/2c--whole wheat flours generally require more water, etc) and mix til its mixed but not over mixed and sticky. Cover and let it go for 12-18 hours (it should have surface bubbles). Fold over on a floured surface a time or two, cover and let rest about 15 minutes. Shape it into a ball and place it into a pre-heated (in the oven) Dutch oven (you can line the pan with parchment paper or coat the bread with corn meal or wheat bran) oven-safe bowl with lid. Bake 30 minutes at 450, then remove the lid and cook for another 15-30 minutes. Remove, cool on rack, and eat.

Magically delicious.

Share your favorite yeast, water, flour, salt (or more) recipes here!!

04 May 2016, 13:55
I am a Sourdough student. I make bread without buying yeast. I made a starter from equal parts flour and water and let it capture the yeast from the air. I keep the starter well fed and use it often enough that I have two starters so they can rest between uses. I have made the standard loaves and experimented with cinnamon bread, olive loaf, garlic bread and even made some pretty good dinner and breakfast rolls.

05 May 2016, 03:33
Sourdough is okay sometimes, like with soup or stew. I generally make it in the winter, with my own starter. But I'm not a fan in sweeter breads or for a good ole PB&J.

05 May 2016, 13:42
I don't make bread (omg I'd be dead!) cuz DIABETTTUZ.

But I am a lover of good bread. I like bread with lots of seeds especially pumpkin.
And I loove a really good olive bread.
I love toasted sour dough bread with soft butter and Tapatio.
And when I do eat sammies it's always a good wheat bread (where wheat is in the firs ingredient and not corn syrup!)

05 May 2016, 15:21
What is labeled as wheat bread sometimes is caramel colored white bread...I prefer REAL wheat bread....I am white and dislike white bread...go figure.