Different basic white breads made with the No Knead method. Simply with flour,yeast,salt and water.

I have been baking breads at home since 2004, and so much has changed in the way of techniques in the light of better understanding of the fermentation process of the dough. It used to be mix your flour salt, yeast and water, and knead the dough till it’s formed into a silky ball. Proof for an hour or two and then ‘knock’ down the dough to clear the air bubbles, and then hand knead some more. Shape the dough and proof again till the dough has doubled its size and then bake.

Today, this process is outdated. I autolysis the flour, I use liquid starters ( sourdough starters with wild yeast) in preference to commercial instant or dry yeast, I stretch and fold the dough instead of kneading, or even use the No Knead methods, and the breads are turning out with better crusts, crumbs and flavour. Better bread with less toil and sweat! That’s progress.

The one thing that remains is the the importance of weighing one’s ingredients.

Dr Doughlittle | Rustic White Bread

Rustic White Bread

Dr Doughlittle | Golden Raisin Bread

No Knead golden raisin bread.

Ever since I started baking artisan breads, the only machine I used are the weighing scales, and the stand mixer ( Kitchen Aid). Folding dough that is over 70% hydration ( wet, sticky dough) can be tricky and needs getting used to. But with the “wet method” of wetting the work surface and one’s hands, this is easily overcome. Contrary to popular belief of many non bakers, making your own bread is not mysteriously difficult or a tedious process. Unless you venture into the process and make the attempt to bake your own bread, this myth will remain.

Dr Doughlittle | Basic White Bread

Basic white bread with poppy seeds.

Dr Doughlittle | Poppy Seed Bread

Sliced to show the soft silky chewy crumb.

By starting with the basic white dough, using only 4 ingredients of flour, yeast or starters, salt and water, one is able to progress into adding other ingredients to make other interesting and delicious breads. The list is as long as your imagination allows for it. When you advance, you may want to get on to making sourdough breads, with better flavours, aromas and longer shelf-life.

 

Dr Doughlittle | Ciabatta

Dr Doughlittle | Ciabatta, sliced

Ciabatta, using autolysis of the flour, the wet folding method, and long proofing times.

 

With commercial or factory produced breads, you really do not know what you’re eating. I abhor the notion of consuming breads containing colouring, artificial flavourings, bleached flour, preservatives, anti-mould agents, enhancers, synthetic vitamins, trans-fats, etc. And we wonder why the incidents of gluten intolerance, allergies, digestive illnesses and other more serious diseases occur and are on the rise. Factory made white bread is unhealthy. It has to be enriched because in the process of making white flour, the original vitamins in the grains are lost, and poor quality protein remains.

More basic white breads that use conventional proofing times and new methods.

Eating natural, eating healthy and clean is the way forward in this polluted world. Good healthy and wholesome bread can be easily made at home with unbleached wheat flour, yeast, sea salt and water. So take your health into your own hands and make the change today!

Perhaps watching this short 3 minute video could persuade you to change your mind! 

 

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