When common knowledge is misinformed

Most people think making bread is hard. They think of endless kneading, and a bunch of measurements.

It’s not.

Here’s a simple bread recipe for you.

  • 400g flour
  • 80% water to flour – 320g of water
  • 2% salt to flour – 8g
  • 1 packet of dried yeast.

Put the water in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until just warm. Pour in the yeast stir, set aside to let it activate. Measure out the flour and salt in a bowl. In about two minutes pour the yeast and water into the bowl and mix roughly with a large wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough.

This is where most people think you have to knead the bread endlessly. You don’t. That’s misinformation. There is actually a change happening in the flour as the water hydrates it. That takes time to happen. The extreme kneading is just you doing work that is actually happening as the hydration takes place.

Instead of kneading, Cover the bowl and let it sit for 1 hour in a room temperature location. After that hour it will be slightly sticky, but take your clean hands and fold it over 5-10 times. Then cover and let it rise again. Until it doubles in size or you are ready to bake. The longer you let it rise, the better yeast flavor it will have.

At this point, there a couple options. I prefer baking it at 500 degrees on a pizza stone that has preheated for 30-60 minutes it gives a nice crust. To do this, a peel is necessary to place the dough on the stone. Otherwise, simply flour a baking sheet and place the dough on it and bake. Both of these options require scraping the dough out of the bowl onto a heavily floured surface, trying not to knock the air out. Then lightly roll the dough around the flour to cover it’s whole surface and shape it to your loaf form.

You can put it in straight away, or if you want bigger air pockets cover and let it rise for 30 minutes before putting it in.

After a couple times, the amount of your time, not counting waiting, this takes you will likely be about:

  • 3 minutes measuring and mixing.
  • 1 minute kneading and washing hands.
  • 1 minute flouring and rolling it out.
  • 2 minutes pre-heating and checking on bread in oven.

7 minutes of your time = cheaper and better bread than you can buy at the store. It probably takes you longer to read this.

It’s almost like bread companies want you to believe it’s hard to do. And bread machines makers too. It’s always worth trying things out yourself because common knowledge is often misinformed. At least if you try this, you’ll truly know whether making your own bread is worth it or not rather than relying on the default that’s been told to you.