Homemade Bread

To me, there is nothing better than fresh bread. In Germany, where I grew up, you find bakeries and the smell of homemade bread at every corner. Since moving to Canada, I’ve tried to make a good loaf with a nice crust on the outside. A few years ago, my mom gave me Portland-based artisan baker Ken Forkish’s book Flour Water Salt Yeast. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this book shows you how good bread can be, simply made from four principle ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Since then, I have never used another recipe.

I even talked about this book at one of my Portland shows; funny enough, Ken Forkish was in the audience.

Serves:
4
Prep Time:
30 mins + 6 hrs (fermentation)
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs 15 mins
Tools Needed:
Knife
Kitchen scale
Two large bowls
Dutch oven (stainless steel or clay)
Oven mitts
Kitchen towel
Homemade Bread

Ingredients

White flour 1,000g
Water 720g (35 °C)
Fine sea salt 21g
Instant dried yeast 4g

Method

  1. Mix liquid into the flour
  2. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes
  3. Form a dent in the middle of the dough, add salt and yeast evenly on top and knead by hand until incorporated
  4. Reach underneath the dough, fold the bottom over the top a few times until salt and yeast are fully enclosed and dough has tightened into a ball
  5. Let dough rest for 5 hours, repeating step #3 once an hour (take your time with this, it’s how you bring air into the dough to make it fluffier)
  6. When dough has tripled in volume, carefully divide into two loaves and let rest for an hour
  7. Preheat oven to 245 °C
  8. Put Dutch oven inside and let heat up for 45 minutes
  9. Flower bottom of Dutch oven and carefully place first loaf in it
  10. Put back inside oven and bake for 30 minutes with lid on
  11. Remove lid and bake another 15 minutes
  12. Take loaf out and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes
  13. Repeat steps #7 to #9 with second loaf

Start at 9:30 a.m., finish mixing at 10 a.m., shape into loaves at 3 p.m., and bake at 4:15 p.m. The bread will come out of the oven just after 5 p.m. 

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