Basic Bread Dough

How to make a good daily bread, especially if it's your first time trying out freshly milled flour.
Basic Bread Dough
Basic bread dough before and after the bake, and while cooling

Lean Bread Dough

This is the perfect recipe to get started learning to bake bread with freshly milled, 100% whole grain flour. It's different from white flour in how it responds, and it avoids the pitfalls of most baking by using techniques that help ensure bread that doesn't crumble when you slice it (common to newbies in this realm).

I'll be joining the way I have made bread (using yudane) with the way Monique Bell from Lovely Bell Bakes makes hers (a mixing autolyse).

A few notes, first:

Yudane Alternatives:
Yudane helps hold extra moisture in the dough, resulting in a more moist loaf of bread. IT is simply put flour mixed together into a paste with boiling water. That's all. You can simply leave it out or you can substitute 1/3 cup mashed potatoes, prepared oatmeal, or leftover hot cereal. All of these options have been cooked with boiling water, for gelatinization of starches, which will give you similar results.

Active Dry Yeast:
If you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, your first step will be to reserve 100 g of the water in a dish. Add your yeast and sugar to this dish, give it a few minutes to get bubbly. This would be added in step #5, along with the salt and vitamin c.

Kitchen Aid Mixers:
The company recommends mixing bread dough for 2 minutes followed by a rest and another 2 minutes for a total of 4 minutes. I recommend your rest between steps 4 and 5 be at least fifteen minutes, and limit your mixing to save your mixer's motor. This is why you don't see me using one - I sold it!

First and Second Rise Times:
Anyone who tells you to mix or rise the dough for a certain amount of time is only sharing with you what worked for them in their kitchen at that moment with that exact set of ingredients. It can vary wildly depending upon your elevation, the humidity of your air, and even with the same exact grain grown at different times of the year. Use your eyes (to see how much the dough as risen and changed) and your hands (to test for windowpane to see if the gluten has been developed).

A Note on Oven Temps and Baking Times:
You can bake your bread at whatever temperature you like: 350 F, 375 F, 400 F, or a combination of them as demonstrated in the instructions above. The key is finding what works best for you in your kitchen. All these changes will affect the baking time, so check your dough temperature and be sure to remove it when the dough hits 190 F. If you go well over 200 F, the bread will be dry and crumbly. No one wants that.

About the author
Melanie Carr

Melanie Carr

I'm a chiropractor for my day job, but the rest of the time I home school and enjoy sharing about the benefits of fresh milled flour.

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