Thursday, June 17, 2021

Baking Bread Without Measuring Tools

Baking bread without measuring tools is not hard to do. The sucess relies on being consistant with your techniques and observing the telltale signs that the ingredients are working. To begin practice a few times picking up the various ingredients needed to make bread including flour, water, sugar, yeast, fat and salt. These measurements are approximations but will work as long as only one person is working on the recipe. Our hand size determines the amount of bread we are producing. Bigger people will make bigger bread, smaller people will make smaller bread. Two Finger Pinch= 1/8t
Three Finger Pinch= 1/2t
Four Finger Pinch= 1t
Five Finger Pinch= 2t
Two Handfuls Flour= 1 cup
Two Hands Overlapping Water= 1/4 cup
To begin pinch between your thumb, forefinger and middle finger as much bakers yeast as you can. Take 4 pinches in all and place in a metal bowl. Between all five of your fingers pinch as much sugar as you can hold. 3 pinches in all and drop it into the bowl with the yeast. Turn on your tap water and run it until it is as hot as you can stand. Put your two hands together and put two scoops of hot water in the bowl with the yeast and sugar. Stir the mixture and place the bowl in a warm location or on a stovetop to maintain heat if the yeast has not responded. Do not continue with the recipe until the yeast has bloomed. If it doesn't bloom eiher add more yeast or start over.
In another bowl use your hand again and scoop two handful of flour. Use a good flour to make a good loaf of bread.
Use just your thumb and pinkie finger to pinch a bit of salt. Mix the salt into the flour. Fill up the palm of your hand with oil or cut a centimeter of butter then incorporate it in the flour.
Add the flour into the water and begin mixing the dough together. Start mixing with a fork until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Then use your hands to work the dough into a ball.
If you need more water just wet your fingers and continue mixing.
Fold the dough for 12 minutes then set it aside for 1 hour to let it rise. When you squeeze the dough you can begin to see the gluten beginning to stretch.
Heat up the oven and allow it to rise to 400 degrees. Enclose in the oven a hot store or a Dutch oven that you can use to cook the break on. Fold the dough over four times and let it rise for another 30 minutes. Scar the top to allow the bread to expand as it bakes.
Once the oven is preheated, drop the dough into the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes. Baking on a hot surface will excelerate the cooking and develop the crust further.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it rest, cool on a wire rack before cutting into it. The crust should be dark brown in color. The crumb should be elastic and moist.