BERKELEY (KCBS) – There’s so much variability in the different recipes for bread dough that I’ve encountered over the years, enough that anyone interested in experimenting with baking bread at home should not be afraid to try.
Baking bread is fun, simple and virtually foolproof.
First, the amount of flour does not need to be very exact.
You can make a loaf of bread with two cups of flower to one cup of liquid. That’ll make light, fluffy bread sort of like a store bought sandwich bread.
You can also make a loaf of bread with three cups of flour per one cup of liquid, and that’s going to be a firmer, denser bread. Think whole wheat bread, rye bread or a country wheat.
My point is, when there’s that much latitude, a recipe that calls for 2½ cups of flower, plus two tablespoons, my goodness, what in the world difference does one or two tablespoons make? Your the bread might be a little denser one time, or a little bit lighter another time.
There are, of course, different types of flour. Bread flour will make for a slightly denser, firmer dough, but all-purpose flour also works perfectly well.
I should warn you that if you don’t have a heavy dough mixer, your arms are going to get a workout because it does take a few minutes to knead the dough.
There is a type of no-knead artisan bread that doesn’t require that kind of exertion. It uses a dough that tends to be soft and sticky. Still, once you’ve done it a couple of times, no-knead bread is very easy to manage.
No matter which style or recipe you choose, don’t be afraid to get in there and try it out. It’s hard to go wrong.
Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53 a.m., 12:53 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., and at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.