"Flex" Bread for Every Day

This is our everyday bread at home.  It's about as straightforward as a good daily bread can get.  I use a stand mixer and dough hook to make it but hands/wooden spoon also work fine.  It is a very soft dough that makes a flavorful but not overly sour and moist, large-crumbed bread that toasts well, makes a great cold sandwich and an unbeatable grilled sandwich!  

If you want to, add up to 40 grams of vital wheat gluten if you're using a variety flour combined with the all purpose to ensure the light texture.  

 

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
White starter, 100% hydration 140 g 4.94 oz 1.1 cups 31.82%
Tepid water 300 g 10.58 oz 1.27 cups 68.18% (hydration)
Sugar, honey, agave...whatever! 30 g 1.06 oz 2.4 tbspns 6.82%
Flour (a/p or a combo using up to 100 g of variety flour) 440 g 15.52 oz 3.45 cups 100.00%
Salt 10 g 0.35 oz 0.64 tbspns 2.27%
Olive oil 0 g 0 oz 0 tbspns 0.00%
Total Weight: 920 grams / 32.45 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 440 grams / 15.52 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.

Method

Combine starter, water and sugar in in the mixer while weighing out the flour and salt.  Mix flour and salt then add them to the mixer bowl all at once.  Use the low speed to start or you'll be wearing it!

Mix on medium speed about two minutes.  Wrap a clean tea towel over the top of the bowl and mixer hook and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle about 25 g of flour on an oiled bread board and ease the very soft dough onto it.  Sprinkle another handful of flour on top so you can pat/stretch the dough as far as you can.  Letter-fold twice using the edge of a scraper.  Spray the top lightly with olive oil,  cover lightly with plastic wrap or an overturned bowl.  Let proof for 1 hour and repeat the stretch and folds.  Do this twice more for a total of three hours.

Heavily oil the bottom and lightly oil the sides of a largish loaf pan (5.25" x 9" x 4") or a couple of smaller ones.  Dust the top generously with flour, cover and proof until it rises gently above the top edge of the pan.  This takes mine anywhere from 8 to 16 hours - you'll have to see what happens with your starter, climate and ambient temperature.  (I always start around 5 p.m. so we can bake early in the morning!)

Slash and bake at 380 degrees farenheit about 40 minutes.  

6 comments

Hello CayoKath,

I'd imagine that bread would actually be quite sweet with that amount of sugar in it.  Even some of my 'sweet' bread recipes (hot cross buns etc) don't have that amount in them.  Perhaps that is why it toasts well.

Have you tried it with a lower sugar content?

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

Hi Farinam,

Thirty grams isn't a lot of sugar/sweetener.  Most of the sweet doughs I'm familiar with in the dry yeast lexicon take about a half cup of sweetener (roughly three times the amount)!   I've made it with no sweetener, and less sweetener (no recipe is sacred in my kitchen) with fine results.  

This is really similar to my daily bread recipe as well, but you are using triple the sugar, and the dough seems like it would probably be a bit wetter. Then again, I used eggs in mine as well, so maybe not.

Eggs.  Now that to me would be a "special" bread.  :)  Where is the recipe?  Have you shared it?

Hi CayoKath,

I made this last night exactly as your recipe and baked it this morning. It had overproved, but still tasted great in our lunchtime sandwiches, with a nice airy, soft crumb and crunchy crust.

My kitchen was quite cool overnight and I was really surprised at how much the dough had risen, especially as I didn't finish the last fold until 10pm last night.

This is definitely a bake again, thanks for posting.

Thanks, Sarniagirl.  It is a good, basic recipe.  For those who think 30g of sugar is too much, it is still very nice with little or no sugar.  I now make this in a double-sized batch of dough, then fully proof and bake half, saving the rest in the refrigerator for proofing, shaping, and final proofing when loaf number one is about halfway to two-thirds gone.  That saves us from being short on bread.  The starters have just loved this recipe and it makes such a good all purpose loaf - grilled smoked gouda cheese sandwiches on this are heavenly.  I vary it at times by substituting a third of whole grain flour.  It's a little less fluffy of course but still lighter than some of the loaves sold at a local bakery.