Between the French and the bread a real love story is played out. Baguettes, bastards or loaves are present every day in 90% of French homes, according to the Pain Observatory. At the top of the list: the traditional French baguette, followed by the classic baguette, then grain or grain bread.
In fact, bread is a central food of the French gastronomic meal, registered since 2010 in the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco. With its simple and unchanging recipe, its healthy and natural ingredients, its easy cooking, this staple food can easily be made at home, for even more pleasure.
What ingredients to make bread at home?
Nothing very sophisticated! To make a homemade bread of around 700 g, you need four ingredients:
- about 500 g of flour,
- 30 cl of water,
- 1.5 tbsp. teaspoon of salt
- 1 sachet of dry yeast or 20 g of fresh yeast (from the baker).
Seeds, dried fruits … I add ingredients to vary the recipes
To create original breads, do not hesitate to integrate other ingredients such as fruits (grapes, blueberries), seeds (sesame, poppy) or wakame for a perfect iodized result with seafood and fish. Let your imagination run wild to try sweet or savory mixes.
What flour to make your own bread?
It gives it its taste, color and consistency, and also determines the texture of the crumb and the crust. Organic or not, complete, semi-complete, chestnut, corn or wheat … all the flours are suitable for making bread. Do not hesitate to try mixtures, for breads that are out of the ordinary.
Before making your choice, take a look at the label: avoid flour with added gluten, more difficult to digest. Traditionally, wheat flours are classified according to the level of ash, the husk that covers the grain. The more refined the flour, the whiter it is. To note that the more complete the flour, the more bran it contains, the envelope of the wheat grain, and therefore more dietary fiber, mineral salts and vitamins of group B. But it is also in this envelope that the pesticide residues are concentrated: it is therefore recommended to prefer organic wholemeal flour.
The main types of wheat flour:
- Type 55 and 65: ordinary bread.
- Type 80: country bread and special breads.
- Type 110: brown bread.
- Type 150: wholemeal bread (or wholemeal flour bread).
Contrary to popular belief, wholemeal bread is no less caloric than white bread. But it has the advantage of containing more fiber. For example, for 100 g, the classic baguette has a fiber content of 2.7 g compared to 6.23 g for wholemeal bread. The latter also displays more interesting contents of vitamins B and E and minerals (magnesium, zinc).
Kneading, rising, shaping: what steps to make bread?
- Start by dissolving the yeast in the water.
- In a large container, pour the flour and salt, mix.
- Add the yeast and water, and knead everything on your work surface: for five minutes, knead and work the dough by crushing it with the palm of your hand and folding it several times.
- Once it has become elastic, the dough should be put to rest, in a salad bowl, during one hour.
- At the end of this time, form a ball. Place it on the baking sheet and wait another fifteen minutes before baking.
- Just before baking, make incisions with a sharp knife on the top of the loaf, to allow better cooking.
The bread machine, an obligation?
As it mixes, kneads and cooks on its own, the machine saves time. It can also, depending on the model, offer little extras such as programming (for warm bread when you wake up) or cooking settings for a more or less golden crust. But no need for a machine – often cumbersome! – to get a nice homemade loaf. All the steps can be done by hand without any difficulty.
No need for high performance equipment: preheat your oven to 220 ° C and bake for 40 minutes.
Tip: drop a container filled with water in the oven during baking to obtain a soft bread, which does not dry out.
It is also important to store your bread well to prevent it from drying out too quickly. To keep its softness, wrap it in a kitchen towel.
If you’ve had eyes bigger than your stomach, don’t panic: head to the freezer, in a tightly closed freezer bag, the air of which is expelled by following the contours of the bread. When you need it, just place your bread in the oven for a few minutes (never in the microwave) to find a soft crumb and a crispy crust.