3 steps to making bread without a machine

3 steps to making bread without a machine

make sound homemade bread can represent a great challenge when you start. In addition, we do not always have all the material necessary neither food processor and even less bread maker.

I explain here my technique in 3 simple and quick steps to succeed every time in making bread without a machine, if not the strength of your hands! ๐Ÿ™‚

As you know, machines make our lives a lot easier. But sometimes we want to do things ourselves. Because it brings us more pleasure, satisfaction and merit! But also because we have no choice, when we have none. ๐Ÿ˜›

I personally made the choice to NEVER buy a MAP (bread machine), because I love touching it with flour and dough, and I would lose all the pleasure of making my breadโ€ฆ On the other hand, I admit that I sometimes use the pastry robot when I work on several preparations at the same time. The robot has the advantage of being adjustable in speed and kneading the dough faster and more efficiently.

But today it’s decided, it will be without a machine! Here is my technique for success.

1. Choose and dose your ingredients

As with any preparation, the choice of ingredients is vital. If you want to bring all the chances on your side to the success of your bread, you will have to choose the freshest possible ingredients.

So you will need to work with:

  • of the strong flour* less than 3 months old (after purchase)
  • of the fresh yeast unopened (or a new packet of dry yeast)
  • of water at room temperature dechlorinated (left 2 hours on the table)
  • from sea โ€‹โ€‹salt end

*The flour mixture should ideally consist of at least 50% white flour T65/T55/T45 so that the dough has more strength.

To facilitate the kneading by hand, it will be necessary to work at a TH (hydration rate) around 60%. For more info on the TH, take a look at this article. ๐Ÿ™‚

Example of a recipe for a bread that is easy to make without a machine:

  • 250g white wheat flour
  • 250g whole wheat flour
  • 5 g fresh yeast (or 2 g freeze-dried dry yeast)
  • 10g of salt
  • 300g water

I actually adapted the super easy recipe for white bread in a ball, which you can also use instead of this brown bread.

2. Making bread without a machine requires good kneading

Power and courage !

I might as well tell you right away, succeed in obtaining a nice dough smooth without a machine normally requires several tries to get the hang of it. What often causes concern when kneading it is impatience.

Indeed, this step being done by hand in this case should last 20 minutes. Few people respect this timing and only work their dough for a poor 5 minutes or 10 at bestโ€ฆ But this time is not enough to develop the gluten network and give the bread a nice shape and a soft crumb!

The most common mistake is therefore not really difficult to overcome: you have to arm yourself with patience and of courage ! And for that, I have a trick: work in music. ๐Ÿ˜€ Put on a playlist you love and crank it up (in your ears if you can’t rock the house). It will keep you motivated, a bit like running a raceโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜›

I can’t resist sharing my flagship playlist with you when I work in the kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜€


Simple kneading technique

In a bowl, first pour the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt) and make a well in the center to pour the water.

First, mix all the ingredients together. Just avoid direct contact between the fresh yeast and the salt when pouring them into the bowl.

The gesture for this first mixture is simple: only with one hand, turn with two fingers starting from the center to gradually add the flour from the contours. Then make 8. Scrape well the flour which is not yet incorporated. Pass the dough between your fingers, closing your hand over it, this will help the flour to incorporate.

When there is no more dry flour and the dough is homogeneous, let it rest for 5 minutes before handling it. Cover the bowl with a tea towel.

Then, take the dough out of the bowl and repeat these steps for 15 to 20 minutes:

  • Stretch the dough on one side (without forcing too much so as not to tear it)*
  • Fold in half by folding the stretched side to form like a slipper
  • Squeeze with the palm of your hand
  • Turn the dough a quarter turn (always in the same direction)
  • Repeat

*If the dough is difficult to stretch, it is too tight. And yes, bread dough is alive! Let the dough come to its senses for 3 minutes before you get back to it. I’m serious, you will feel the difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After 15-20 min, form a ball and leave to rest on baking paper. Cover with a tea towel.

3. Resting time and cooking are not to be neglected

WELL DONE ! Congratulations on getting this far! If you get a nice smooth paste it’s that your kneading has been successful and you deserve a little break. ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s usually at this time that I make myself a good coffee or a hot tea.

And that’s good, because now you’ll let your dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Personally, I leave it for 1h30 to 3h so that the bread is more airy. ๐Ÿ™‚ One possibility is to let the bread rest overnight in the fridge.

It will then be time to bake your bread: preheat your oven to 250ยฐC with a baking sheet halfway up.

Just before putting in the oven, choose the traditional cooking mode (high and low) and lower the temperature to 225ยฐC.

Spray your bread with a little water (use a garden sprayer, not your handsโ€ฆ) and slide the baking sheet onto the hot plate in the oven. Let’s go for 40 to 45 minutes depending on the desired crust color.

If you want more advice on baking, I invite you to read how to bake bread in a household oven.

Then let your bread cool on a wire rack for an hour before tasting.

What you must remember

  • Choose the ingredients well and work with a 60% hydrated dough
  • Knead for 15 to 20 minutes without tearing the dough
  • Leave to rest long enough to enjoy a soft crumb and respect the temperatures and cooking times.

Next steps for you:

  1. Plan a loaf for the weekend
  2. Check that your flours and yeast are fresh enough, otherwise go buy some
  3. Follow my 3 simple steps to make your bread without a machine
  4. be proud of yourself
  5. Share your result in the comments or on my Facebook page

Did you like this article? Feel free to share it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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