Baking Bread - Preparing Your Ingredients
This tutorial will guide you in how to measure out the ingredients for the perfect loaf. Whether you're baking a family size loaf, or a batch of bread rolls, find all the measurements you need to start making bread at home.
Decide how much flour you want to use.
- 500g is perfect for a family loaf.
- 1kg will provide two large loaves, three smaller loaves or a baker’s dozen of rolls or buns (you can always freeze the loaves you don’t use immediately).
- Whatever amount of flour you use, take the weight of the flour as being 100%. All other ingredients will be a percentage of this.
Different flours absorb different quantities of water, but for a strong white flour the rule of thumb is to add 60% water.
- For 1 kilo of flour, add 600ml water.
- If using a wholemeal flour, use 65%, or use 80% for a ciabatta for instance.
- Always use warm water, but not boiling water.
With different yeast options available at supermarkets or bakeries, this may get a little confusing. As a rule of thumb, use:
- 1.4% (14g per kilo of flour) fast acting yeast.
- 1% for dried yeast.
- 2% for fresh yeast.
Salt measurements may not seem important, but if you add too little your loaf will taste quite bland. Add too much and it will be too salty. Ideally you need to add:
- 2% salt, no more and no less.
Oils or Butters
You can add oils or butters to bread dough if you like, but it is not a necessity.
- Adding oils or butters gives a slightly softer crumb, allowing the bread to keep for longer.
- The rule of thumb is to add 2%.