I’m sure you’ve heard of Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. While I don’t have the book, I whole heartedly believe in ratio cooking and baking, especially after making the bread dough from the Serious Eats article on “The Making of the Momofuku Milk Bar Volcano.”
The “recipe” I used, straight from the site: baguette dough comprised of 100 parts flour, 65 parts water and two parts salt with 1.5 percent yeast. The beauty of ratios is that you can consistently produce the same quality product whether you make 1 or 100.
The dough was soft, supple and super easy to work with. I made a couple of baguette-like loaves the next day, that’s how impressed I was with the flavour and crumb. I did make one huge mistake with these loaves though: I forgot to cover them during the second rise.
Covering your bread dough is of utmost importance: if you don’t cover it, a crust will form on the dough and stop your bread from rising properly. Plus covering your bread makes a nice little warm, moist environment for all the yeasties to grow.
Not covering my bread for the second rise made my loaves flat and un-scorable due to the crust that formed. Even so, toasted and slathered with jam, Nutella and mustard, they were super yummy. I’m really digging the whole ratio baking thing.
Bread Ratio Recipe
100 parts flour
65 parts warm water
2 parts salt
1.5 parts yeast
1. Sprinkle yeast on warm water.
2. Stir together salt and flour.
3. Make a well in the flour and pour in yeast and water mixture.
4. Stir flour and water together into a shaggy ball.
5. Knead by hand or in stand mixer until smooth and elastic.
6. Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap.
7. Place in a warm, draft-free spot and let rise for 5 hours.
8. Gently punch your bread down, shape, cover and let rise for another hour.
9. Heat oven to 375˚F.
10. Brush tops with egg wash or mist with water. Score with a sharp knife.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped with a wooden spoon.