Yesterday Rourke (modernsurvivalonline.com) wrote about bread making. I sent him a comment because while his bread dough seemed easy, mine is easier. It's easy to remember the ingredients and the amounts you need. Remember 2, 1, 1/2, 1/2. You don't even have to keep these proportions, and after a while, with experience you will be able to do so much with this dough.
2 cups flour
1 cup water (any temperature, but room temperature to 100 degrees works fastest) I just take mine straight out of the faucet which is about 60 degrees.
1/2 Tablespoon (or 3/4 teaspoon) yeast
1/2 Tablespoon (or 3/4 teaspoon) salt (I use kosher salt but any salt will do)
Mix this together in a bowl using a spoon. The dough should be easy to mix together. If not, add more water. You don't need to mix the yeast and water first, just mix it all together. Let the dough sit in the bowl for anywhere from a couple of hours to all day, overnight, several days, whatever. The longer the dough sits the more sour it gets. This is how you make sourdough bread! You don't need to use anything special. I cover the bread dough with a dish towel. If you are going to keep the dough for more than a day mix it at the end of the day and cover with a light layer of water to keep it from having a crust dry on top.
When you are ready to make your bread you have to decide what kind of bread you are going to make. I'll give some examples. I like adding a couple of scoops of minced garlic and a tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Or to make a challah, I'll put in egg yolks and sugar. Prior to baking I'll brush the top with egg yolks to get a nice crust. For breakfast or a great snack, add raisins and cinnamon sugar. You can even just use the original four ingredients and add nothing.
A couple of days ago I rolled the dough out flat and brushed on melted butter. I then rolled that dough into a jellyroll and cut into two inch rolls. They were great. You can roll it out and add additional raisins and cinnamon sugar then roll it back into a loaf. Be creative!
OK, you have a bowl of wet dough, now what? You need to take a couple of cups of flour and put it on the counter. Add your other ingredients into the bowl of dough if you are making something other than the plain bread, then take the dough out of the bowl and pour it over the flour on the counter. Keep flipping the dough over and over and adding the flour on the counter into this dough. Once it's not sticky it's ready. The more you flip it (which is kneading it) the softer the bread will be. (Think of white bread vs. a whole grain artisan bread)
Shape the dough into either a loaf for a pan, a bunch of rolls, a round loaf or ??? If you want brush the top with oil, melted butter, egg yolk, or nothing. Let it sit for anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour. Preheat the oven to anywhere between 350 and 425. Use the higher temp if you don't have the loaf rise for a long time as the higher temp will rise the dough quickly. Bake until it's done (20 min - 45 min) depending on size and temp.