Tips for making your own bread at home (without a machine)

The right ingredients for making homemade bread


Any wheat flour is suitable for making bread. The most common, T55, is ideal because it gives a very elastic crumb. For semi-wholemeal (T110) or wholemeal (T150) flour, it will need to be worked with a larger quantity of water during kneading. Other types of flour are suitable, such as rye or corn. But be careful, the latter are more difficult to work with because they do not contain gluten (ideal for those with intolerances) and without it, the dough loses elasticity and gas retention. The dough is then very sticky and difficult to shape.

The yeast

Baker’s yeast exists in dried or fresh versions and can be purchased from the baker or supermarket. Both work very well, only the quantities used are different. You will need three times more fresh yeast to prepare your dough than with dry yeast.

Good gestures

Now the work begins. In a small bowl of lukewarm water, soak the yeast and mix. In a salad bowl, pour the flour and salt, make a well in the flour and pour in the water and yeast. Using your finger, push the flour into the yeast so that it absorbs it, then knead until you obtain a ball of dough.


Making bread without a machine requires a little elbow grease. By hand, it takes around twenty minutes of kneading. You can also use a pastry robot to help you. This step is crucial, it will activate the yeast and make the dough grow. Courage !

The right move? Simply fold the dough on itself then press with the palm of your hand then bring the dough back on itself and so on.
When it begins to take the shape of a ball and is no longer crumbly, place the dough in the salad bowl, sprinkle it with a little flour, cover the salad bowl with a damp cloth and leave to rest for at least 2 hours. To know if the dough has risen well, simply stick a finger in it: if the hole disappears, it is ready.

After resting, we will then break the dough by kneading it again for 8 minutes more vigorously than the previous time.


Dust the work surface with a little flour and place the dough on it. You can then shape it into the desired shape: into a ball, loaf, baguette, portions… This is also the time to add additional ingredients such as flax seeds, nuts, olives, rosemary, oil olive… Once the shaping is complete, we scarify the dough with a knife. Let it rest again for around fifteen minutes to let the oven preheat to 240°C with a container of water in the bottom.

The cooking

You can place your dough directly on a baking sheet, or even easier, you can opt for cooking in a casserole dish or in a cake mold. Bake your bread for around thirty minutes. When you take it out, check that the bottom is well cooked and then let it cool for 10 minutes. When cut, the bread should have a very crispy crust and a very airy crumb.

The conversation

To properly store your bread, put an end to plastic bags which encourage mold, wrap it in a clean, slightly damp cloth which you then place in a bread box or a large drawer like our grandmothers did.

Similar Posts