Advice on ideal ratios for flour/water/yeast/sugar/fat/ salt etc when combined with different ingredients?
Hello there, I am new to this forum, though I have been making bread for a while, mostly using my breadmaker to mix the dough for me, and shaping and baking the dough outside of it.
I've just gotten into doing this again lately, and I keep getting frustrated by having ideas for bread which I can't find reliable recipes for online. Many recipes I find online for bread seem to violate all good sense when it comes to the ratio of bread to water and the amount of yeast and sugar. For example I made the mistake of following one that had a near 1:1 ratio of flour to water, the dough for which turned out predictably pourable. Others have had what seem to me like silly amounts of yeast (like should one average sized loaf really require more than a 7g yeast packet??), although the results with those were considerably less disasterous. I am tempted to just make up my own recipes (have done in the past), but I think I'm in need of more knowledge about what kind of ratios I should be aiming for and their effects.
I was wondering if there are any general rules as to what range of ratio of flour to water to yeast to salt to fat to sugar is acceptable. Generally speaking, I think it's right when there's about 60% as much water as flour (though I understand there's some regional variance there), but I wonder what others think, and if there are guidlines for the other ingredients?
And any ideas how it might vary depending on the kind of density of loaf and crust you want? And the sweetness of the loaf, like say, how should you vary the salt/yeast if you add more sugar?
For white bread, wholemeal bread, mixed grain, rye
Bread with wet vegatables in it (eg olives, onions)
Bread with dried powders/dried vegetables (like onion or garlic powder which tend to be quite salty)
Bread with nuts
Bread with seeds? (eg sunflower)
Any advice would be appreciated!