My Basic Everday Bread
I have been baking bread for 5 years or more focussing primarily on basic everyday bread that I can get the family to like and eat so they won't buy bread at places like Trader Joe's which does not taste good to me at all.
Over the years I've had to abandon using whole wheat flour as my daughters say it's too coarse. I now use unbleached high-gluten flour from Pendleton mills with 18.5% protein.
I've had to temper the crust by brushing the risen loaves with a little olive oil just prior to baking or my daughters will want to waste crust, which I can't bear to see.
Other than these tweaks, my bread is pretty straightforward using a straight dough method and start to finish is 3 hours. This is an important aspect as I work during the day & do most of the cooking at home so choreographing in the baking of 4 loaves about twice a week is not always easy, but that's how much bread we need.
I love this site, which I only discovered recently. One thing I learned here was the importance of crumb. Someone had posted a picture of a baked loaf that they were proud of, and another post requested a "crumb shot" on the loaf. I started to think about that and study inwardly what I liked about the best artisan breads. I had always thought only about the crust, but it is the crumb and texture inside that colors the taste experience inside the loaf, which is most of it. I found that I was getting the dough too dry in my making of the bread. This was making the gas bubbles smaller and making it harder to get the loft up in the loaf. My new rule is something like 'resist the temptation to add too much flour; work with the sticky dough by keeping a good kneading rhythm'.
With the stickier dough temper I see bigger gas bubbles, more loft & better elasticity in the interior texture.
I learned this from that suggestion about "crumb".
I just thought I would share about my 'Basic Everyday Bread'.
Here's a crumb shot of one of my loaves.