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I've been following this beginner recipe from Alex, The French Guy Cooking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycztOGTIX-s&t=326s).

I'll summarize it at the end for easier refernce.

The result was pretty great, tbh, but I'm wondering if I can get away with less or even no sugar without ruining it. From what I understand, sugar is used as a food source, but the flour and butter is a food source too, no?

Any advice is welcome, thank you!


INGREDIENTS.

FLOUR : 2 pounds flour : 7 cups : 907 grams (1 cup flour = 128 g) Bread flour is great, AP Flour works especially if protein content is higher than 10% LIQUID : Half milk, half water. A bit less than 2.5 cups. (1 cup water is 236.59 grams) You can go full milk for more comfort, or full water for simplicity, FAT : Life needs fat. I am french I going full on butter. 100g of butter. (14.2g per tbsp) 7 tbsps ! Oil works as well, or lard, crisco... same 7 tbsps. SUGAR : 88g or 7 tbsps of sugar. SALT : 3 tsp of salt = 18g, for a 2% salt content dough. Instant yeast : 9g. Active dry, instant yeast, don't bother. It'll work about the same. or 3 tsp. ( knowing that 1 packet is 7g and 2.25 tsp. according to redyeast.com )


INSTRUCTIONS :

Big mixing bowl. Tepid Liquid goes first. Then, Yeast, sugar, salt, fat, flour. Mix it till shaggy mess. Cover and wait for 1 hour. This is the "Autolyse". Knead the dough for 5 minutes straight. Pause for 15 minutes. Knead again for 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth by now. Add oil in a big bowl, place the dough in. Wipe the bowl with it. Cover with cling film. 1st proofing starts. Wait till it has doubled in size, usually 2 hours. Sometimes more. You could also wait a day or two if it proofs in the fridge. Deflate. Divide in half. If you just want to bake one loaf in the end, that's the moment to freeze the one of the doughs. Flatten to the width of your (oiled) cake pan. As my dough is soft, i use my hands. Roll up. Place in, with the seam facing down. Let it proof again, until doubled in size again, then bake it. ( no punching this time ) 200°C - 400°F for 30 minutes or golden brown on top. Brush the top with butter. Let it cool down 30 minutes. Enjoy.

  • That's a lot of sugar, so you might be able to reduce it, but it's also a very rish dough, so what sort of bread is it meant to be? – Chris H May 28 at 7:42
  • I have no idea what type of bread is meant to be. Here in Romania we don't eat bread with much sugar in it, but the guy I followed is french... so things differ :). Also, what is a rish dough? Or is it a typo and it's rich dough? – Bogdan May 28 at 8:21
  • yes, a typo for rich, sorry. I've clicked through to the video and he doesn't say what sort of bread it is, but it's not typical French bread (that's just flour, water, yeast, salt). It's bit like a milk bread recipe, so looking for one of those that's lower in sugar might be a start – Chris H May 28 at 9:46
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You can make a bread following this recipe, but reducing or omitting the sugar. Your bread will rise just fine, as the yeast can feed on sugars in the flour, as you suggest. The same is true for the butter and milk. Lots of tradititional 'simple' bread recipes use only flour, water, salt and yeast. You might have to slightly change timing and kneading procedure to get a good result.

That said, you will alter the flavour (and probably texture) of the bread. Whether you will like the result as much as the original recipe you can only find out by trying.

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  • Thank you! Will try it next time and see what I get :) – Bogdan May 28 at 11:37

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