When i was a kid i threw together on average 10 loves of basic white bread a week....other then the occasional cracked crust no problem. I really want to go back to doing this and a bread maker is a failure for me as i am a dump cook and don't comprehend measurements LOL. My problem is that i just after about 15 years made my first batch.....and well they were smooth.....taste good....BUT i think that I'm missing my feel for it ......the bread wasn't heavy BUT it was not right....when kneading i couldn't remember how dry the dough should feel....it would form to a ball but i will admit that it was a little sticky...mmm like a pet hair roller.....HELP please I'm munching on fresh bread and butter but i want FRESH BREAD AND BUTTER lol...... basic recipe........ flour, salt,yeast,butter,sugar......raise until double punch down mold raise and cook.....yeast is about 1.5 tbl and the rest are ohhhh yea that works.....i did proof my yeast as well it had been around for a bit and wanted to make sure.....my table says YEP still active..( note to self when making sure the yeast is good, when you use 2 cup of water to activate yeast a three cup container is NOT enough)
HELP Bread is not Bready LOL
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If you're cooking by eye and hand, and you used to be able to, you probably just need to get the feel again. But if the dough feels stickier under your hand as you knead, just add some more flour as you knead. If you have doubts you can use a recipe but bread is pretty forgiving.
In the old days, people didn't measure (oh horrors) - my mother in law tells of the bread they made at home, and it was done by eye. My mother's mother used to make sweet bread for xmas and she would simply "make a well" on a board with a bunch of flour (a pile of flour and you make a hole in the middle where you put the other ingredients) and they'd add a bit of leftover dough or yeast, water, salt, and mix starting from the liquid, within the "bowl" made of the flour, gradually mixing in more of the flour. Nobody measured in those days, nobody had a scale or a measuring cup.
Keep at it, and you'll get your knack again.