I've been baking my own bread for the last 6 years or so with a MorphyRichards bread maker. I started with Lidl bread mix and in the meantime have 'graduated' to making my own.
In principle, I always use 500g flour and 350mls water. The flour varies a lot (I use wheat, strong and normal, rye, spelt in varying proportions) but I've always used 350mls of lukewarm water.
So, recently I must have done something wrong (I often put a bread on while making dinner and really rather distracted) in that the resulting 'dough' had the consistency of loose porridge instead of the usual firm ball of dough. I was rather worried.
But - the resulting bread was fabulous!
I've just done another one with 500g flour/400mls water and it was good too. I have no idea how much water was in the accidental loaf but wonder whether it might have been 500mls?
Anyway <gets to the point eventually> what is your flour/water ratio??
Depends on what manner of bread I want to make. Wet dough can produce fantastic bread with big bubbles and a wonderful flavour. But for pizza base or a sandwich loaf I want a dough that forms a ball on the dough hook.
Do you add your water all in one go? I use approx 320ml of lukewarm water to 500g of flour. I put a sachet of yeast, the flour, a teaspoon of salt and 40ml olive oil in the food mixer with the dough hook. I let the ingredients mix before I add the water a bit at a time until the dough becomes a wet and smooth ball. The "wetter" the dough the better the bread. I measure the water but I don't use it all - it depends on the type of flour.
I am so used to bunging all ingredients in with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back , that I never pay any attention to it really. I suppose that is one of the disadvantages of using a bread maker.
I will watch it a bit more from now on.
I think for that one particularly 'wet' bread it was 200g spelt and 300g Allison's strong white wheat + who knows HOW much water
I am quite tempted to experiment with a bit more water than usual.