Bread Baking 101

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Baking bread doesn’t have to be difficult or hard, but there are a few ideas to make confident the loaf you bake will turn out just appropriate. Sure, it really is easy to go to the grocery store and get a loaf of sliced bread. Anyone can do that, of course. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on the back of the package? It really is full of scientific words that I can not pronounce. At least I know what goes into my bread: flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Fairly basic and that is the way I like it.

The best piece of guidance I have is: Practice, practice, practice. My 1st loaves of bread had been hard and far better utilised as baseball bats rather than baguettes. I discovered my lesson and sought to boost my baking skills. I consider I’ve discovered more by way of trial and error than in baking class in culinary college. A lot more than something, kneading dough by hand connects you to your meals. Even even though I use a mixer to knead most of the time, some days I give the mixer a break and knead the dough by hand. Not only is it a fantastic workout, you truly discover what a very good dough will feel like and appreciate it more.

Flour:
For all intensive purposes, the very best flour to use is bread flour. It really is higher gluten and will produce great final results. There are many flours out there. When you get familiar with baking bread, you can experiment with other flours. If you want to use whole wheat to make a healthier bread, I recommend substituting half of the bread flour with complete wheat.

Yeast: It really is alive!
What is yeast? I’ve been teaching my daughter how to bake and she’s usually intrigued by the yeast. Since I use SAF immediate yeast, I do not actually need to bloom it but it really is a enjoyable experiment for an 8 year old girl. Blooming yeast wakes it up and tends to make it come alive. Adding sugar to it tends to make it grow even more quickly considering that it really is an organism that loves to consume (and eat and consume).

Nonetheless, it can be sort of fickle.

Yeast likes:

Sugar
Warm water (not as well hot or as well cold — this will kill it)

Yeast hates:

Salt — salt is extremely crucial in bread baking simply because it offers flavor and it aids keep the yeast in check (retards it, generally). If salt wasn’t added to the dough, the yeast would over indulge and eat as well considerably. It doesn’t know when to quit. Salt steps in and calms the yeast down — like the bouncer at a club.
Extreme temperatures

For years I used Fleishman’s yeast or Red Star. Both function well, but I switched more than the SAF yeast which comes in a larger package and is utilised by expert bakers.

Starters:
I was a provided a 15 year old starter not as well long ago. Very possibly this was the ideal gift I’ve ever been provided. Ok, so I sound a tiny strange, but now I can bake sourdough bread once a week and consume some of the very best sandwiches and toast known to man. It is all about the bread.

I am sure you have had sourdough. Famous for its bread, San Francisco sourdough tastes diverse than sourdough in Chicago. Why? It feeds on all-natural yeast in the air and the air in Chicago is diverse than San Francisco. My sourdough starter has been living right here in Montana for 15 years. I am positive it has a various taste than one particular designed in Ohio.

If you want to make your personal starter, here is a basic a single:

Honey Starter
1 package dry yeast
2 1/two cups warm water (105º-115ºF)
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour

Combine the ingredients in a quart jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the jar and let the mixture ferment in warm spot for 5 days, stirring every day. Store in the refrigerator. Replenish the starter with water and flour in equal portions.

Starter guidelines:
It really is a commitment and fed. When you use a cup of starter for a recipe, you require to replenish what you took out by adding 3/four cup water and 3/four flour. Allow it to sit at room temperature for a day just before refrigerating. Strategy on baking bread about after a week or at least when each and every couple of weeks. Make positive you feed it about a tablespoon of flour and water each day or each other day.

Sponges:
A sponge is a kind of starter that use generally not kept around, so it doesn’t have the classic sour dough flavor. Sponges are left to develop overnight and utilized the subsequent day in the loaf.

Climate:
What does Mother Nature have to do with baking bread? A lot, in fact. If it’s humid and rainy, you’ll want to use a lot more flour. If the climate is dry, then you use significantly less flour. This a explanation I never measure the flour when baking. By feeling the dough, I can inform if sufficient flour has been incorporated. This goes back to the tips — practice.

Armed with a small knowledge and a couple of great recipes, you can bake your personal bread that will be tastier and healthier than the ones sold in retailers.