Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best Bread Tips

Want to make the best bread?  I know I do.  I love making bread.
Here are a few tips to help you become a better bread maker.

  1. Pick one recipe and stick to it until it is mastered.  A good one that I like is Basic Bread.  You can pick any recipe you want...the rules are the same.
  2. Don't change the variety/brand of yeast you use.  Each yeast will respond differently and you don't want the yeast differences to confuse you while learning a recipe.
  3. Learn to make it by hand after you master it by machine.
Once you can get consistent results with a recipe, then you are ready to move on to other options.

A few ways to 'shake' up the recipe:

Butter instead of oil

Milk instead of a portion of the water

Applesauce instead of oil for a low fat variety

Soft wheat instead of hard wheat

White wheat instead of Red

Dough enhancers

Lecithin granules

A few rules to NEVER violate when it comes to bread:

Salt kills yeast.  Never use the salt spoon in the yeast and mix the yeast thoroughly in with other ingredients before adding the salt to the dough.

Too much heat kills yeast.  If you can't touch it will kill the yeast. 

Never let the bread rise more than double.  Over rising in the final stage of loaf formation will cause the loaf to lose uniformity of texture and collapse.

Yeast has a limited life.  My Basic Bread recipe has 3 tbs of yeast.  This is enough to get 2 quick rises and 1 slow rise out of the dough.  No more.  If I punch the dough down and reshape it after the 3rd slow rise......there is no more rise left.

Happy Bread Making!!

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