Hey everyone 🙂 Im really happy to be sharing with you the first post from my Baking Guides series. All of you who have been following me for a while know how much I love making fresh bread. It’s one of my favourite things to do and gives me the most satisfaction. I mean seriously, when you slice into a loaf of bread you’ve just made and see the cooked inside fluffiness, there’s nothing that compares to that feeling of accomplishment! 🙂
Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks for making bread and have managed to perfect making lots of different breads achieving great results every time.
I really want everyone to know just how simple it is to make fresh bread at home. It really is.
Tips for success
I’m going to keep adding new tips that I pick up but here are a few of my favourites and what I think is most important:
- Using the correct yeast. Most bakeries and bread makers use fresh yeast or active dry yeast. When I first wanted to learn making bread, I tried using active dry yeast but I just couldn’t get my breads to work out. Ever since I’ve started using instant/fast acting yeast, my breads have been spot on every time. I advise everyone to always use instant yeast no matter what bread you are making. This guarantees that your bread will rise and cook nicely.
- Consistency of the dough. One of the first things I learned about bread is making sure that the dough has alot of moisture. Depending on what type of bread you’re making, some are more moist than others but all bread dough should have alot of water. The wetter the dough is the better it rises and becomes fluffy. Another key ingredient is salt. Make sure to add enough salt because there’s nothing worse than a bland piece of bread 🙂
- Kneading. This is super important for breads because it develops the gluten making breads cook properly throughout and giving it a nice chewy texture without being doughy. A great rule of thumb is to knead a minimum of 5 minutes with a dough hook on a mixer and 10 minutes by hand.
- Proper rising and proofing. Another key step to making sure the dough cooks properly is to make sure it rises well and giving it time to develop. I like to rise my doughs then shape and let them proof (rise again) overnight in the fridge. This way they rise slowly and give an overall better flavour and texture.
- Slice slits on top. Using a serrated knife or even sharp scissors, score slits across the tops of your doughs, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. (Unless you’re making fluffy milk/egg rolls). This ensures the bread to cook all the way through not leaving doughy centres.
- Cook at high heat. Make sure your oven is preheated well at a high temperature. The bread needs to go directly into a very hot oven.
- Ice cube tray. This is a great trick to make sure your bread rises in the oven. Place an empty baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Put your dough inside and just before closing the oven door, place some ice cubes onto the baking tray. This creates steam and gives the bread a lovely, moist environment to bake in.
- Make sure the bread is cooked. No matter how much time it takes, make sure your bread is cooked all the way through. To know when it’s ready, tap your finger on the bottom of the bread. It should sound hollow. If it doesn’t then let it cook a bit longer.
- Cool on wire rack. This is important to make sure your bread doesn’t become soggy. Once your bread is done, don’t leave it on the baking tray. Remove and place onto a wire rack to cool.
- Be confident. Have faith that your going to make the best bread. Don’t doubt yourself, it’s alot easier than you think 🙂
There are so many types of breads you can make. The choices are limitless!
White or brown floured. Buns or rolls. Loaves or round breads. 🙂
Be creative! Add anything you like into your breads like nuts or spices. Just have fun!