Bread making can be pretty intimidating and everybody that has tried it has had at least one major disaster. There’s nothing more disappointing than opening the oven hoping to find a beautifully risen loaf of delicious bread and finding a flat lump of hard dough instead. But you shouldn’t let that put you off trying to make bread because once you master it, it’s great fun. Often, you just need practice but there are some great tips and tricks that you can use to make your loaves better.
Use A Bread Maker
Master bakers might consider bread makers cheating but if you’re just trying to bake a nice loaf for the family, there’s no shame in having a little help. If you get certain steps wrong you can ruin the loaf so having a bread maker is a good way to get to grips with the recipe before you start learning the process itself. Once you’ve mastered the art of making great loaves with a bread maker (which shouldn’t take long) you can start doing it the traditional way. Bread making can also be time-consuming so having a bread maker is good for those busy days when you haven’t got time to do it properly.
Sugar And Yeast
The yeast is the most important ingredient because it’s what makes the bread rise, so you’ve got to be careful how you treat it. If you mix salt directly with the yeast you can kill it, which is a mistake people often make. If you’re having trouble getting the yeast to rise properly, you can add a little sugar to it when you mix it with the warm water. It feeds the yeast and activates it which helps it rise better.
This is a big one when it comes to the baking of any kind. When you’re cooking normally, you can get away with estimating amounts and throwing things in to see what happens but when it comes to baking, you can’t. Always make sure that you’re following the recipe properly and measuring things out exactly. Even the slightest variation can ruin a loaf of bread.
Resist Adding Extra Flour
Too much flour in a dough is an easy way to ruin your bread but many of us are tempted to add more than the recipe says because the dough is sticky. The amount that a recipe calls for varies a lot depending on the type of bread and some breads just have a stickier dough. You’ll just have to trust the recipe and resist the urge to add more flour, you’ll only end up ruining your bread.
Don’t Use Flour When Kneading
Most recipes will tell you to do this but it isn’t always the best idea. We’ve already learned that adding extra flour isn’t a good idea and if you knead the dough using flour to stop it from sticking, you’re doing exactly that. It’s a lot better to just use an olive oil spray instead, that way, you don’t risk ruining the dough with too much excess flour.
Follow these tips and you should get better results from your bread baking every single time.