Baking bread is becoming ever more popular, as people grow tired of bland supermarket loaves. As well as being tastier, baking bread is healthy and can be fun. Often people think it´s beyond their cooking talents, but it isn’t that complicated. So here are some super tips tips for homemade bread …
1. Don´t Be Scared!
Firstly, don´t be intimidated by the thought of baking bread. There´s no great mystery to it. The dough won´t attack you, and if all doesn´t go according to plan you just have to try again. You´ll get it right in the end, so keep at it and you´ll soon be baking fabulous homemade bread!
2. Keep Practising
It´s tempting to give up at the first attempt, when your dough refuses to rise or your loaf sinks in the middle. Don´t be put off – as with anything, we learn from our mistakes. So work out what you did wrong, and have another go. Chances are your second attempt will be much better.
There are some important steps that you shouldn´t miss out when baking bread. Mix the dough thoroughly, and before kneading it you should leave it for 10 minutes. Knead the dough, then leave to rise by a half. Shape it into the form you want to bake it in, then leave to rise by a further half to two-thirds.
Many people swear by their breadmaker for making fabulous bread without any effort. Others think that it´s just not the same as breadmade by hand. Try testing out a friend´s breadmaker and see what you think – if you like it, you´ll be making bread with no effort at all!
5. Filtered Water
If you´re having a problem getting your dough to rise, the culprit may be your tap water. In some areas the water is heavily chlorinated. So if this is the case where you live, try using bottled or filtered water instead, and see if the results are better. And don´t forget to warm the water.
6. White Bread
One of the most useful tips for homemade bread if you´re a complete novice is to start with using white flour. Wholemeal flour makes a healthier loaf, but white flour is easier to work with. So start with white, and then as you become more confident experiment with wholemeal loaves.
7. Bread Flour
This might sound like a really obvious point, but don´t forget to purchase bread flour for your loaves. Bread flour contains higher levels of gluten, and without this the loaf won´t rise properly. You can also use bread flour to make pizza base – try that when you´ve mastered a basic loaf!
The advantage of homemade bread is, of course, that it doesn´t contain the additives and preservatives that shop-bought bread has. However, the downside of this is that it doesn´t keep as long. So it´s best to make bread in smaller loaves if it´s just for you, or slice and freeze it for another time.
These tips for homemade bread should have you in the kitchen and baking delicious loaves in no time! Don´t be discouraged if your early attempts turn out wrong; baking is all about trial and error, and experimenting. You´ll soon learn how to get it right, and enjoy tasty homemade bread. What tips can you offer for baking bread that looks and tastes fantastic?