Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips and Tricks for Bread Baking

(disclaimer... this information is from many different places. Some is mine, some not) Tips and Tricks for Bread Baking
  • Check the expiration date on your yeast. If it is to old… your bread will not rise.
  • Do not add salt directly to your yeast. It inhibits the yeast growth
  • Use a thermometer! Water that is too hot will kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t rise well.
  • Have ingrediants at room temperture
  • Do not scoop your flour with the measuring cup. You will end up using too much flour and the loaf will be heavy. Instead, use a spoon to lift the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. Do not tap or shake the cup to put more flour into it. Simply level the top with a flat edge.
  • Tap water is chemically treated and may slow down the rising. Hard water is alkaline which weakens the gluten and makes a loaf with less volume. Soft water is slightly acid which makes the yeast more active. If your breads are not rising very well, boil the water and let it cool to room temperature or use bottled spring water.
  • Any liquid sweetening can be substituted for sugar, but it will need to be counted as part of the total liquid content of the bread.
  • To reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in breads, use two whites instead of one whole egg.
  • Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh so use about a third of the quantity recommended for fresh.
  • Cinnamon can break down the structure of the dough which affects the size and texture, and garlic will inhibit the activity of the yeast. So measure carefully when you use these.
  • When I am making bread and need it to rise quickly I use this tip I am happy to say I thought up all by myself. I fill my sink about 2 inches with really hot water and stick in inverted cereal bowl in the water and put my bowl of dough on it and cover the entire sink with a towel and let it rise. The dough kind of steams a bit and since it is nice an moist and warm in there it rises in half the time. It works so well I use that trick every time I make bread.

  • IMPORTANT: When working with baking powder or baking soda, do not beat the batter; stir only enough to just moisten the dry ingredients. There may still be lumps remaining in the dough, but this is okay. the more you mix a quick-bread batter, the more you develop the flour's gluten, and the tougher the resulting bread.
  • Don't increase the quantity of baking powder called for in a particular recipe, for too much leaves a distinctive and unpleasant taste.  
  • Don't substitute self-rising or cake flour for all-purpose flour, unless you are confident of being able to calculate exactly how much to reduce the quantity of baking powder or baking soda to compensate.  
  • Bake all quick breads as soon as the ingredients are assembled. since high temperatures are often called for, it is best to bake them in the center of the oven, as the heat in the top third of the oven will be too intense. If you oven tends to overheat, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.  
  • Because glass bake ware retains heat better than metal bake ware, reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees when using glass pans.  
  • If you find that your bread is beginning to brown too fast, cover it with a tent of aluminum foil.  
  • Cool quick breads in the loaf pan for 10 minutes; then remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Non dairy Cinnamon Rolls


1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast

1 cup soy milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup shortening (plain, not butter flavor)

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

4 cups flour


1 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/3 cup non dairy buttery spread


 heat soy milk, shortening ans sugar in saucepan until it reaches 120 degrees.

 In a large mixer combine 2 Cups of flour, yeast, and salt Slowly add milk mixture and eggs. mix for 3 mins on med high..

 Switch to dough hooks. Add remaining flour and Knead the dough into a large ball

 Shape into a ball, Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

 Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.

 It should be approx 1/4 thick.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Spread the softened non dairybuttery spread over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.

Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.

Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Instead of icing I dusted to tops with powdered sugar.


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