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.

1 comment:

OUR CLAN said...

great ideas! I used the one about the water once, except that I found that it worked better to just put the bowl with the dough directly in the warm (not hot) water. worked great!!

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