My quest to make a (not quite so) simple loaf of sandwich bread continued this week, I had spent the weekend going through my baking books and even asked my mother and grandmother for some help and baking tips. With all this new knowledge I went to work on Wednesday morning with the goal yet again to make a proper loaf of bread that day and…
I did it! I finally made a loaf of sandwich bread
I’m going to continue to make my own bread for the household and keep using all of the information I have accumulated in my brain to make the perfect loaf, and I thought I should share some of those tips with all my readers.
- Make sure there is sugar going into your water and yeast mixture. The yeast needs something to feed off of which is why the sugar is used
- Most cookbooks call for you only waiting 3-4 minutes for your yeast to activate, but the best time is to wait 10 minutes, you will know it is activated it will look bubbly and frothy and double in size
- Use bread flour! Most recipes I was reading were using regular all purpose flour, but bread flour is high in protein and will form gluten which will help the bread rise and bake with a good crust
- sift the dry ingredients! Many recipes never mentioned sifting and I honestly didn’t think of doing it until my mother mentioned it
- don’t be tempted to cut short kneading time, kneading distributes the yeast evenly through the dough. Kneading should be around 10 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic
- the best way I learned to do the proving process is boil water in a kettle, poor the water into a large baking pan and put on the bottom rack of the oven, then put the dough in a bowl on the top rack ( do not turn on the oven!) It gives moisture to the dough and the perfect temperature to rise the dough
- after an hour of letting the dough rise, take it out, push down the dough and expel the bubbles, knead again for 1 minute then put it in the baking pan, then proof it again for 40 or so minutes
- For a great crust glaze the top of the dough with milk
- Try nor to open the oven while baking! The intense heat is needed for a good crust
- If the dough does start to go a little to dark, tent some aluminium foil over the bread.
- You will know the bread is finished if you turn it out of the pan and tap on the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow it’s cooked.