Top Tips for Baking Bread

It’s Real Bread Maker Week next week, an annual celebration of real bread and its makers. The main aim of the week is to encourage people to buy bread from local bakeries, as well as try their hand at baking their own.

Baking bread is no mean feat, even with the aid of a bread-maker, so to help the budding bakers out, Destiny Foods has put together some top tips for baking your own bread at home.

When buying ingredients…
When buying your ingredients, make sure you price them correctly. With some of the ingredients, going cheap is fine, but with others compromising on price can result in compromised quality. For instance, wholewheat flours vary in quality, and roller-mixing in cheap wholewheat can result in the removal of elements such as bran, which provides a lot of your bread’s flavour. White wheat flour on the other hand is roller-mixed, so economy ranges will work just as well as finest ranges.

Let your eyes be the judge
It is easy to become a little obsessive with timings during the baking process, and whilst many recipes will provide you with specific times, there’s no better barometer of quality than your own two eyes! Once your dough has been kneaded, wait until the mixture has risen by half until you shape it. Once it is shaped, bake your bread until it has risen to two thirds, not double. Your bread will rise a little further whilst it cools, which will create the perfect loaf.

A few final tips
To enrich the flavour of your bread, try replacing half the water in the recipe with yoghurt. This will make your bread extra-rich, but without it being too milky. In the baking process, placing a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf of your oven will not only help the top of your dough open up, but it will give your crust a much richer colour.