We gave you a number of bread baking tips a week ago, so here are a few more that may help you create that perfect loaf or bun that you want to bake. Whether you are baking at home or in your own bakeshop, knowing how to properly bake bread is essential for any baker. There are some tips and tricks to baking bread that you cannot find in your recipe books, so these should come in handy.
If you are unsure of your yeast, proof it – if you are not sure whether or not the yeast in your stock is still good to use, don’t buy a new batch just yet. You can test for activity by proofing your yeast. To proof your yeast, you should prepare a small bowl and add a half cup of warm water. Add in a small amount of sugar or some honey, then add in a bit of yeast. Stir the mixture and let it sit for 15 minutes. If in that time you do not see any froth or bubbles, you need new yeast. If your mixture produces bubbles and looks like beer, then your yeast is still good.
Try to lower the amount of flour you add in – if you want bread that is light and fluffy, and not dense or hard as a rock, always keep your flour amounts lower than is usually expected. Use a ratio of 2 is to 1 for flour to water. Don’t be tempted to go overboard when it comes to adding flour, especially if you feel that your dough is rather sticky. Adding more flour to reduce stickiness, even when the recipe does not call for it, will result in a dense and tough bread.
Don’t use flour on your board when kneading – if you look at most bread recipes, you will find that part of the procedure before kneading is to lightly dust your board with some flour to prevent sticking. Adding flour to the surface while kneading will only result in tough bread. Instead of using flour, lightly spray the surface of your kneading board with olive oil or even a bit of water. Do not worry about your dough sticking since you can easily scrape off the dough with a bench scraper.
Longer but slower rise time will result in more flavorful bread – while warm temperatures may help your bread to rise faster, delaying some of the rising time is said to produce more flavorful breads. Do this by letting your dough rise first in its initial rising stage (the bowl rising stage) in a warm place, then after you’ve shaped your bread, let it sit in your refrigerator for at least 8 hours, take these out and let these loaves get to room temperature before getting them to rise a second time before baking.