Bread is a staple food that has been around since ancient times. It is a basic ingredient used in cooking and baking. Bread is an essential part of our diet and is often eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks.
There are different types of bread, such as white bread, whole wheat bread, multigrain bread, etc. Some people prefer eating bread with butter while others enjoy eating bread with jam.
Bread is a staple food in every household. It’s cheap, filling, and versatile. However, bread has its downsides too. The crumbs left behind after eating bread can be hard to clean up. They also tend to stick together and get stuck in between the teeth.
If you want to keep your house cleaner and your mouth healthier, then you should try using breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Here are some simple steps to making better breadcrumbs.
The first thing that you need to know about gluten development is that it happens naturally when flour dough rises during fermentation. Gluten develops from proteins found in wheat flour. This protein helps make the dough rise into loaves. When this process occurs, there will be small holes on top of the loaf. These holes allow air to enter the dough so that it can expand more easily.
When we eat bread, these tiny holes become bigger because they have absorbed water from the inside of the bread. As time goes by, the bread becomes stale and loses moisture. If you don’t use any preservatives, the bread may go bad within 2 weeks.
When we bake bread, the same principle applies. We add yeast to the dough which causes the dough to ferment. During this period, the dough expands and forms bubbles. Afterward, the dough is kneaded again until all the gas pockets disappear. Then, the dough is shaped into balls or rolls before being baked.
To get the huge holes seen in sourdough or ciabatta bread, create as much gluten as possible so the dough has the power to contain large pockets of air. You can do this by adding lots of eggs, milk, oil, salt, sugar, and other ingredients to the dough.
This method produces very soft and chewy bread. For example, if you mix 1 egg yolk with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, you’ll end up having softer bread than usual.
You can also increase the amount of liquid in the recipe. Adding extra liquids makes the dough easier to work with. Also, remember not to overwork the dough. Overworking the dough results in tough bread.
You can also leave out the second rising step altogether. Instead, just shape the dough right away and let it rest for 10 minutes. This way, the dough won’t develop enough gluten yet.
After shaping the dough, place it back in the bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit overnight. By morning, the dough will already double in size.
Another important factor to consider is how long the dough ferments. Most recipes call for 12-24 hours of fermentation. But what does "ferment" mean?
Fermentation means that the yeast cells break down sugars present in the dough. Once the yeast dies off, the dough begins to shrink. At this point, the dough starts losing weight.
During the initial stages of fermentation, the dough shrinks rapidly. So, most of the volume comes from the gases produced by the yeast. The dough gets smaller but its density remains constant.
As the fermentation continues, the dough’s volume decreases slowly. Because the dough contains less starch, it takes longer for the yeast to die off. Therefore, the dough doesn’t lose a lot of weight at this stage.
At the final stage of fermentation, the dough no longer gains weight. It only keeps shrinking due to the loss of water. Since the dough now lacks both fat and carbohydrates, it turns dry and crumbles apart. If your dough hasn’t fermented properly, then it will look like this:
Notice how the surface looks smooth and shiny while the bottom part appears rough and sticky.
In addition, the crust should appear light brown instead of dark brown. Darker color indicates that the dough was undercooked.
The structure of the loaf determines whether it tastes good or bad. When making pizza, I prefer using high-quality flour because it gives me better control on building my own unique style of pizzas.
If you use low-quality flour, you may have trouble getting rid of excess moisture when baking. As a result, the crust becomes soggy and heavy. On top of that, the texture of the crust might be too hard. When working with high-quality flours such as King Arthur Flour, you don’t need to worry about these issues. High-quality flours are made specifically for baking purposes. They’re designed to produce great-tasting baked goods without compromising their structural integrity.
So, next time you bake bread, make sure to choose high-quality flour.
When kneading the dough, try adding more salt into the mix. Salt helps prevent the formation of holes during the first rise.
Also, if you want to get a hole-free crumb, add some oil before putting the dough in the oven. Oil prevents the dough from drying out quickly.
Finally, after forming the loaves, brush them generously with olive oil. Olive oil adds flavor and improves the overall appearance of the finished product.
One thing worth mentioning is steam. Steam makes the gluten strands stronger. This allows the dough to hold together well even after being stretched thin.
To create steam, preheat an empty pan over medium heat. Then pour 1/4 cup hot tap water into the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil so that the steam can escape easily. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and continue steaming until all the liquid has evaporated. Next, place the covered pan inside another larger one filled with cold water. Let the second container sit there for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
After resting, shape the dough into balls. Place each ball onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Once they’ve cooled down, slice them open horizontally. You’ll notice that the center of the roll is hollowed out. The reason why the center gets hollowed out is that the steam trapped within the dough expands rapidly once heated up.
This method works best for soft wheat varieties such as white wholemeal, spelled, Kamut, einkorn, farro, etc. However, it’s not recommended for durum wheat varieties since they contain less starch than other types of grains.
Another way to achieve this effect is by increasing the amount of water used while mixing the ingredients. If your recipe calls for 3 cups of warm water, then increase it to 4 cups instead. By doing this, you will end up having a higher hydration level which means that the dough will absorb more water.
As a result, the dough will expand faster and become softer. It also creates a smoother surface for the yeast to grow on. The Best Way To Make Sure That All Of These Tips Work Out Well For You Is To Try Them Yourself!
Now that we know how to improve our homemade bread, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of these tips? Share your thoughts below!
The most important step when making bread is letting the dough rise slowly. During the long fermentation process, the starches are converted into sugars. As a result, the loaf becomes lighter and fluffier. If you’re using instant dry active yeast, make sure to use only half of the packet. Otherwise, the bread won’t have enough time to ferment properly. Also, don’t forget to proof the yeast first. Proofing involves adding sugar to activate the yeast. When combined with flour, the mixture forms bubbles.
When baking bread, always start checking the temperature of the oven about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled bake time. This ensures that the bread doesn’t burn during its final stage.
A long rise is essential in order to get rid of excess moisture. Therefore, if you want to avoid soggy loaves, try to keep the dough around 70% hydrated.
If you plan on starting your own sourdough starter, be careful not to add too much flour to the mix. Instead, focus on getting the right consistency. Start off with just 2 tablespoons of flour per quart jar. Add some water later on depending on whether you prefer sweeter or tangy flavors.
Also, remember to feed your starter regularly every day. Every week, give it a good stir before feeding again. After two weeks, you can move on to another batch of starters.
Freshly made bread has an amazing aroma. Unfortunately, many people tend to buy pre-made yeast because it’s cheaper. But fresh yeast contains live enzymes that help break down complex carbohydrates into simple ones. Thus, it produces better flavor and texture.
Also, never store your yeast in plastic containers. Plastic inhibits the growth of yeasts so they stop working after a few days. Store them in glass jars instead.
Bread dough should be handled gently but firmly. Don’t worry though; there isn’t anything wrong with kneading the dough vigorously as long as you apply even pressure throughout all parts of the dough.
This helps develop gluten strands within the dough. Gluten gives structure to the finished product. However, overworking the dough may cause the protein chains to stretch out and form knots.
To prevent this from happening, divide the dough into smaller portions and work each one separately. Then combine them together once done. Handling the dough gently will also ensure that no air pockets remain inside the baked goods.
Over mixing causes air pockets to appear inside the dough. Air pockets weaken the overall strength of the bread. They also lead to uneven rising which results in flatbread.
To combat this problem, take care not to overwork the dough. Use light strokes rather than heavy ones. Also, don’t let the dough rest for more than 10 minutes between turns.
Making homemade bread at home is easier than ever thanks to these tips! With practice, anyone can master their craft. So go ahead and enjoy delicious bread anytime soon!
I hope this article helped you learn how to make great-tasting bread at home.