Bread Tips

  OTT_B 14:03 24 Jan 2010

It's been a while, but I decided to bake some bread today.

I gave up making the stuff a while ago because I could never get a result that I wanted. Using packet yeast always ended up doughy in the middle and not really rising properly, and using yeast that's reactivated the end result rises properly and looks fantastic, but tastes of yeast.

Does anyone have any tips on bread making, or recipes they'd like to share?

Am going to try baking again tomorrow!

(And no, I don't use a bread maker!)

  peter99co 14:06 24 Jan 2010

Warm the flour in a microwave for a minute so it helps it rise when the yeast is added.

  Pine Man 15:01 24 Jan 2010

I have been making my own bread for about 30 years and never had a failure.

3 lbs Strong white bread flour.
6 teaspoons of salt.
5 teaspoons Doves Farm Quick Yeast.
6 teaspoons sugar.
about one and a half pints of warm water.
3 fluid ounces of warm oil.

Add the sugar to the water and dissolve it.
Add the salt and yeast to the flour and mix well.
Add the water and oil to the flour, both at the same time (yes it looks a mess).
Mix together roughly with a fork or spoon, then turn out onto your worktop and kneed for 10 minutes adding flour if necessary until it doesn't stick to everything!

Divide into four lots and put in bread tins or make bloomers then put in a warm place (airing cupboard) until at least doubled in size. About an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven) then bake for 30 minutes.

Keep one freeze three.

Good luck!

  Pine Man 15:03 24 Jan 2010

.. I have tried it with wholemeal flour and it doesn't rise as well but half and half is ok!

  Chegs ®™ 15:56 24 Jan 2010

Perfect timing for this post! :)

I have been making my own bread recently,and the first batch produced some lovely loaves.The next batch a few weeks later collapsed during baking(exactly the same ingredients)and on enquiring around,this appears to be caused by too much water.Loaned a breadmaker and used the recipe from its instruction book,result was a half-cooked lump of dough with a slightly blackened crust.Used the recipe from the breadmaker again,only dumped the mixture into a bowl and hand-kneaded for about 15-20 mins,then covered with damp teatowel and left to rise.Result was a "weighty" loaf,but extremely nice so will try same again only baking for a little less time as its a little darker than I prefer.

Recipe: for 750g loaf

Water 315ml

Table Salt 1.5 teaspoons

Butter 30g

Strong plain flour 600g

sugar 1 tablespoon

skimmed milk powder 1 tablespoon

bread improver 1.5 teaspoons

dried sachet yeast 1.5 teaspoons

  Brumas 16:40 24 Jan 2010

Isn't 6 teaspoons of salt rather a lot when we are all exhorted to watch our salt intake. The recommended daily intake for an adult is 6 grams and one teaspoon = 6 grams?

I am not criticising, only curious.

  SB23 16:41 24 Jan 2010

Water 1.5 cups

Skimmed milk powder 4tbsp

Sunflower oil 3tbsp

Sugar 3tbsp

Salt 1.5tsp

Strong white bread flower 4 cups

Yeast 1.25tsp

Btw, after all my trial and error,1 cup is approx 240ml, and I used to be a baker, lol!

  OTT_B 16:59 24 Jan 2010

that the salt is only there to act as a preservative? Or does it play a more fundamental role in the making of bread?

There's some great recipes and tips here. Keep them coming!

  Pine Man 17:47 24 Jan 2010

Been out for a while.

The salt isn't, I believe excessive, but the recipe was developed over thirty years ago and things have changed a bit since then. So feel free to amend to your taste. I should have added that it is 6 LEVEL teaspoons NOT heaped and I actually use Lo Salt.

The salt isn't so much for preservation, that I believe, is down to the oil.

  BT 18:06 24 Jan 2010

The salt assists in the developement of the gluten and also adds flavour. If you make bread without salt you will get a very small dense loaf and it won't taste good.

The amount of salt you need is about 1.5% of the total ingredient weight.

Oil/fat helps with the softness of the crumb and stops it going dry.

Many commercial bakers use a small amount of Vinegar to help preservation. You can often smell it when you open a new sliced loaf.

Watch my old friend Chris Wyle demonsrating bread making on the Wrights website.

click here

  al's left peg 18:18 24 Jan 2010

A lot of it is down to the flour you use. I don't know about the supermarket strong bread flours, but Carrs breadmaker flour has I believe a high level of CWRS (Canadian Western Red Springs) wheat in the grist. This has a very high protein content and consequently a very strong elastic gluten which produces good bread. A lot of bread makers heating elements fail after a while, resulting in the baking process not being hot enough to raise the loaf.
Chegs mentions teaspoons of bread improver in his recipe, this is ultimately vitamin c. You can get by this by using a couple of spoons of orange juice from your breakfast carton (don't worry, it does not give a orange flavour)
You do not need to buy any yeast, you can make your own. This entails the making of a "sourdough starter" have a search on Google for how to do this. Not only are you able to make your own yeast, it gives a better tasting loaf. Salt is essential in bread making as it helps with flavour and gives a good crust colour but, too much will kill your yeast and leave you with a soggy lump of a loaf.
As a final point, the fat content does help prolong the shelf life. Large plant bakers use more power to cool their loaves down than too bake them! This is to rapidly cool the bread or it will collapse, due to the high fat content. Yes that's that soggy loaf we all have had from a super market.

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