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Believe it or not, making delicious homemade bread can be easy and extremely rewarding. Not to mention that fresh homemade bread smell wafting through the house! Divine.
To ensure your next baking session goes smooth, here are some quick, actionable tips to get you making delicious bread first time.
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1. Properly Store Baking Ingredients
This is more of a pre-baking tip but can make all of the difference to the quality of the bread. Always try to store your ingredients in a dry place at room temperature. Never refrigerate them.
2. Use The Right Type Of Flour
Some recipes and bread types will require a specific type of flour. Make sure to check the recipe to see what type of flour you will need. Most of the time you can use all-purpose flour.
But if you want the best results, it’s best to buy bread flour, a specialised ground type specifically for bread-making.
3. Make Sure Any Liquid Used Is Warm
Not too hot. Not too cold. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast won’t activate. If the liquid is too hot, the yeast will die in the process. Either way, it will result in a super flat, dense loaf.
The ideal temperature for liquids during bread-making is between 95F and 115F. Use a thermometer to check.
4. Use Fresh Yeast
This can make all the difference to the quality and taste of the loaf.
Whatever brand you use, make sure you check the expiration date. If your yeast is out of date, your loaf won’t rise.
5. Measure Ingredients Using A Scale
Some recipes use cups as a way to measure ingredients. This can get tricky and can sometimes lead to inaccurate measurements.
Wherever possible (if your recipe uses pounds or ounces), weigh the ingredients using a measuring scale.
6. Cover Your Dough And Let It Rise
Looking for a good rise? Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough in the bowl and flip it over so the top and bottom of the dough is covered in oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm, dry place.
This is called proofing and will allow the dough to rise before baking.