Thread bread! Or baking thread in general.
Do you bake your own bread? I want to be able bake really good bread but all my attempts come out as grainy, dry and generally inedible failures that feel stale minutes after coming out of the oven.
Share your tips and favourite recipes here!
I'd suggest making a sourdough starter if you find your bread coming out as dry, but I think that maybe you could be overmixing. This tends to make the starch network dense. You want to handle your bread as less as possible, but still making sure it gets full mixed. Once it comes together, lightly knead it for a minute or two. Then let it ferment. Knead it again for a minute and set it up for the second fermentation.
Making bread from scratch is really fun. Baking is more precise than cooking, but you still have a lot of freedom. Just like cooking, a recipe is just a place to start. Obviously, you need to learn and understand the process, but after you get past flour types, leavening agents, and the like, you can then begin to really customize and explore making new breads that reflect your own taste.
Thanks for the advice! I've been pretty curious to do sourdough and I wasn't even aware overmixing was a danger. I got one of those old household assistants recently and I've just let my dough mix in those for like forever to make sure it was properly done.
18 oz flour....AP or bread is fine
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
Put dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them with your hand.
Form a well in the center and add your water.
Use your fingers to mix it around slowly incorporating the flour until you can start kneading it a bit.
Knead the dough right there in the bowl just enough to get all the ingredients mixed.
Cover and leave on the counter over night.
The next day punch it down and form into the loaf of your choosing. Let it rise again a bit...say an hour.
Toss in oven at 450 and cook till golden brown and done inside.
If you're first beginning, maybe stick to the instant yeast breads and work with your hands. Then once you have a good feeling for the consistency and texture, you can use the assistant. Always check up on it though. You can stop it any time you think it's more or less finished. It at least saves you from getting your hands sticky.
Sourdough breads with a starter can give you some serious hydration levels though.
Thanks for the advice! I have two half eaten loafs of bread as results of earlier attempts so starting another right now feels pretty wasteful, but I look forward to trying the tips. I might start a sourdough right away though.
I bake at home 3-4 times a week, bread is fairly simple once you overcome the initial learning curve.
OP - learn to use bakers percentages and measure your ingredients by weight, this takes all the mystery out of bread recipes and is absolutely necessary if you want consistent results. Bread baking is all science and you can and should read about that science, the real challenge for the home baker is adapting to inconsistent home ovens and refrigerators and room temps that you can't control in the way a commercial bakery would.
As for what to read, here's a copy of The Bread Baker's Apprentice, it's a top-tier guide to bread and will teach you everything you need to know:
I'd never throw away food, I used up the last of an old failed loaf making croutons yesterday. But the bread is seriously barely edible. There's nothing wrong with the taste but it has nearly the consistency of drywall.
I apprentice with a local baker that has mastered all things yeast leavened
I was somewhat competent before I started with him but he is tearing me a new one.
To all you home bakers, don't be discouraged if you fail pretty frequently. There is a lot you will not be able to achieve without a deck oven with steam. Also, pay attention to every little thing that will affect fermentation, dough development, and how your dough will behave in the oven. Things like ambient temperature, water temperature, Rest times, tightness in shaping, direction of scores etc. Learn how to manipulate these to achieve a more perfect loaf
not op but get a digital scale.
1 cup of wheat flour = 120 grams
1 cup of white flour = 140 grams
and sourdough is the way to go. youtube has plenty of videos on making sourdough bread. Always add some whole wheat flour to your bread so that it has some fiber. White bread is not healthy.