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Tips for baking bread?

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM
  • 32 Replies
1 mom liked this

I consider myself a good cook. I've made plenty of different types of bread, and very few came out with bad results, but I'm still not great at it. I've been practicing with white bread, with the idea of eventually haveing it for sandwiches and toast. I'm getting better, but I still need to improve. A couple of time the bread didn't rise as it was supposed to. Other times it rose fine, but it was still too dense. I'm getting my recipes from allrecipes.com.
Do any of you have a tried and true recipe? What flour do you buy for basic white bread? Does it matter if that flour is a less expensive store brand? I suspect my problem is in the kneading process, my dough never looks like it would on a TV cooking show. Any tips on kneading?
No advice is too basic for me.

by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
veggiemom474
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM

I've baked lots of bread before.

I am only suggesting this. Don't buy cheap flour. It's usually bleached, stripping the bread of any and all natural nutrients. I like organic, but that's your choice.

Also, knead it till it's silky smooth. 10-15 minutes. I don't have any particular recipie,

Side note: If it's humid out, your bread may be heavier.

Also, let it rise in a very warm place. I turn my oven on very low, let it heat up, then turn it off about 5 minutes before I put the dough in to rise. The heat will speed it up a lot.

NOLAdy
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM
I let it rise in the oven on warm. I'm in New Orleans, our humidity is almost always over 50%, so that's most likely my biggest problem. I'll get better flour next time I need more. Is there any type that's best, self rising, all purpose...?
jackiewal10
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM
1 mom liked this

Bread is more by feel, than by receipe, IMO.  You still need a basic recipe to use as a guideline, but things will always change.  One time, you may need 5 cups of flour.  One time you may need 6.  Humidity plays a big roll.  So never just add all your flour at once.  Add about half of what the recipe says, then add the rest gradually. 

If your yeast proofs, your bread will always rise.  If your yeast doesn't proof in the water, start that step over.  You will know if it proofs or not.

All-purpose flour is usually fine.  You can buy bread flour if you want.  Either way, you really DO need to kneed the dough well.  Do NOT buy bleached flour.  That could be your problem too.  A lot of those cheaper flours are bleached. Not good for baking.

This is the sandwich bread I make all the time.  http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2011/03/28/rosebuds-butter-topped-white-bread/

jackiewal10
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I would warm the oven up a little, then turn it off.  Leaving it on on warm is probably too warm.

Quoting NOLAdy: I let it rise in the oven on warm. I'm in New Orleans, our humidity is almost always over 50%, so that's most likely my biggest problem. I'll get better flour next time I need more. Is there any type that's best, self rising, all purpose...?


NOLAdy
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM
Thanks for the recipe link, I'll be making that one next. It also explained some of the steps better.
strictmomhere
by Platinum Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM
Im no help sorry
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Courtney610
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM
Use bread flour and you want to make sure the water is Luke warm when you proof your yeast. Too hot or too cold won't work. Also, proper kneading is huge! I use my kitchen aid mixer's dough hook attachment. I highly recommend it!
NOLAdy
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 5:08 PM
Quoting Courtney610: Use bread flour and you want to make sure the water is Luke warm when you proof your yeast. Too hot or too cold won't work. Also, proper kneading is huge! I use my kitchen aid mixer's dough hook attachment. I highly recommend it!


I'd love a mixer, but my kitchen is too small for appliances like that. I do mine by hand for now, which I need to improve on. I suspect most of my problems stem from not getting the kneading done properly. I am getting better, and I've never made a loaf that I just had to throw away. They're just too thick. I'm really good at flavored breads like pumpkin spice, or banana nut because they're more forgiving. I'll get it sooner or later. Thanks, everyone, for the help.
mommaof697
by on Aug. 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

yes let the professionals do it. lol. other than that no advice

Serenity7
by Member on Aug. 22, 2014 at 10:53 AM

 I don't bake

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