Learn Something New - Making Bread

>> Saturday, June 21, 2008

Moving on to bread-making tips. Making bread really isn't as hard as you'd probably think. The key to great bread is all in the rise. If you let it rise too long, your outside will be charred before your inside is even cooked. If you don't let it rise long enough, your bread will be too dense.

As for allowing the bread to rise, here's the way I do it. I bring a small saucepan of water to a boil on the stove. Then I pour it into a casserole dish and put it on the bottom rack in my oven. Then I place my dough into the oven, still inside my metal mixing bowl, and the warm water makes it the perfect temperature for rising without killing the yeast. This method is the one I've found to be fool proof, as long as you don't open the oven door until the rising time is up.

The first few times I made bread, I botched it. Big time. There's definitely a learning curve. Here are the mistakes I made. The first time, I set the dough onto my counter to rise. Problem was, my kitchen wasn't warm enough to allow for rising action, so nothing happened. Boo. The second time, I decided I'd preheat my oven to the lowest possible setting, turn it off, and then put the dough into the oven to rise. Even the lowest setting was too hot, so I had yet another ruined batch of dough.

I blame my mother. Seriously. She was an avid baker but never made bread or homemade doughs, so I never learned the proper methods. In all honesty, I probably only really ruined 2 batches of dough. Luckily for you, I've outlined my mistakes, so you'll hopefully be successful from the get-go! But don't get discouraged if things don't turn out quite right the first time. Practice makes perfect!


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