Fresh bread baking. And freshly brewed coffee. Two smells that make me & many others I’m sure, very happy. Am I right? I hardly ever take the time to bake my own bread. Not because it’s very hard to do, more so because I have a toddler in the house which means my life isn’t my own. But. On the odd occasion when I do decide to get all floured up, there are a few tricks I like to follow (to get the job done – easily). I’ve tried most of these along the years & they seem to work.
Naturally, different types of breads require different techniques. These tips are general rules that apply to bread baking & should (hopefully) get all of us to start loafing around in the kitchen a little bit more…
- Do pay a little extra for the more “exotic” types of flour – rye, spelt, millet… Check whether they are roller-milled or not – you want to retain all of those wholesome whole grains.
- If making bread by hand, remember these three tips:
- Mix the dough well & leave for 10 minutes before kneading.
- After kneading, allow the dough to rise to half it’s size.
- Once you have shaped the dough, bake once it has risen by two-thirds, not double.
- A tray of boiling water placed on the bottom shelf of the oven just before baking helps add a crunchy crust to the finished loaf.
- Before kneading bread, rub your hands with a bit of oil to prevent too much stickiness.
- Adding just a tablespoon of vinegar to the dough will result in a soft crumb.
Happy loafing! x
Food Styling: Leila Saffarian. Food Photography: Dylan Swart