Everyday Bread Tips

Blossom Lady
Aug 27, 2021 05:07 AM
Everyday Bread Tips

Use these bread baking tips and learn how to bake better bread with the perfect rise, chewy, golden crusts, and pillowy soft crumb. These days changes in the weather can make it hard to get your bread dough to rise reliably. Here are some tips for adjusting your baking plan to suit your surroundings.

Tip 1. Microwave

Everyday Bread Tips
When a chilly house makes it hard for bread or pizza to rise, look to your microwave for help.
1. Place a coffee mug filled with ½ cup water in the microwave. Run the microwave on high power for about 1 minute.
2. Open the microwave, push the cup to a back corner, and set the dough inside. Close the door and let the dough rise. (The warmed mug will keep the interior between 80 and 90 degrees for up to 90 minutes.) Remove the dough once it has doubled in size or reached the desired volume for your recipe.
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Tip 2. Dishwasher

Everyday Bread Tips
To create a humid, draft-free environment in which bread dough can rise even in a dry, desert-like climate or a chilly house, use your dishwasher. Turn on the dishwasher for about 4 minutes, or long enough for some warm water to fill the bottom. Place the dough in a loaf pan or bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, set it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, and close the door. Make sure to turn off the dishwasher; otherwise, the water will start to flow again once you close the door.
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Tip 3. Insulated Cooler

Everyday Bread Tips
In the winter, some kitchens get too chilly (less than 70 degrees) for bread dough to rise well. Use a cooler and this method for larger batches of bread.
1. Heat 1½ cups of water in a measuring cup in the microwave for 1 minute or until nearly simmering.
2. Place the cup of hot water and the dough in an insulated cooler. Close the lid and let the dough rise. (The hot water will keep the interior warm for up to 2 hours.) Remove the dough once it has doubled in size or reached the desired volume.
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Tip 4. The Good Kind Of Bread Mold

Everyday Bread Tips
Try this trick to keep your loaves of bread in their long, narrow shape as they rise without using a mold.
1. Save the cardboard box from a spent roll of parchment paper or extra-wide aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Line the box with a lightly floured dish towel and place the shaped loaf inside, seam side down.
2. When the loaf has risen, gently roll it over onto a baking sheet or peel the towel off (keeping the bread seam side down again), then slash the loaf and bake it.
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Tip 5. One Pan, Two (Or Even Three!) Loaves

Everyday Bread Tips
Pity the baker who owns a single loaf pan but whose bread recipe yields enough dough to make two loaves. Here’s a unique—and very effective—way to bake both loaves. In testing, we found that this tip works particularly well with a Pyrex loaf pan matched with a Pyrex baking dish because their bottom edges share the same contours.
1. Place a single loaf pan across the center of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
2. Position one portion of shaped dough on either side of the loaf pan and bake. (You can even fill the loaf pan with a third portion of dough to bake three loaves.)
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Tip 6. Straight-Up Bread Dough

Everyday Bread Tips
If you have trouble telling when your bread dough has properly risen inside a sloped bowl, try the following trick: Lightly spray a slow-cooker insert with vegetable oil spray. Place the dough in the insert and cover until it has risen. The straight sides and glass lid of the insert allow the baker to easily gauge the dough’s progress.
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Tip 7. Watching Your Dough

Everyday Bread Tips
Baking suppliers sell special buckets that protect rising dough from drafts and have markings to show when dough has doubled in size, but these products can be expensive and difficult to find. You can use a clean, food-safe 5-quart clear plastic paint bucket from your local hardware store. It, too, has markings on the side so that you can easily track the dough’s rise—and it’s a fraction of the cost of a baker’s bucket.
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