Saturday, 3 September 2011

My Best Breadmaking Tips

I'm not going to share with you the "how to's" of making bread.  There are so many fantastic blogs out there already.  I love this recipe in the tutorial of making bread for beginners and recently read a good post on no knead bread.  I would like to share with you a couple of the useful things I have learned since I began to make bread.

Tip One - Make sure you knead the bread long enough.  It needs (pardon the pun) to become elasticy and bounce back when touched.

Tip Two - For those who are having trouble getting their bread to rise........ put your dough into one of those (horrible) plastic storage containers, fill a saucepan with boiling water and place it in there too, on a heat proof surface.  I use a bread board or similar.  The atmosphere stays warm and moist and the bread rises beautifully!

Tip Three - After kneading, my hands need a wash to remove the residual dough.  Because they are already spotless from a thorough wash before I began the kneading process, I wash them with hot water above the bowl in which I want to leave the bread to rise.  This warms the bowl for me at the same time.  (I am always conscious of using water wisely)  In winter, both my ceramic and stainless steel bowls are very chilly and would not encourage a good rise.

Tip Four - This one is not really a tip but a request.  Most recipes suggest covering rising dough with oiled cling wrap.  Please, PLEASE use a dampened tea towel instead!  The purpose is just to stop the dough hardening and forming a crust and a damp towel works just as well.

I hope you get something useful from this post.  If you know all of this already and have more to add, please share!

7 comments:

Stitchin' time said...

Good tips. I already use a damp towel over my rising dough as I find it also helps keep the warmth in so the bread rises better. It deters a curious cat too as mine has been known to 'bat' at a plastic covering and tear it if she can see something in a bowl but can't smell it.
Cheers,
Robyn

Linda said...

Gee, I wonder if you could put the cat to use?! If you covered the dough with plastic on the bench, she might knead it for you!

Evi said...

Me too - I use a damp tea towel or sometimes a not damp one!! In fact I haven't bought plastic wrap for years because I just couldn't see how I needed it when our parents etc managed quite well without!

Linda said...

Yay Evi! I'm so pleased to hear that. I'm the only person I know that doesn't use plastic wrap. I don't use the telly either which makes people look at me like I have two heads. "Sometimes it's a bit lonely being green - (Kermit)"

Mental note to self............ *Hang out with more like-minded people*

purplepear said...

Ditto to all the above. No plastic wrap for us for many years now. Mark makes the bread in our house. Your way of doing it seems the same as Mark's!

Melinda said...

Thank you! I've been trying to think of what to use over the bread bowl other than plastic wrap (although I've been reusing it) and hadn't thought of a damp tea towel! So simple....

Linda said...

Hi Melinda, I'm glad you got something from my post. I do find that sometimes the dough sticks a little to the teatowel but it washes off easily. I only use a damp teatowel when I'm not sure the bread will rise quickly because it prevents the dough forming a crust. If the day is warm and I expect a good rise, I just pop a clean, DRY tea towel over the bowl. A dry towel doesn't stick to the dough. Enjoy your breadmaking!