Hints & Tips When Baking Bread

Are you baking bread at home? Looking for some helpful tips to make sure that you get the perfect loaf?

UTCT presents some hints and tips when baking bread at home:

What should you do before you start making your bread?

Try and make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature.

How do you know if your dough is fully proved?

Test the gluten development by pinching a small section of the dough, try to stretch it into a thin membrane, if you can pinch a very thin, translucent windowpane the gluten is fully developed.

Getting the dough to prove

If you are ready to prove your dough then make sure that you cover it over with a damp, clean tea towel to prevent air getting to the dough. If the air does get to the dough, it cause a skin to form on the top of it, which will prevent the dough from rising properly.

How do you shape the bread for a tin?

Place your dough on a lightly coloured surface, roll/stretch into a rectangle. Roll the dough up and place the tin side seam down.

What shelf should I cook my loaf in?

If it is possible try and cook your loaf in the centre of the middle shelf of the oven. If it is too close on either side of the
oven it could split on one side.

Making cuts on the top of your loaf?

If you are making cuts on the top of your loaf then lightly oil the knife to stop it dragging accross the dough.

How do you know if your bread is baked?

Simply tap the bottom of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, its ready but if your still not sure if its ready, check and see if the loaf shrinks away from the side of the tin – then it is cooked.

Why is my bread dense, soggy or flat?

If you have a dense loaf then it is caused by poor kneading, it is a good idea to set a timer and knead your dough for 10 minutes to work the dough and stretch the gluten which gives structure. Make sure you allowed the dough enough time to rise, give it enough time to double in size before baking.

What are your hints and tips when baking bread? Comment below and let us know.

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