Instructables

How to bake bread

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For the last six months or so I've been learning how to bake bread. I have always had issues with bread - adding too much flour, not adding enough, kneading problems, not baking it long enough, etc.

The only way I've been able to do it perfectly every time before now has been to use Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread recipe, which is great - but it takes forever! Plus, it creates a chewier, more artisan style bread that has a very open crumb - not always the best for sandwiches or for storing for a few days - it can get really tough!

After I decided I wanted to make quicker bread, I started using Jamie Oliver's basic bread recipe from his book "The Naked Chef" - which got me pretty close, but I have started using that recipe only as a pizza dough. It makes really excellent pizza dough. :D

I also dabbled on the King Arthur Flour website and tried various recipes from around the internets, and finally thought "I should check Instructables!"

I came across craftknowitall's whole wheat bread recipe and decided to try it. I didn't have everything and decided to modify it slightly - but I've made it several times this month, and I now I'm cranking out perfect bread! The bread this recipe makes is perfect sandwich bread.

In this instructable I'll try to explain all the things I've figured out that no one told me. I hope it will be a help to any of you other bread noobs out there. :D
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon oil (whatever you'd like - I normally use canola)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour + additional for kneading in/dusting
You'll also want to have some cooking spray, a large bowl for mixing, a 1.5 lb loaf pan, and measuring cups and spoons.
buchananm36 months ago

Since you know a lot about bread making, I am looking for the name of the bread that has a starter and you feed it with potato flakes and something every seven days. I had it when I lived in Tallahassee and I loved it. I want to have that bread recipe again. Can anyone help me?

douxelle1 year ago
if i four times the recipe will it be the same
Samello1 year ago
End the trial and error by sticking a thermometer in it. 205 to 210 degrees and it's done.

I removed the post by mistake
Samello1 year ago
Glad to help. I discovered this many years ago when I found tapping the bottom of the loaf and listening for a hollow sound to be very inaccurate.

I just found you, and I like your stuff.
Samello1 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
jessyratfink (author)  Samello1 year ago
You are awesome! I never thought to do that and started to research it after your comment. :D

I'm going to be trying it on a new bread I'm making today, thank you!
chuckyd1 year ago
Since I received a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas, I have been experimenting with bread recipes, too. The recipe I use is similar to yours, but makes four loaves at a time.

There are slight differences, however. In preparing the yeast I only use honey, but I am experimenting with honeys from different blossoms. Strongly flavored honeys make slightly different but deliciously different breads. The water temperature must be near 120 degrees. I make sure the bowl itself is warm, too. This way, the yeast needs to work for only ten minutes.

My recipe is for whole wheat bread, so it calls for wheat flour, spelt flour, and all purpose flour. First, mix the whole wheat and spelt flours and salt. Add in the yeast and mix. Change the mixing blade to dough hook and add the all purpose flour half a cup at a time until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Then, follow the rest according to your instructions.

By adjusting the cooking times I have arrived at the perfect blend of a fully cooked loaf with a brown but soft and thin crust. I have been able to freeze the loaves for up to four weeks without loss of texture, flavor, and freshness.
jessyratfink (author)  chuckyd1 year ago
I can't wait until I have space and funds for a nice mixer. I've always wanted one! I bet it's nice having it do all the work, though I have to admit I really love kneading now that I know what I'm doing, ha :D

And I agree about the honey - I really love using locust tree and clover honey in my bread - it really does change the flavor quite drastically!

Good idea to freeze it, too, I think I'll have to try that - especially with summer coming up. I don't think I can handle running the oven too much. :)
You can get a kitchenaid for ~$150.
That's the low-end, low-power model. In order to knead bread, you need the heftier mixer.
No kitchenaid is low-end. If you need a stronger one, it will probably be closer to $250.
artfulann1 year ago
Great instructable for the novice bread and semi novice bread maker!

However, if you ever take a pottery class and learn how to wedge clay, you've got it made as far as kneading bread. And needing to know how to knead is what you need(knead) to know.
bajablue1 year ago
I need to learn this, too... and I'm all for heeding your mistakes, Jessy.

Definitely faving and Thank you for sharing!!!!
Jessy,
I am so proud of you! Great looking bread! This last couple of months I have developed a wheat allergy, so no more wheat bread for me. Now I need to learn to make bread, etc. using no wheat, so no gluten to develop and stretch as it "grows". Yeah a whole different world. Do you think I should do Instructables on how to do "GLUTEN FREE" bread etc? Now I am working on gluten free crackers. I really miss crackers.
jessyratfink (author)  craftknowitall1 year ago
Thank you! :D

That's such a shame about the wheat allergy! I'm lactose intolerant and I've gotten used to that, but I think I'd cry if I couldn't do wheat. I love my carbs way too much, haha. I'd love to see your take on gluten free bread and crackers - I know you'll come up with something fantastic. :)
Looks wonderful! I bet your house smelled wonderful while it baked too! Nice job.
jessyratfink (author)  SlickSqueegie1 year ago
Thank you! And it does, I normally have to shoo the boy out of the kitchen whenever I make it. :P