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Breadmaking Hints Tips and Help!!

Baking Help!!!.

this section tries to help with those ever frustrating bread and baking problems!;

* Make sure the bread dough is developed or kneaded enough, this is the most common error in breadmaking, especially if making by hand, just think in a kenwood style mixer it mixes for around 10mins, that’s a lot of hand kneading!!! This is also the problem with bread machines, you cannot alter the kneading times.

*To check a dough is developed, pinch a piece of dough and try and tease it around to make it very thin, like a pizza baker does, you should be able to get it so thin you can see light through it, if it simply tears its not developed, or mixed enough, bread improvers help develop the dough much faster .

* Enough water should be added so the dough is ‘slack’ enough to rise, its harder to pump up a ‘hard’ football rather than a ‘soft’ balloon, dough is the same, the gas made by the yeast won’t move solid concrete!!!.

* Wholemeals usually need a little more water, even if you use the same flour type a different wheat crop can change the water that’s required. If making it by hand, try and find somewhere damp and warm for it to rise, I use the dishwasher! when its finished a cycle, or even a lukewarm oven with a bowl of steamy water in it, if just using an airing cupboard cover the dough with plastic (stick it in a tesco bag!) but make sure you lightly oil the bag otherwise the dough will stick to it. The golden rule is damp and warm.

* If your cakes come out a little lobsided, check your oven is straight with a spirit level.

*If your cakes burst like a volcano! The oven is too hot, oven temps can vary a lot between makes.

* Bread Storage; To keep it soft, seal it in an airtight bag to keep the moisture in, do the opposite for crusty bread. Never keep bread in the fridge unless it's a heatwave. Add a little extra fat and it will keep a little longer also the crumb will be slightly softer.

Bread Storage Bags.

* Mixers or Breadmakers??; I prefer mixers, this allows you to extend the mix time if needed they also mix or knead the dough much more efficiently, however the bread maker lets you wake up to the smell of fresh bread!! Bread makers tend to make a very crusty loaf as the whole cycle is very dry.

* Wholemeals!!!!; Wholemeal flour doesn’t like releasing its gluten very easily we have to help it with an improver or by bulk fermentation, a longer mixing cycle is also required to help beat it into submission!! Try adding up to half white flour. Make sure enough water is added. Adding extra fat can help with the crumb softness.

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