Monday, March 4, 2013

The Two Most Important Parts In Bread Making

... You know, minus the flour, and water, and salt, etc. I've been making fresh bread every week, sometimes twice a week, since I've been married. 6 years. And I've found that bread is one of the few things that you really can make by technique, but you might never know it if you happen to read the wrong recipes. They might not give you enough detail, or they may not give you the why's behind what you're doing.
     Aside from an infinite number of flour variations, water to flour ratios, grains added or not, butter versus oil, do get good bread out of your two hands and one oven (yes, only one), there are TWO THINGS that could make all the difference between you sighing with contentment or throwing up your hands in frustration.

1.) Give yourself plenty of time to mix/knead your dough. This is very important because gluten is only made when the flour and water are stretched and folded over and over and over and over and over again. Gluten will hold the air and moisture, so turn your mixer on when it looks like it might need a little bit more flour and walk away. Finish blowing your hair dry. When it looks smooth and elastic it's done.

2.) Give your dough plenty of time to rise! While rising (in an oiled bowl, with a towel over it) the dough will look strong, tight, and resiliant. When it's finally done with this process it will look like it has taken it's last deep breath and is just about ready to sigh back into the bowl. If it holds a finger
depression, it's done. Timing will vary depending on the amount of water in your dough and the temperature.

These two processes are where all of the living and breathing changes take place, making the difference between delicious, ok, and somtimes a brick that you wouldn't want to chuck at a feral possum.

I hope it helps! Find a recipe that sounds like what you want and give it a try...

No comments:

Post a Comment