Questions about kneading, baking, storing, and culinary use of any kind of bread.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

12
votes
2answers
4k views

What kind of beer for beer bread?

Beer bread is bread wherein beer is used for liquid and leavening. I tend to use a basic pilsner, but I'm a beer snob, and I've taken to wondering what would happen if I substituted something a little ...
12
votes
4answers
85k views

Calories in toast vs bread

Does toasting bread change the amount of calories in the bread? i.e Does a slice of toast have more/less calories that a slice of bread? I know that some moisture is lost in the toasting process but ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Crusty french bread

The crust on my french bread never turns out "crusty" like it does in restaurants, what am I doing wrong?
11
votes
3answers
35k views

What is 'Bread Improver'?

I purchased a bread maker years ago and am happy with the bread I make with it. I was at a cooking supply store and saw Bread Improver for sale in a jar, apparently for bread makers. What is it? Does ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does soda bread call for buttermilk?

I've been looking for a soda bread recipe to try and I notice that most of them contain buttermilk. Buttermilk is not a standard part of my pantry. Part of the appeal of soda bread is that it's ...
11
votes
3answers
686 views

Bread for the very beginner

First of all, thank you for reading this absolute beginner topic :) I want to make bread at home. To be specific, I used to live in Germany and ate a lot of this type of bread: It's called ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Thick, moist, fluffy, flavorful pitas

Are there tricks for baking thick and fluffy pita bread? The ones I make come out fine, with an even puff and nice pockets, but they are on the thin side. I would really love to be able to make ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

When adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe, should one reduce the amount of flour equal to it?

I've always thought that the rule of thumb for adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe was to add one tablespoon of it per cup of flour called for. A friend is telling me that rather than do that, ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What takes over the functions of gluten in gluten-free bread mixes?

Gluten has many effects on bread doughs, as explained in this beautiful answer. I think the main effects for bread doughs are the first three mentioned there: Provide elasticity, presumably because ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

Are there any negative effects to kneading bread dough longer?

Is there such a thing as over-kneading bread dough. From what I understand, kneading the bread dough is what allows the gluten strands to align and form the beautiful gluten networks that create bread ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

How to tell if it is real sourdough?

I have a very simple question, but difficult for me.. How to tell if a sourdough is a real / traditional Sourdough? A lot of times I wonder if the sourdough I have in cafes or those ones I buy from ...
10
votes
2answers
15k views

How warm is “warm water?”

I'm following a recipe for making dough for a challah bread, and the recipe calls for warm water. How warm should the water be (in degrees)? Do I need to heat it, or is room-temperature good enough? ...
10
votes
4answers
26k views

What to do about yeast that doesn't work?

I am using a new container of yeast from the store; I keep it well-sealed (it's a small jar) and refrigerated. I make sure to use warm water in bread recipes - I check the temperature using a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

In reference to baking bread, what is a “mother culture”?

I saw this question entitled "How can I bake bread using a mother culture?", but I have no idea what a "mother culture" is. Can someone explain what the term "mother culture" means?
10
votes
4answers
7k views

Sourdough in Bread Maker?

Are there any bread machines that would allow making a sourdough rye bread? If not, could a bread maker simplify the process of making a sourdough loaf?
10
votes
3answers
6k views

What is a poolish starter?

I asked a question about what I could add to homemade bread to stop it going off so fast and someone suggested trying "a poolish starter". I've never heard of this before, so what is it?
10
votes
2answers
398 views

Why do we dimple a focaccia?

When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples ...
10
votes
2answers
17k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
10
votes
6answers
15k views

How can I create steam in a normal oven to promote bread oven spring?

Oven spring and a crisp crust on bread are largely due to high heat and high humidity. Commercial bakery ovens have steam injectors. How can I replicate this high humidity environment in my home ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the factors that affect the chewiness, softness, moisture of bread based desserts like cinnamon rolls?

I made some cinnamon rolls the other day but the outside of the rolls are firm rather than soft after baking. What are the factors that affect the chewiness, softness, moisture of bread based desserts ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Storing hard crusted bread

I'm currently baking a batch of sourdough bread. My last batch turned out perfectly with a hard crust and chewy inside. My problem is how to store the bread such that the crust stays hard. If I put it ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does bread soften after heating it up?

Usually when bread or other dough stuff gets harder after few days, I use microwave to heat it up and it softens. Why is that so? The taste is not that good anymore, but better then eating it hard. ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does bread taste raw if you stop baking it and continue after it has cooled?

Unlike, for example, almost anything that is made on the stove and even cakes (of course, as long as your cake doesn't fall as you take it out of the oven), if you stop baking a loaf of bread for some ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I get a takeaway style pizza base?

I would like to make a pizza base that is similar to takeaway pizza, in other words a base that is quite thick, spongy, chewy and stretchy. Domino's and Papa Johns are examples of the kind of base, ...
10
votes
2answers
891 views

How to stuff bread puffs (Gougeres)

The other day someone delighted me to a Stuffed Gougere. Mind you, I've made these delicacies at least 50 times, I've never figured out a way to stuff them without either ruining the crust, the puff, ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What are good techniques for getting gluten free bread to rise?

I make gluten free bread in a bread maker, however I can never get it to rise as much as 'regular' bread and is usually a little heavy. What techniques/recipes/substitutions can I try to get my gluten ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I prevent dough from wrapping around a dough hook? [duplicate]

I have a 5.5qt KitchenAid stand mixer with the burnished spiral ("pigtail") dough hook. This is not the C-hook. When I make a small amount (for example, using 250g of flour or approximately 2 cups) of ...
9
votes
14answers
29k views

In my new mixer, my bread dough gets wrapped around the kneading hook. What should I do?

I just got a new stand mixer - a nice, heavy 500W mixer with a 5-liter bowl. Until now, I'd been making bread by hand and kneading it on the countertop. So the first thing I tried was using the mixer ...
9
votes
2answers
13k views

Why do you need to refrigerate bread dough overnight?

I'm making a no-knead bread (actually my very first time making bread!) and right after mixing the dry ingredients with water, it's supposed to sit for a couple hours to rise and then be placed in the ...
9
votes
6answers
148k views

How do I make my bread/buns super soft?

I have recently started making bread (up to my sixth batch). All I am trying to do is make super soft, plain, white bread/buns. I have tried a different recipe each time, but none of them have even ...
9
votes
3answers
23k views

Can I let my bread dough rise in the mixer bowl?

When I bake bread, I often let the dough rise in the metal mixer bowl. I was wondering if this is a good idea, as the metal is probably colder than a regular bowl and may inhibit rising. Would it be ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to achieve great baguette crusts

I have baked baguettes a few times, the recipe I used was something from the net which might or might not be good. It went like this: 13 dl wheat flour 5 dl clean, cold water salt, some olive oil ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Bread used for containing soup

So when I was away on holiday we had a lovely lovely meal which was basically soup. But the soup was served in bread which you could then eat aswell. It was so tasty, the bread was essentially hollow ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

My bread is tasteless

I'm in the middle of trying to tackle making baguettes without all the fancy equipment of a typical bakery. I'm getting closer and closer to a perfect texture on the inside and out, but I have yet ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What is “pizza crust yeast”?

Someone gave me a bunch of envelopes of pizza crust yeast, "specially formulated for pizza crust". The packets also say that no rise time or proofing is needed, and that it's "NOT recommended for ...
9
votes
3answers
20k views

What is the purpose of oil or butter in bread?

Specifically in wheat and potato breads, what is the purpose of adding oil or butter to the dough? I have always assumed it was just for flavor, but I suspect there is some background chemical ...
9
votes
2answers
351 views

What qualities should I be looking for when making the best French Toast?

Should it be a thick slice of bread? Should it be made with challah bread? Should it be slightly crispy and brown on the outside but mushy on the inside?
9
votes
2answers
16k views

Why add malt to bread?

Several bread recipes that I have been looking at recently call for rye malt. I know that malt is sweet but what other effect will malt have on a bread recipe?
9
votes
2answers
33k views

Why doesn't my bread rise in the oven? (Not first rise)

I've been trying to work on nice bread but am having issues with the bread not rising in the oven. The first rise after kneading seems to go well, as does a short rise after shaping but before going ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to make part bake baguettes and rolls?

I'm not sure if these are available everywhere but in the UK we buy these part baked bread rolls from the supermarket and after about 10mins in the oven, you essentially have fresh baked bread and ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

What happens during a cold fermentation that makes bread taste so good?

Many techniques for bread highlight a long cold fermentation. I've read that this gives enzymes more time to work and it contributes to a more 'complex' flavor. What do the enzymes do and why don't ...
9
votes
2answers
336 views

how to break up a bread recipe?

I found this recipe for a pull apart cheesy bread that I love. It turned out ok the first time, and I'd like to try it again for a dinner I'm having this week. However, I don't have a lot of time to ...
9
votes
2answers
11k views

Does active dry yeast really need proofing?

Several sources (e.g., The Bread Baker's Apprentice, The Fresh Loaf's Yeast FAQ, and even On Food and Cooking) tell me that active dry yeast must be reactivated by proofing in warm water, or the bread ...
9
votes
1answer
945 views

Uses for Old bread dough

I found some old bread dough that I had left, sealed in tupperware, in my fridge. It has a powerful fermented smell, but doesn't appear to be moldy or otherwise bad. Is there any use for this ...
9
votes
2answers
17k views

Why does dough break when kneading, and how to prevent/ameliorate it?

I'm very new to bread-making in general; don't assume I'm necessarily doing anything right. During my last attempt at making quick (baking-powder-based) flatbread, I was attempting to flatten and ...
9
votes
1answer
429 views

How to store bagels?

I've seen conflicting advice on how to store bagels. I make 6 at a time, for use over the course of a week (or less). Should I store the ones I'm planning on eating tomorrow and the day after ...
9
votes
3answers
225 views

What are convenient and reliable ways to make the starter for rye bread?

The biggest issue with make good rye bread is to make the starter since it needs to rise in a very controlled temperature for some time. What are good and reliable ways to achieve this?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What the advantage of a 'bakers couche' for proofing bread and is it safe?

A bakers couch is just floured fabric, whats the advantage to using it? King Arthur's site says that it promotes chewy, crunchy crust - how's that? If I'm just keeping it floured and not washed all ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

What are other techniques to make garlic bread?

I've usually made garlic bread by pouring over the bread with special garlic bread powder over spread butter. This works, but is there any way to make the garlic sauce/powder on your own?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Bread preservation

Every time I make bread and put it in a ziplock or plastic wrap it goes moldy in 3-4 days. Does anyone know what I can put in it to make it last as long as store bought bread?