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

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24
votes
10answers
18k views

What are the pros and cons of storing bread in various locations?

Why should/shouldn't I store my bread in the fridge/freezer/breadbox/plastic bag/etc?
8
votes
3answers
43k views

How to convert a recipe calling for active dry yeast into rapid rise yeast?

I have a recipe for rolls where the first stage calls for 2 packages active dry yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water to be mixed until the yeast is proofed, and then 1/4 cup cubed butter is ...
25
votes
13answers
16k views

Is there anything I can add to homemade bread to preserve it?

I love making our own bread - we rarely buy shop bought, but it tends to go off very quickly. Part of the appeal is that it doesn't have any "junk" in it - artificial preservatives - which I'm sure ...
8
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
78k views

Why let dough rise twice?

I'm just wondering, what's the point of letting dough rise twice? I've seen a bunch of recipes in the form: Mix dough together and knead Let it rise Knead again Let it rise again Why do they do ...
8
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
27k views

Techniques to get a nice golden-brown crust on bread

How do I make sure the crust of a baguette, etc. turns out a nice golden-brown when baking?
17
votes
4answers
12k views

What makes a bread either close or open crumbed/textured?

What causes the texture of bread to be open, ie with lots of large holes, or close, ie a regular, uniform tender crumb with no large holes? How can I achieve either?
15
votes
13answers
1k views

Uses for stale bread?

Community wiki question. I'd like to compile an index of uses for stale bread. Here's a couple off the top of my head. Feel free to just go ahead and edit this list: Bread galette (soften with eggs, ...
13
votes
3answers
901 views

Good breads for evening cooking?

Are there good bread styles or techniques for baking bread in the evening after a day at work? Specifically, there's a couple of us who have taken to bringing food for a meeting every couple of ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

Why stretch and fold vs traditional kneading of bread dough?

Many recent recipes I'm seeing for bread, this one for example, are using a strech and fold technique rather than a traditional knead. Whats the advantage here? It sure seems to work, but I'm not ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Techniques for making sourdough starter in cold/altitude

I want to try my hand at making sourdough starter but live in high altitude and cold weather. I'm not sure if the altitude is an issue but I don't think my house is warm enough on its own to allow a ...
16
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the purpose of sugar in baking plain bread?

My recipe says 1 tablespoon of sugar per loaf. This seems like too small an amount for flavor. The recipe is as follows: 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast 1 tablespoon ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What effect do different slash patterns have on bread oven spring?

Slashes in bread loaves are designed to promote oven spring but there are many different patterns. Some running the length of a loaf, some in a checkered pattern. I've been told this is to promote ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

How to make a sandwich bread with a very soft crust? And what is the ideal temperature to bake sandwich bread?

I have to ask this question as I really tried hard to achieve a soft crust for sandwich bread but couldn't succeed. I have tried lots of techniques and different recipes but I really couldn't make a ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

how to make dense texture bread?

I would like to make the dense&soft bread like the bottom one and the taste is plain not sweet. What techniques will make bread closer to the one I want? I also want it to be chewy, not just soft. ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
9
votes
2answers
9k 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
2answers
289 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?
19
votes
1answer
3k views

How much salt can I safely add to bread dough?

I recently made ciabatta, which turned out very well, with a good crust and nice open crumb. However, I felt it could use more salt to give extra flavour. I'm aware that salt and yeast do not make ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

What job is the fat doing when I prepare bread dough, and what to expect if I use the wrong amount?

I've been baking bread for years and no longer really measure the ingredients. But I'm no expert on the science of what I'm doing. I add fat (lard) because I've always added fat. What job does the ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How does commercial whole grain bread stay fresh for so long?

Every recipe I have tried the bread turns very hard within an hour of baking, and I'd like something I could eat over the course of a couple days (breakfast toast and such). The 100% whole wheat bread ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I successfully bake previously-frozen bread dough?

I prefer my bread freshly baked (who doesn't?), but my mixer prefers kneading two loaves at a time to just kneading one. I have tried to freeze the second loaf before baking it, but when I thaw it, it ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Techniques for mixing bread dough with stand mixer

Can anyone tell me what the best technique is for using a stand mixer to make bread dough? I just got a stand mixer with a dough hook and have started using it for mixing and kneading bread dough. ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I feed a sourdough starter?

The cookbook I'm using tells me how to make a sourdough starter, but not how to feed it after I take out what I need for the bread. What do I do with the starter once I've used some? I don't think ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How can you tell whether bread dough is ready for baking?

I've tried to make a special bread for making 'torrijas', the Spanish version of French toast. Very popular during easter, here. Twice, the bread didn't rise correctly in the oven, even after ...
17
votes
6answers
26k views

What's the purpose of a bread box?

For some reason I always thought bread boxes were supposed to be wood, and that some property of wood helped keep bread fresh. Like a cigar box, perhaps. But after looking for a bread box, I see ...
14
votes
2answers
15k views

Is it safe to eat mouldy bread?

Is it safe to eat mouldy bread, even after cutting away the moulded parts? And how can you tell if the mould is harmless or toxic?
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?
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does bread with filling separate and how do I prevent it?

Sometimes when I make sausage kolaches or cinnamon rolls the bread layers pull away from the sausage or the filling and leave an open space inside. The separation is cosmetically unattractive, and can ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What temperature of water will kill yeast?

In other words, what is the maximum temperature of water I can use in yeast bread dough? I don't proof the yeast, I use active dry yeast and I just add it to the other ingredients and knead it in.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I bake bread using a mother culture?

If I want to make bread using a 'mother' culture what do I need to do? How do I go about starting the 'mother'? How should I keep the 'mother' going? and how do I use the mother in my bread? What ...
3
votes
1answer
378 views

Should ciabatta sandwich rolls be dry and dense?

I found a recipe calling for ciabatta sandwich rolls. My supermarket sells these, baked in their bakery, however, I found this bread dry and dense, which I do not find appealing. Should this kind of ...
3
votes
4answers
149 views

Can you warm biga in a microwave?

This might seem like barbaric question, but is it possible to bring refrigerated biga up to "frisky" temperature in a microwave, without damaging it? I'm too impatient to just let the warm room take ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Adding things to sourdough starter culture,

I am interested in this site's members' opinions on how adding two spoons of sugar and two spoons of honey would affect a sourdough culture. I am wondering if adding sugar and honey to the starter ...
15
votes
10answers
49k views

How can I get my bread to be more fluffy and less dense?

I've been making bread for a while now, but I can never get it to rise enough. The bread comes out really dense, so it's not very useful for sandwiches. I give it ten minutes after kneading, bash it ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

What is the ideal hydration for bread dough?

I made a bread that called for 1kg of flour and 700ml of water. That is a 70% hydration. The problem was that the dough became absolutely soaked, so in the end I added more than 500g more flour. ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

How long will a sourdough starter last between feedings?

I'm using a sourdough starter from the recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and I have gone through several of the rebuilding cycles with it. It's been working fairly well for me and I ...
12
votes
2answers
593 views

Devising a first-scratch bread recipe

I have some cracked wheat, some bran flakes, wheat germ, bread flour, and whole wheat flour (among other various things). How could I, using those ingredients and whatever basic principles (what I'm ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
105k 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 ...
16
votes
14answers
34k views

How do you raise your dough in cold seasons?

It is winter down here in Australia and I find it challenging to find a warm spot to raise my bread dough. What I have been doing is placing the dough in the oven (not switched on) with a pot of hot ...
9
votes
3answers
208 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?
8
votes
1answer
375 views

What happens with bread at >= 94˚C/201˚F? Or: Is temperature a reliable indicator of doneness?

So I baked a rye bread last night (in a bread pan). It was a new recipe for me and I had to adjust some things in it due to missing ingredients, so I could not fully rely on the time and temperature ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the secret to baking bread with a very fine crumb?

I've noticed bread purchased from the local baker always has a very fine crumb. How is this achieved??
2
votes
4answers
15k views

How do I get crispy but thin bread crust?

On a handful of occasions I've had bread in a restaurant where the crust is thin but very crispy, almost as if it had a couple layers. It looks crackly and gives easily to pressure. It's not a thick ...
23
votes
8answers
37k views

How warm must dough be in order to rise?

While making some focaccia this afternoon, my wife said, "sure the house is 'warm'; it'll be fine." One hour later, no rising. It may be worth noting that our house is 66F. So we stuck it in a warm ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

Baking bread … without crust?

My fiancee doesn't like to eat the crust of bread. I like to bake bread. But she ends up cutting off like half of each piece in the process of de-crust-ifying it. What are some suggestions to make ...