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

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22
votes
10answers
15k 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
5answers
8k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
62k 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 ...
22
votes
12answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
31k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
20k 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?
14
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, ...
12
votes
3answers
489 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k 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?
8
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
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?
16
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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
277 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
2k 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
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. ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
19k 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
13k 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?
14
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
933 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
3k 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
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
14
votes
10answers
37k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k 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
571 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
2k 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
5answers
11k 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. ...
9
votes
3answers
203 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?
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??
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 ...
11
votes
7answers
52k views

What should I cover bread dough with while it's rising?

If you let (bread) dough rise, the recipe always asks to cover it. Years ago, I read to cover it with a wet towel. Nowadays, I see more and more recipes that ask for plastic wrap (aka saran or cling ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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
2answers
23k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
868 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

How to make hot dog buns or sandwich rolls with a soft crust?

Whenever I make sandwich rolls, the crust ends up too thick and too crispy. I've tried a few things, such as a moister dough, but I can't seem to get a combination of a hearty bread and a soft crust. ...
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
682 views

How can I make whole grains stick to the top of bread?

I want to bake bread or bagels that have whole grains like poppy seeds, cumin, caraway, etc. stuck to the top. I have tried just pressing them to the top but they fall off during or shortly after ...
11
votes
3answers
946 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
296 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
909 views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Do breadcrumbs really act as a binder in meat preparations?

I routinely hear that breadcrumbs are added to burgers and meatballs to bind them. For example, see the answers to this question: how to stop meatballs falling apart. On the other hand, I have heard ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is bread that can go mouldy better than that which does not?

I've recently moved from Holland to the UK, and one thing I've been noticing is that the available bread here (which I feel is highly inferior to Dutch bread) does not go mouldy. When left in the ...