Questions tagged [bread]

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

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63
votes
7answers
18k views

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

This may be a history question so please move it if appropriate. Culturally, local ingredients dominate cooking recipes and national dishes (e.g., soy in SE Asia), but why do Europeans add a raising ...
50
votes
11answers
268k 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 this?...
34
votes
3answers
2k views

Theoretical: why there's no gradient of doneness in bread?

I was always wondering, why there's no gradient of doneness visible on the cuts of bigger breads. For example: This one was made in the baking form, it has a thin visible crust, but after that the ...
31
votes
10answers
131k 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
59k 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 ...
31
votes
18answers
66k 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
325k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
8k views

Can meat spoil outside the fridge if it's baked into bread as a filling?

I made some meat buns tonight (that is, buns with cooked chicken stuffed inside them before being baked), and I'm wondering if I should bother keeping the buns inside the fridge, because that would ...
28
votes
11answers
32k 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?
28
votes
9answers
107k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
14k views

Does resting the dough for a long time reduce the need to knead the bread?

In this article by Chef Michael Smith, he mentions a recipe where leaving the dough to rest for 18 hours removes the need to knead the bread. Is this a viable alternative? I've tried the recipe and ...
27
votes
11answers
14k views

How do I make soft chapattis?

I have been trying to make chapattis (an Indian flat unleavened bread, somewhat like a wheat tortilla), using the following recipe for the dough: 300ml water, 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white wheat ...
25
votes
5answers
449k views

Powdered milk in bread recipe

I have a book with several bread recipes that call for 1-2 tablespoons of powdered milk. This isn't something I usually use and I was thinking substituting it with normal milk, and putting less water ...
24
votes
8answers
4k views

Kneading bread with arthritic hands-any tips?

I love to bake bread, but its too painful to knead it by hand for long enough! Anyone have any work-arounds? I'm not a seasoned bread maker, and I have a bread machine, but I don't like bread baked in ...
24
votes
1answer
30k views

Milk instead of water in bread

I was looking at mantou recipes (mantou is a fluffy Chinese bun), and the recipes were remarkably similar to bread except less proofing and using milk instead of water. If I were to make regular bread ...
24
votes
15answers
366k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
62k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
76k 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?
23
votes
25answers
143k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
15k views

Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

Since I moved to my new flat, I have a problem when heating bread in any way. What happens is that if I put it on a plate, it gets very wet on the plate side. This is so acute that drops appear on the ...
23
votes
2answers
69k views

Why should I let bread cool before slicing and eating?

Many recipes for bread and such suggest that bread should be fully cooled (like 2 hours or so) before eating. It's sooooo tasty right out of the oven - why wait? Does something important happen in ...
23
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
63k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
40k views

How did people make bread before sugar was 'discovered'

Modern recipes (as far as I know) for bread includes sugar. Sugar gives the yeast a food source, which supports it growth and allows yeast to give bread many of its qualities. It hit me the other ...
21
votes
8answers
112k 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. ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

Why not make sourdough bread from young starter?

I made my own starter 3-4 days ago, and it has been growing well; I have fed it twice so far. As far as I know, it is recommended that you feed starter for about 7-0 days before you use it to make ...
21
votes
2answers
8k views

How was the usage of yeast for bread discovered?

From where did people get the yeast for their bread??
21
votes
9answers
112k 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?
21
votes
3answers
80k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
20
votes
6answers
10k views

How to make bread with plain flour?

So... Since the lock-down everybody turned baker (can't understand why, since there is plenty of bread in the shops) and I can't find bread flour anymore. Is there a way to use plain flour instead? ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How to clean up after kneading dough?

I've been making my first steps in baking recently. I usually knead the dough in the same large bowl I mix the dough in to minimize the mess but it's still a pain to wash the bowl and any sponge I use ...
18
votes
7answers
156k views

baking bread with all-purpose flour

I'm a bread-baking novice and have acquired a vast quantity of all-purpose flour. If I follow a typical bread recipe, for example one of these, but use all-purpose flour instead of the recommended ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Naan without tandoor?

I miss Indian food and especially good naan bread. I haven't really tried it, but I wanted to test if it's possible to make naan without a tandoor? Has anyone tried this, do you have some good tips ...
18
votes
3answers
82k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
22k views

Why don't dry bread crumbs spoil, when bread does?

Why don't store-bought bread crumbs spoil? Can you make your own bread crumbs and save them for later use? Will homemade breadcrumbs mold?
17
votes
10answers
11k views

Why does my home-made bread go mouldy?

I've been using a Panasonic bread-maker for about 20 years; in fact, I'm on my second machine. I use stone-ground wholemeal flours from different mills and, as I can't easily find Stone-ground Strong ...
17
votes
13answers
2k 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, ...
17
votes
3answers
44k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I avoid my knife from “dragging” across my unbaked bread when making slashes to let steam escape while baking?

My slashes seem to be OK (not great) before I put the bread in the oven but never really open up during baking. I'm thinking the slashes aren't deep enough but since I use a no knead method, I'm ...
17
votes
5answers
78k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How to get threads in a yeast dough?

I think I may make some traditional food for Easter this year. What I love most is a type of rich sweet bread called kozunak. The perfect kozunak is defined by many qualities, but what I find hardest ...
17
votes
1answer
3k 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?
17
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
11k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
267k views

My sourdough starter is bubbling but not rising, suggestions?

I've been trying to grow my own sourdough starter; I went with a 'pure' method, with 50g each of hard-wheat flour from a local mill and water. I've fed it once and it seems to be bubbling nicely ...
16
votes
10answers
13k views

Is it important to warm the flour before making bread?

When I was taught to bake bread one of the tips I was given was to warm the flour first. It's a step I often skip as I haven't really found a quick way to warm it through evenly (but gently) and I ...
16
votes
4answers
48k views

Why does my bread collapse in my bread machine?

I have a bread machine and when I follow the recipes in the included booklet that came with the machine, the bread rises for about an hour, but the collapses back on itself and comes out rock hard and,...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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 weeks,...
16
votes
2answers
18k 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?
16
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...

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