08 June 2012
Today many people do not buy bread, but make it at home. Homemade bread is much more healthy and tasty. And also you can add any ingredients you want to your bread loaf. There are lots of interesting and piquant bread recipes. But you should pay attention to some rules and tips that will help you to bake perfect bread. And choose ingredients carefully. If you do everything right, your bread will be very delicious.
Bread. To make at home or to buy in a store
Nowadays a lot of people try not to buy bread, but to bake it by their own. Why is that? All of us know that industrial breadmaking uses special recipes (to make bread very cheap and good for storing for a long time) and ingredients (preservatives, flavor enhancers and so on). So bread in our stores is not too healthy. Those people, who wants to eat only healthy food, prefer homemade bread and pastry.
Industrial cooking can't be healthy and cheap at the same time. So, choose what is better for you – to spend some time at the kitchen and feed your family with healthy food or to buy ready meals and eat all that preservatives and other chemicals.
Actually, making bread at home doesn't take much time and skills. With all that modern bread makers and food processors. You just take ingredients, put them into the machine, push several buttons and leave. The bread maker makes dough, bakes the loaf and switches off without your help. If you don't have a bread maker it will take more time and effort but still it worth that.
What do we need to make delicious bread
The main ingredients of bread are: flour, water, salt and yeasts. You can also put extra ingredients, like seeds, raisins, nuts, fruit, eggs, honey etc.
Flour can be different – wheat flour, flours made from rye, barley, maize, and other grains. Also you can combine several flour types.
Water – you can't make dough without water or another liquid (milk, milk serum). Use good fresh water to make delicious bread. Chefs recommend choosing harder water, because it will yield more stable dough.
Salt – maybe you won't believe, but salt is very important for dough rising. If you put too much salt, your bread won't rise. If there is not enough salt, bread will rise too much.
But one of the most important ingredients for breadmaking is yeasts. They make our dough rise. You can use either fresh yeasts (but sometimes it is difficult to find them in stores), or dry yeasts (they become more and more common). Dry yeasts are divided into rapid (instant) yeasts and active dry yeasts. Rapid yeasts are more convenient, they are just mixed with other ingredients. Active dry yeasts need water to start working.
To bake bread you need either bread maker, or just an oven. If you've got a food processor or mixer with a dough hook, use it to mix ingredients. But if you don't, just do it with your own bare hands and a bowl. When dough is ready, put it into a large heavy bowl or loaf pan for baking. You can use different pans and sheets to bake bread of various shapes.
Some tips for making perfect bread
- Use only freshly bought yeasts. If yeasts are old, your bread won't rise and be delicious.
- Weight or measure all the ingredients before mixing them, do as the recipe says.
- Always leave a dough for some time in a warm place, so that the yeasts could work. But don't heat your dough too much.
- Don't be afraid to practice – it's ok if your first loaf is not so good.
- Kneading is very important for a good dough. If you want your bread to be high and nice textured, knead the dough for rather long time. My granny used to say: you can't spoil the dough with kneading. When to stop kneading? Here's a small test: take a piece of dough, shape it into a ball and then flatten, try to stretch dough. If it stretches and you see the gluten strands, it's ready. If it tears and doesn't stretch, the dough isn't ready yet.
Sweet bread recipes