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Our Tips for Perfectly baked Breads

Nothing compliments a meal quite like a fresh bread roll. And even if most dietitians would advise us on skipping the bread basket at the buffet, we here at Saffron Kitchen can’t seem to imagine a world without bread in all of its beautiful shapes and forms.  From the humble roll to fabulous Focaccia – bread is here to stay.  

Bread baking remains a culinary art, and sadly often overlooked by aspiring bakers. We have a few tips for all bread lovers and bakers to ensure your next batch of rolls or artisan breads bakes to perfection. 

1. Fresh ingredients make for better bread.

What goes in determines what comes out. This goes without saying but for the best bread, use the freshest ingredients.  To be sure you get the desired results take care in storing ingredients. Store your whole-grain flours, bran, nuts, and seeds in airtight containers or the refrigerator. 

2. Temperature determines the final product

Use room temperature ingredients for best results as yeast develops best in a warm environment. When adding water to yeast take care to ensure the water is neither to warm nor to cold. Adding too cool liquid will slow yeast action and too hot liquid will scorch the yeast and prevent your dough from rising.

3. Keep to the recipe

Though it might seem self explanatory, keeping to the recipe has more to do with the science of baking than you might think. Invest in a good kitchen scale and measuring cups, as precise measurements aid in baking better bread.

Measure your ingredients correctly and do not scoop your flour with the measuring cup. You will end up using too much flour; instead use a spoon to scoop the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. Do not compact the flour by tapping or shaking the cup to put more flour into it. Simply level the top with a flat edge.

4. Be mindful when adding nuts, herbs and spices.

For better flavour lightly toast nuts to bring out the flavour before adding it to the batter. Remember that dried herbs have a more concentrated flavour than fresh. Coating the nuts in some flour before incorporating them into the dough, or mix it with the dry ingredients, will prevent nuts sinking to bottom of pan when baking

5. Take your time

For the best results don’t rush the process, allow the yeast to activate a while before adding it to the dry ingredients.  Let the dough rest before kneading, without well-developed gluten, your bread or rolls would be flat and tough. Kneading dough by hand will strengthen the gluten strands that give your bread the desired structure. To determine if a risen loaf is ready for the oven, lightly poke the dough if the indentation of your fingers remains, it is ready to be baked.

  “Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.” 
― Melissa HillSomething From Tiffany’s

 

We hope that these tips will come in handy with your next bake. 

Happy Baking

The saffron Team

 

Enjoyed our Blog on Bread, have a look at some of the great bread related blogs out there.

Wild Yeast Susan a dynamic bread aficionado shares her love of dough with everybody on her blog full of stunning photos and an index of recipes to die for. She also features other great amateur bakers in a column she calls “Yeastspotting” you can submit your bakes for review with the help of her submission form.

The fresh loaf - a community for amateur artisan bakers and bread enthusiasts! With great tips and helpful advice from other bread lovers. Use the sites ‘bread browser’ to see what’s baking.

Breadtopia - great tutorials and brilliant recipes. With an archive full of recipes on anything from pastries to gluten free artisan breads. Subscribe to the‘Breadtopia Newsletter’ and receive regular little morsels of bread baking knowledge and superb recipes.