Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some Bread Basics

Although I have made bread at least once a week for the last thirteen years, it is something I never get tired of. Every time I go through the process I enjoy taking the raw ingredients and turning them into fragrant, irresistable loaves that we will make into a hundred sandwiches through the week. I also love knowing that for very little money I am providing a truly nutritious staple for my family.

•I never deviate from my recipe for our daily bread, although I often make an extra batch and turn it into sweet rolls, dinner rolls, or doughnuts of some kind. It is very flexible, and I often add more oil or honey when baking something special for breakfast. I appreciate the simplicity of having a standby recipe that is reliable and memorized.

•I use my same old aluminum pans every week. They are lightweight and cheap, but the bread comes out with a perfect crust and perfect degree of doneness. Years ago I discovered that eight-inch pans are much more successful than nine-inch for whole wheat loaves, as they help the dough to get more vertical, and rising can be a challenge with a whole wheat dough. I only use my larger pans for quick breads.

•I turn my dough out onto a damp dishtowel to cut and shape it. The dampness keeps the dough from sticking, and doesn't add the toughness that extra flour might. The damp dishtowel then covers my rising loaves to keep them from drying out.

•I always use a timer so I don't forget I've got bread baking!

7 comments:

Mary said...

Thank you for answering my question, and answering other questions I knew I would have had later! Mary

Emily said...

I tried, in vain, last year to make yeast rolls for the holidays. I'm not an experienced bread baker, but your posts recently are providing me motivation to try again. Your tips are certainly appreciated! I've been using my bread machine for years, but it's just not the same as bread shaped by caring hands!

Emily

Ellbee said...

Hello! Any tips on storing homemade bread for the week to keep it fresh?
Love your site and visit almost daily...

Gina said...

Thank you for those tips! Time for me to gear up with regular breadbaking. Your site is a joy to me. I've got it bookmarked as "domestic blog" -- that's what I love to search for on the internet and you provide me reading that I love. Thanks again!

Brenda said...

Thanks for the tip about cutting and shaping the dough on a damp dishcloth. I never thought of that!

MrsSM said...

I ditto the aluminum pan idea! I've got two, and even take them with me on vacation so I can bake bread in my "own" pan:P.

I also ditto the timer idea--that's a great tip.

BTW, we tried the Schoolhouse Brownie recipe today, and I HIGHLY recommend those. They are just TOO good. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Krista

Anonymous said...

Have you ever posted your bread recipe? I would love to try it. Annie

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