Ahh. The smell of freshly baked bread. Baking bread at home is not only fun, but a great way to stretch resources. In avoiding the grocery stores, it is also a means of doing something constructive while social distancing.
The very best breads are usually the simplest.
Every good bread is built with four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Start out with a good basic bread recipe. It is generally recommended to use bread flour. However, if you do not have bread flour, a good all-purpose flour with a high level of protein will work. Consistent, high protein levels throughout the flour equate to the consistency of the dough.
What You Will Need
Clean and dry mixing bowls, a smooth service on which to knead the dough, a bread pan, and measuring devices will comprise your bread making tool kit. You could, of course, make bread using basic volume measuring methods. One cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, etc. But the ideal way to achieve consistent results is to bake by weight. Ask any professional, and they will tell you their bread recipe in ounces instead of cups. So, a scale for salt and yeast is a plus. Good Measures has the flour covered for you, as our 1-cup pouches are precisely measured by weight.
To Knead or Not to Knead. That is the Question.
There are recipes for no-knead bread. However, kneading plays a big role in the perfection of texture. So, the answer to the question is… Knead. Your hands are the tool to get what you want out of the dough. Be dogged. Do not take no for an answer. You are the boss.
- Since you are just beginning, be patient. Baking bread is a process so relax and know it will be worth it.
- If you do not have a bread pan you can use a Dutch oven and lightly coat the inside with olive oil.
- Follow your recipe as close as possible. Baking is scientific, so this is not the best time to “get creative.” At least, until you have developed a certain level of expertise.
- Once you do reach that level, go crazy! Check out that spice rack. Grate some cheese. Ask Alexa what an herb is and start chopping. You can bake your bread with your favorite flavors.
- Have fun.