Saad Raja

Mastering Bread: Top Tips You Knead to Know

We all love bread – and we know there’s nothing better than fresh bread straight out of the oven. But there are still so many of us out there who are afraid of making our own bread. I understand that it can seem like a difficult proposition, but with my tips, anyone can make the perfect loaf of bread. From the ingredients to the bake, I’m here to walk you through making this doughy favourite. Let’s get started…

Read the instructions

This seems obvious, but if there’s anything we know about human beings it’s that they like to ignore techniques in the instruction. We all think we can do better – but that’s probably not true. The instructions are there to help you, so following them can mean you end up with a perfect loaf.

Start with a forgiving bread

Flour, yeast, water, and salt. Those are bread’s basic ingredients. But just because an ingredient list is basic, doesn’t mean it’s easy. I always recommend that first-time bread makers start with something a little simpler – or forgiving if you do make a mistake. My top choices would be starting with a bread like a challah or focaccia. Challah also has eggs and butter, but it can take a little abuse in the oven. The same goes for focaccia. No crazy crust, just a pillowy, doughy finish.

Buy a digital scale

A few grams or ounces or kilotons here and there make a difference. Baking by measurements of weight, instead of volume, keeps tighter control of your proportions for a more consistently delicious bread. Making bread is a fine science – put in the right measurements and you’ll get out the right results.

Keep Your Eye on the Oven

One of the most common mistakes in bread baking is throwing the dough in the oven and abandoning it. Whenever you’re making bread, you’ll need to keep an eye on if you want it to be successful. If it’s browning more quickly on one side, rotate it. An even bake comes from a close and careful watch over it.

Relax

Don’t stress about your bread being perfect. If a part of the loaf burns, don’t worry – some people like their bread crispy. If one part isn’t as firm as the rest, that’s fine too – others like the soft parts. The ultimate thing to keep in mind is that if the bread is fresh and warm, people will pick it apart the second it hits the table. Just try your best forget about perfection. It’ll still be delicious!

Master a basic, then expand

When it comes to baking bread, have patience and pace yourself! Get one loaf down before you start to improvise and experiment. Familiarising yourself with the relationship between certain ingredients and how they affect the final product is key information. With a solid foundation, you’ll be able to build up. You’ll be baking that complicated loaf in no time!

That’s all you need to get started! With preparation, effort and patience, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this favourite bakery offering. Why not try to make bread today?

Saad Raja