If there’s been one major benefit to everyone being stuck in their homes for the past year and a half, it’s this: Home cooking has positively exploded. People who would have regularly eaten out or relied on pre-made frozen meals are trying their hands at new recipes. (And yes, this includes bread making! In fact, some crafty students took to baking bread for charity). Here is a quick read on everything you need to bake bread at home.
Have you wanted to make bread at home, but haven’t known where to start? Never fear! Our handy guide will teach you basic techniques to bake bread that everyone will love!
What Ingredients Do You Need to Bake Bread?
Naturally, the ingredients you need to make bread at home will depend on the recipe you’re using. However, the few constants you can count on across bread recipes include:
- Flour, preferably fresh-milled
Any other ingredients you add may change the color, flavor, and texture of the bread. Or, in the case of sourdough bread, give it its unique crumb and fermented qualities. Make sure that you have a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by weight and a set of proper mixing bowls to mix things in.
Tools to Mix Things Up and Get Knead
Now, we’re not saying that you need a full KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook to make bread. However, having those kinds of baking tools on hand can give you a much more consistent mix and texture. In the absence of a bread hook, you can use a hand mixer until the ingredients combine enough for you to start kneading.
Thankfully, when it comes to kneading, you were born with the two main tools you need to get the job done: Your hands! There are a few different mixing and kneading methods that you need to know. You can learn more about them (along with other baking tips) from Busby’s Bakery.
Put It to the Proof
The most crucial step if you want to bake bread is giving it ample time to proof. This most often requires giving it two chances to rise. After the first rise, you’ll make any scoring, weaving, or shape adjustments you want the final loaf to have. This is also a good time to add color.
To ensure the bread has ample time and space to rise, you can use a dedicated proofing bowl, or simply leave it to sit, covered, in the mixing bowl. Once it’s completed its second rise, it should look like proper bakery bread.
Now, It’s Time to Bake!
Once your dough finishes proofing, you can make use of some common baking tools like a dough knife and loaf pans to set it into loaves ready for baking. Then, set the oven’s temperature according to the recipe, and let the smell of fresh-baked bread fill your home!
Looking for Recipes to Use Your Fresh-Baked Bread?
Now that you can bake bread in your own home, you might want some recipes that will use this newfound bread making prowess. If so, check out our blog for inspiration! We can’t wait to hear about what you bake.