EASY TIPS FOR BETTER BREAD BAKING
Baking is a most delicious science, especially when baking bread. Follow these helpful hints to ensure your creations bake up perfectly every time.
Using a knife, stir the flour around to fluff it up. Use a measuring cup to scoop the flour, then level off the cup using the flat edge of a knife.
TEST YOUR YEAST
Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar, and wait 5 minutes until frothy and bubbling. If the mixture doesn’t froth or bubble, chances are your yeast has expired and you will need to try a new package. Use a fresh package of yeast for the best results. (Tip: 1 (0.25-ounce) package yeast = 21⁄4 teaspoons yeast)
KNEAD TO KNOW
Once the dough comes together, you will need to knead it until it’s smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten, which gives the bread good structure and a nice chewy texture.
By hand: 10 minutes
With a stand mixer: 7 minutes
Using an egg wash before baking bread gives the crust a glossy finish. To make an egg wash, beat 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon water until frothy. If you want to sprinkle seeds, wheat, or oats over the loaf before baking, brush the loaf with egg wash first to make sure the toppings adhere. Finally, misting or brushing cold water over the loaf before baking can help crisp up the crust.