I’ve been trying to bake bread for a while, but I’ve never been able to get it quite right. I don’t know what it was, the kneading, the recipes or something else entirely but I had only ever made one successful loaf of bread…until now.
I was lucky enough to be sent by work on a bread making masterclass at Warings Bakery near Reading to learn all of the wonderful nuances of bread. I’m going to be writing a few different posts off the back of this, but first off here are just a few things I learnt about how to make bread to get you started…
1. Fresh is finest! I had never even considered using fresh yeast before, but I will never go back now. I’ve ordered a brick load already!
2. All in is best! I’ve tried recipes which dictate how and when you need to add ingredients, but I’ve now learnt that a circle of flour, fresh yeast and fat filled with your liquid of choice (water/milk) carefully mixed together and then kneaded is the best way to do it.
3. Tearing is caring! I thought that part of the problem between myself and bread making was that I have ZERO upper body strength. However now that I have learnt that it’s all about the tearing motion, which helps to build the gluten molecule and halves your kneading time!
4. Trust the crust! It’s so easy to panic when you’re making dough, getting scared that your dough is too wet and immediately defaulting to adding more flour. But if you have measured the recipe correctly then just keep kneading and it will come together. Adding more flour will skew the recipe, so if you don’t need to then don’t!
5. Dough is different! I learnt how to make 5 different types of dough on my bread master class, which resulted in 7 very different types of bread! But this point comes two fold, not only can an individual dough be used in two very different ways (for example one dough to make both Pizza and bread rolls) but different doughs need different treatment, so make sure you know how to handle yours.
6. Proof is in the prove! Simply put your prove is important, but some doughs need one prove and some need two, so check your recipe before you start. You don’t want to knock your dough back for a second time if it’s going to ruin your recipe and make you need to start again.
7. Failure is not for good! If you fail please don’t stop trying, I didn’t think bread was really for me and now not only can I make delicious bread rolls, but I can make pretty epic pizza (just ask my boyfriend, they’re good!) and ciabatta, brown bread, wholemeal, focachia and pesto twist!
So in essence there are some fundamental things which I now know about bread now that I’ve gone on this wonderful bread masterclass with Warings. You should seriously book one, right now!
Head over to their website, they’ve been craft bakers since 1932 so they know their stuff!
Happy bread baking people 🙂