Bread Baking Tips

Common bread baking errors to avoid.

Even the most experienced bakers can make mistakes, even with something as basic as bread.  Too many people don’t bake bread at home, they are either intimidated by the process or just don’t know where to start.  Baking bread is a treat and the results are wonderful.  Here are some tips to help you overcome some of the more common bread baking errors.

Common Bread Baking Mistake #1

Killing the yeast happens to the best of bakers but it is avoidable with a simple kitchen utensil.   Pick up a good cooking thermometer (also called a kitchen thermometer) and use it to test the water temperature before you add the yeast.  Yeast is a living thing, if the water is too hot you will kill the yeast and you bread dough won’t rise.  Follow the instructions on your recipe or on the yeast package for the ideal water temperature.

Common Bread Baking Mistake #2

Forgetting the salt happens to the best of bakers.  It’s hard to realize just how important salt is in a bread recipe, you don’t add much.  However, without it the bread will taste lousy and your dough won’t rise properly.

A good tip for remembering the salt is to jot yourself  a note and put it on the recipe you are using or on the oven door.

Baking Bread

Common Bread Baking Mistake #3

Another common mistake is when the bread dough is allowed to rise too much, which leads to it sagging down the side of the loaf pan.  You can take a lot of work out of mixing and kneading the dough by using your stand up mixer.  You still need to pay attention to the dough rising.  Yeast will continue to react with the sugar, water and salt, even after you have kneaded it.

There is a simple solution to this mistake.   If your dough is already in the bread pans and is rising too much, simply use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the excess dough off the sides.  You should then separate and roll this dough into a few small balls and cover them with a towel. Allow them to rise 20 minutes to 30 minutes on a small oiled cookie sheet, and then bake them on 350 Fahrenheit, for 15 to 20 minutes as whole wheat rolls.

Another solution to help you keep from forgetting about your bread, is to use a timer which will beep loudly after the selected time period is up.  Make it a load timer, you want it to get your attention.  Using a timer can also help stop other baking catastrophes from happening.

Common Bread Baking Mistake #4

Nothing tastes as bad as burnt bread.  Toasted bread is delicious, burnt bread is a disaster.  Over baking bread is a common problem but there are a few tricks to keep this from happening. Be sure you follow baking temperatures and times strictly. When it’s time to remove your whole wheat bread from the oven, check to make sure the crust is golden.  Tap the top, the sound should be a bit hollow. Again use a timer to remind yourself.
Remember that gas ovens and electric ovens vary in their temperatures. , if you’re using an electric oven you should bake almost all pastries on 350 Fahrenheit.

There are other common mistakes that can happen when you are baking bread but these 4 are the easiest to take care of before your bread is ruined.  Learning to bake bread can lead to many satisfying meals featuring your freshly baked bread.