Achieving a perfect loaf is every bread maker’s dream. In order to do this, you’ll need to employ some secret techniques that need practice and expertise. Baking bread requires a lot of effort and patience but once you get the right knowledge and experience in doing it, the results are definitely worth it. Here are some easy to remember techniques you can do to achieve that perfect loaf you’ve been waiting for.
Start Right with the Ingredients
First of all, having the right kind of ingredients is the core of making good quality bread. For instance, you can use regular all-purpose flour in breadmaking but bread flour will always be the best one in making bread because of its higher protein content.
Bread flour makes gluten to develop better because it has more protein. Instant yeast is also more recommended by expert bakers compared to regular yeast since it doesn’t get deactivated when you add salt into it. You don’t need to mix water in it beforehand too, making it more convenient to use. After getting the right ingredients for your bread, be sure to measure them properly to get the right ratio of ingredients.
Knead with Wet Hands
Mostly, we think that we have to flour our hands before kneading the dough to prevent it from sticking to our palms. However, wetting your hands with a little bit of water is better than flouring it. It is more effective in preventing the dough from sticking to your hands plus it won’t add heaviness to your dough unlike when you use flour.
Test the Dough
After kneading, it is important that you test the dough if it has been kneaded enough. As you need it, the gluten in the dough develops, making the dough more elastic. The more elasticity your dough has, the better it will rise during the proofing process. To test the dough, try tearing off a small piece and stretch it as much as you can. Observe if it stretches fine and doesn’t tear quickly. If it still tears easily when being stretched, you need to knead the dough more.
Slashing and Steaming
Slashing the uncooked loaf before putting in the oven is essential to give it a good bake. Using a bread lame, slash some cuts into the bread’s surface carefully. Aside from adding more design to the bread when cooked, these cuts also avoid air pockets from forming inside the crust. Add some steam as you cook the bread by placing stoneware with water at the bottom shelf of the oven.
Aside from the best ingredients, patience is one of the important factors you need when baking. There are plenty of steps in breadmaking that requires your patience to give it the right time it needs – from starting the sourdough, kneading, proofing, baking and cooling the loaf.
When you employ these secret techniques to your breadmaking experience, you’ll definitely achieve a perfectly baked loaf in no time.