Bread 101

From kneading to proving to baking, sharpen your bread making skills with our bread top tips.

Bread week of The Great British Bake Off has inspired us to try our hand at homemade bread. We thought we’d share a few of our top tips with you, as well as some links to useful bread recipes. Bread tips

Troubleshooting tips

Dough not rising?
If your dough isn’t rising, it could simply be because your kitchen is too cold. Bread will rise best at a warm room temperature. It will take longer for bread to rise in a cool kitchen, so be patient with it. Or try moving it to a warmer spot to speed up the rising process. If it still doesn’t rise after this, check your yeast. It might be a little old and therefore inactive. Otherwise, it might have been killed off if you combined it with hot water. Avoid these problems by checking your yeast before you begin baking and adding warm rather than hot water to the dough mix.
Loaves cracking in the oven?
Bread expands when you bake it, so try slashing it horizontally or diagonally in order to release pressure from the surface and help it grow in a certain direction.
Bread too dry and crumbly?
Check the properties of the flour you use. If you’re making whole-grain bread, add a little more liquid to compensate for the more absorbent grains in whole-grain flour. Bread flour is always preferable to cake flour, as the higher amount of protein in bread flour helps to keep your bread moist.
Bread too soft or gooey inside?
A cooking thermometer is very useful during the bread baking process. Insert it into the centre of the bread and check the temperature there to tell when it is fully baked inside. Doing this also helps to ensure your oven is at the correct temperature, as every oven is different.
Bread burnt on top?
Check on your bread during the baking process (if possible). If the top is browning too quickly, tent the top of the loaf with foil, in the same way that you would with a pie crust.

Bread recipes

Looking for new breads to try? Take a look at some of these fabulous recipes!

If you found this useful, be sure to keep an eye on our 101 top tip page – more topics coming soon!

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