Having a sophisticated bread machine is not enough. Not only do you have to practice to master how it works, but you also have to know the little tricks! In any case, here are 10 tips and tricks to make your homemade bread a success: they all come from the wise advice of the best bakers and should put you on the way to a traditional quality bread with the good taste and crunchy flavour of yesteryear!
Choosing the right flour
To make a good bread like the one at the local bakery, it is essential to choose the right flour! And don’t take the same as for any cake or brioche! It’s not very complicated and the most important advice you need to follow to make a good traditional bread is to choose a T55 wheat flour. It is the most commonly used to make good homemade bread!
Choosing the right water
Water is a basic ingredient in bread making. Check that your water is not too chlorinated or hard. If so, choose a classic mineral water. Or even better: mix 3 different mineral waters! Finally, bring the water to room temperature: neither too cold nor too hot.
Choosing the right yeast
The basic mistake is to use the same yeast as for our classic cakes: the so-called chemical yeast. To make a good bread like in a bakery, you have to buy yeast… from a baker! Otherwise, your bread will be very hard at least, and your recipe will be missed. You can buy it fresh in a bakery or dehydrated in a supermarket: the latter can be kept longer.
A little bit of sugar with the salt
A little baker’s trick: with your salt add a tiny pinch of sugar. This will activate the yeast faster and your bread will swell much more easily. Your bread will be even softer and don’t worry, it won’t taste sweet.
Use salt precisely
Remember that it is always better to put a little less salt than too much. Its purpose is to enhance the taste of the bread but also to limit the lifting of the dough. Too much salt and it is therefore a strong taste and a less leavened dough! Be very precise in your salt quantity and do not put it in contact with the yeast before kneading.
The right temperature!
As we have seen above, the water temperature is important. But in fact all ingredients must be at room temperature. Don’t take anything out of the fridge for example or your bread will never rise! The room temperature is important. The ideal would be to prepare your bread in a kitchen at 25°C. But in any case never too cold!
How do I know that the bread is well done?
Of course with a bread machine, normally your bread will be baked at the end of the program. In most cases it will be ideally cooked. But you are not immune to a small weight difference that requires you to cook it a little extra (it is possible in your traditional oven). To find out if your bread is baked, after demoulding, gently knock on the underside of the bread: if it gives a hollow, matt sound, it means that your bread is baked enough!
Improve the golden colour of the bread
Many bread machines allow you to adjust the gilding of the bread. But if you don’t have this function or you are not satisfied with the result and want to add a little golden colour to your bread, there is a solution! Brush it with hot water and place it in the traditional oven for 5 minutes. It will come out with a beautiful golden color that will whet your appetite!
Vary the flours
make a success of your homemade breadEven if T55 wheat flour is the most common, you can vary the flours to vary the taste of your breads, whether they are buckwheat, spelt or chestnut, there is a wide variety of flours, so enjoy them. You can also mix several flours. You can mix rye flour with classic white flour or spelt and wheat flour. The combination of chestnut flour with buckwheat flour will also give quite interesting results. In any case, don’t hesitate to try it out and see what suits your little family’s taste best!
Give time to time
Even if the fast cooking methods, present on many machines, are very practical for emergency repairs, they are not really perfect. There is no secret: bread needs time to be baked properly and gradually. Therefore, choose the classic cooking methods that will give you the best results. Finally, do not hesitate to let your bread rest for one to two hours after baking before eating it. Its flavours will be more subtle and its consistency will be perfect.
With these tips and tricks you will gain in flavour and control in the making of your homemade bread. With a good bread maker, you don’t need to be highly technical, but rather to know these essential little tricks that will help you avoid mistakes and improve the final result of your creations!