Learning the science of Bread making

I’ve been avoiding making bread from scratch, and at this point, I’ve officially made bread twice in my life. It was always a bit of a mystery, seemed really daunting, time-consuming and a wee bit scary….and I thought for sure it would be really easy to mess up.

Thankfully, with a little bit of learning and a lot of watching my favorite show, The Great British Bake Off, as well as watching their “Masterclasses” and reading as many tips from Paul Hollywood himself from his book “How to Bake”…I’m not nearly as afraid of bread as I was.

I’m still a total novice, but at least I can say I’ve successfully made two loaves and some rolls, and not only were they edible, but they were also really tasty!

I’m sure I’ll have some bad results when I try some more difficult types of bread, but for now, I’m going to pat myself on the back for being able to follow instructions! I’m still on a quest to bake every recipe from the “Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking” cookbook, so the Poppyseed White Bloomer is a good one to try at first, and start to get my kneading muscles stronger!

Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Read the recipe! There are hints, tips, and tricks in the GBBO cookbook, so reading those are really helpful, but the recipe itself has pretty specific instructions. Follow them.
  2. Get a thermometer, and keep the liquid at exactly the right temperature.
  3. Do not be afraid to get your hands in there. Machines are for speed, your hands are for getting the feel of the dough. Get them in there!
  4. Love the dough. Love the process.
  5. Use a good timer. I have two, and you will need them for the different bake times, and proving times.
  6. for a nice crust, I used a big roasting pan on the bottom rack and tossed a cup of cold water into it when I put the loaves into the oven, which steamed up my kitchen but also created a really nice crunch!
  7. And lastly, ENJOY the time and effort. It is so satisfying to eat the fruits of your labor!