How to Make Bread

Bread has been a staple food of human beings for hundreds of years. However, almost majority of people still do not know how bread is made. The process is actually very simple, although more advanced techniques are also used to make special kinds of bread. Overall, the principles are very much the same. It is important that you practice safety at all times and watch how the experts do it to get the most benefits. Here are some tips and tricks.

The Ingredients

To begin, you will need 16 ounces of bread flour and a bit more for shaping. Get 1 teaspoon of instant rapid rise yeast, 2 teaspoons of salt and 10 ounces of filtered water. You will need more of these ingredients if preparing for more people.

Other optional ingredients you may need include 1/3 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of honey or sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Functional ingredients include 2 quarts of hot water, 2 tablespoons of cornmeal and vegetable oil to grease the rising container.

The Process

Mix 5 ounces of flour together with 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, the bottled water and all of the honey inside a straight-sided container. Cover everything loosely then refrigerate for a period of 8 to 12 hours. Leaving everything overnight is recommended. Yeast does a couple of things for bread. First, it leavens the bread and second, it adds texture and flavor to the bread. To properly leaven the bread, the yeast has to be reproduced immediately to create the gasses found inside. Reproduction has to be slow to give the right texture and flavor.

Make the sponge or pre-ferment. Put the yeasty mixture into the refrigerator and slow down the whole fermentation procedure. The dough will absorb some of the gasses left by the yeast, leading to softer dough later on. The bread will also have an aged flavor. The added hydration and time will form gluten strands which are essential for bread dough.

More Steps

Next, put the 11 ounces of flour, the rest of the yeast and all the salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the pre-ferment you made from the refrigerator. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the mixture on low for 2 to 3 minutes until everything mixes. Cover the dough in the bowl using a kitchen towel and let everything rest for 20 minutes. Knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 10 minutes after 20 minutes or until you can slowly pull the dough into a sheet, wherein light passes through. The dough will be sticky, but not so much that you cannot manage well.

Final Process

Flatten the dough using your knuckles, then fold it into itself. Put the dough back on the counter and roll slowly between your hands. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slash the top surface of the dough balls about 1/2 inch deep. Add more hot water if the pan tends to be dry. Once the bread reaches an internal temperature of about 210 degrees F, remove it and place on a cooling rack. Let it sit for 30 minutes then slice.

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