Baking Your First Bread
Bread is one of the oldest food items around although America’s love affair with baking stretches back only two hundred years. People nowadays simply buy their bread from the grocery store. Most of the bread available on grocery store have longer expiry dates but can also contain preservatives. Nothing can beat the flavour and taste coming from freshly baked bread coming out from your oven. Lastly, isn’t it great to impress other people with your creation?
Make sure that you have ample time to do this as this can take some time. Assemble all the needed equipments and ingredients for your chosen recipe. You need to perform the steps below in a chronological order.
Gathering the ingredients needed
“Using only the best ingredients is particularly important in baking” (Patent 11). If you choose inferior type of flour or any ingredient, this will surely ruin your creation. When choosing for your flour, always take into account what you are going to bake. There are two types of flour, “hard” and “soft”. Hard wheat flours are generally used for breads. You would choose this kind of flour. For the other ingredients, you may refer to the recipe you have chosen. You will also need to prepare your equipments. The most common equipments would be: cups and spoons; scales; wooden spoons and spatulas; mixer bowl; baking pans and baking sheets; knives; and your oven.
Mixing the ingredients
Take out all your ingredients, measure them accordingly, and put them in a mixer bowl. You will need to make sure that you know how to take measurements. If you measured an ingredient the wrong way, this could alter the taste or consistency of the finish product.
Kneading the dough
You will now need to knead the dough. Rub it, roll it on a hard surface, such as your kitchen table. You will need to do this for about 10-15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and is held together very well. Add flour or water to your dough as needed. If you feel that it is too watery or slimy, add some flour to it. If you feel that the dough doesn’t hold together and still starchy, add some water.
Shaping the dough
For me, this is the fun part. Mold your dough into any shape that you desire. You can create a panda-looking bread. If you are a fan of seafood, you can create a lobster-looking bread as well. If you are not that good yet, well, you can just create a heart-shaped bread. At least, you know that you have a hearty creation.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Arrange the shaped dough on a baking pan and slide it inside the oven. The classic method to know is to tap the loaf with your finger; if it sounds hollow, the bread is done. You can also keep it inside the oven for 30 minutes.
Cooling & Storage
Remove the baked bread from the oven using pot holders. Be careful not to get yourself burnt. Transfer your baked products to a cooling pan and leave it for about 2 hours. You can wrap your bread in plastic or aluminum foil. You can keep the bread at room temperature for no more than two days. You can also freeze the bread in plastic freezer bags.
Congratulations on baking your own bread! I guess that makes you a baker now. Post and share your work to the whole world! You can even start your own baking business now, after some more practice though.