Making bread at home is not as easy as it seems. It is an art in itself and only the experienced are able to make the mouth-watering loaves of bread. Many newbies and even some kitchen experts find it tough to make bread at home. Most of them will buy bread from the market but they do not taste like home-made bread. Most people then start yearning for bread that they used to have made by their grandma or mom. I know because I am one of them.
After working in the city for so many years and finding so little time for cooking, I made use of bread bought from the market but I always longed for the bread that my grandma makes. So one day, I just switched off my cell phone and set about making home-made bread and the result was delicious bread. I had not forgotten the tips that my grandma had taught me many years ago and the tips are given below:
- My grandma always told me proofing the yeast is absolutely essential. The trick that she taught me was to add the sugar when the water is hot first and after that to add the yeast. Most people add sugar and yeast together which is fine but when the proofing is good the bread raises and swells up.
- Along with the flour I always add a few mashed potatoes and then knead the dough. Potatoes and yeast are a great combination and will help make the bread softer and lighter. If you do not want to add potatoes you can use the water used to boil potatoes to mix with the dough. My grandma always added mashed potatoes and the bread was heavenly.
- One of the main reasons why I stopped making bread at home is due to the kneading process. I do not like to knead but if you do not knead then you will not get good bread. Hence you need to knead the dough for at least 15 minutes. The more you knead the better your bread becomes. My grandma used to knead the dough for hours together it seemed when we were kids, but she used to knead for 15-20 minutes minimum.
- Always cover the dough to help it rise. My grandma swore that this was important and I tend to cover the dough every time. Once the dough has risen then and only then I bake it. You need to give time and if you take a hasty decision then you will fail to make good bread.
- A very important tip is not to use frozen ingredients. All the ingredients should be at room temperature and only then you will be able to bake quality bread.
- Never make the dough too stiff. I have made bread with stiff dough and I can assure you that the bread that you will bake will not be good. The dough has to be elastic and only then you will be able to bake good home made bread.