Category:Bread and baking

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Home-baked cider bread
Fresh yeast and fast-action yeast
Bannetons
A selection of grignettes

This category

In this category you will find recipes related to bread, breadmaking and baking in general. Some of the recipes might be strange or unusual but hopefully they will give you some ideas and inspiration.

Special category for breadmaker recipes

We have a separate recipe category specifically for Breadmaker recipes

About bread and baking

This should be obvious, but always use the very best ingredients you can afford. Flour:

You can taste the difference between bread made with high quality organic flour and cheap supermarket own-brand flour. The better quality flour also seems to make a lighter loaf with more air pockets in it. I have found that sifting the flour first seems to make a lighter loaf as well, it takes so little extra time that there is no harm in doing it anyway.

Water or whey

A few of the editors have just started cheese making and one of the by products is whey which is excellent as substitute for water in loaves, especially savoury ones.

Measuring liquids

A useful short-cut; As most ingredients are weighed as they are added, especially if you are adding them to the bowl of a breadmaker, weigh them instead of measuring by volume. The quantity of water by volume is the same in grams. Eg: 225 ml = 225 grams.

Salt:

Sea salt or kosher salt is preferable to table salt which usually has a list of additives.

Bread doesn't rise See: Bread rising problems. If you are using a breadmaker, try the recipe without the timer. We have found this is often the cause of failures.

Yeast:

There are three types of yeast used in baking:

Fresh yeast

This is firm, moist and creamy beige in colour. Sometimes called compressed yeast, it can usually be bought from supermarket in-store bakeries, bakers and baking suppliers. Store fresh yeast in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge or, in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. Do not use fresh yeast if it has a strong, unpleasant, alcohol smell or appears to have become slimy. To use fresh yeast, gently dissolve it in some of the warm liquid used in the recipe. Alternatively, you can finely rub it into the flour before adding the salt, although this takes more time.

Active dry yeast

This yeast comes as granules sold in vacuum packed jars or tins. It has a very long shelf life and even once opened, it will last for several months. Active dried yeast is dried in a spray drier to less than 10% moisture. However, this is actually quite a harsh treatment for the yeast cells and the outer layer of the dried granule will contain quite a few dead cells. Because of this, the resulting dough may not be as good as with fresh yeast, so the resulting breads may be slightly heavier and not rise so well. Activate this type of yeast by dissolving a teaspoon of sugar in some of the lukewarm liquid from the recipe. Sprinkle the yeast into the liquid and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes until the surface is frothy or 'spongy'. Gently stir to a paste, then add to the dry ingredients.

Fast action yeast

This form of yeast was developed in the 1970s, is the easiest to use and is the one recommended by manufacturers of breadmakers. The yeast is simply stirred through into the dry ingredients before adding the liquid. Although it is a dried yeast, the process used for drying is very gentle, so fewer yeast cells are killed and the yeast, when hydrated, works more vigorously. Using this type of yeast, it is possible to eliminate one of the proving stages and therefore produce home made breads quite speedily. If unopened, the yeast sachets will last for up to 1 year.

Fats:

Don't use spreads to replace butter, margarine or shortening in recipes as these often contain less fat and more water.

Bread machines:

Totally converted. We have had a Panasonic bread maker for almost two years and as long as we've followed the recipe, we have had perfect bread every time. Bread makers also have the benefit of being able to pre-load the ingredients and bake by timer, so you can wake to the smell of fresh-baked bread. It's also brilliant at making pizza dough.

Moulds:

In addition to cheese making, moulds can be used for making artisan bread. I am not sure if they are used very much in the UK, but they certainly are in Spain, Germany and France. The idea is that you place the dough in a mould for its final rising, before putting it in the oven. The English term for them is banneton but in Spain they are called banastillos and in Germany, Brotform - the term by which they are generally known. Once it had been turned out onto the baking tray, you can also score it with a grignette, a sort of razor blade attached to the end of a stick. Bannetons and grignettes can be obtained from Bakery Bits.

Loaf pans:

Mermaid milk loaf tin

These are usually rectangular and made of some sort of metal. The two most common sizes are 500g (1lb) and 1kg (2lb)and it is best to buy good non-stick pans, such as those made by Alan Silverwood or hard-anodised pans, also produced by Alan Silverwood and Mermaid. Mermaid has recently introduced a milk loaf pan which is ridged, cylindrical and closes with a clip.

Alan Silverwood loaf pans are available from Kitchener.

Mermaid loaf pans are available from Harts of Stur.

20th-Century history of bread

  • 1928: First bread slicing machine, invented by Otto Rohwedder, exhibited in US
  • 1930: Large UK bakeries take commercial slicers and sliced bread first appears in shops
  • 1933: About 80% of US bread is pre-sliced and wrapped, and the phrase "the best thing since sliced bread" is coined
  • 1941: Calcium added to UK flour to prevent rickets
  • 1942: The national loaf - much like today's brown loaf - introduced to combat shortage of white flour
  • 1954: Conditions in bakeries regulated by the Night Baking Act
  • 1956: National loaf abolished
  • 1961: The Chorleywood Bread Process introduced

Source: The Federation of Bakers

Bread and baking ingredients in the UK

We have a list of suppliers of bread and baking ingredients.

How much does one cup of breadcrumbs weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Breadcrumbs Fresh
1
50 grams 2 ounces
Breadcrumbs dry
1
90 grams 3.5 ounces
Bread fresh or stale - broken into pieces
1
50 grams 2 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

BREAD AND BAKING RECIPES


Subcategories

This category has only the following subcategory.

Pages in category "Bread and baking"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 276 total.

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