The reason I cheat is because while I can knock-out an entrée or side dish without any problem, getting bread to come out of the oven and have the texture and taste I want is often a problem.
That’s why I was glad to find this thorough guide to bread making on Epicurious.
The first tab you’ll probably want to look at is the Equipment tab.
It lays out everything you need… and it’s a bit of an investment. It isn’t that there’s a lot of expensive stuff on the list, but there are 15 items on it.
Of all the Ingredients listed to make bread, the most critcal is the flour. And there are nearly 1,000 words about this ingredient taking you from organic to durum wheat to all-purpose flour.
One thing I found interesting was some of the tips for storing flour, which loses strength over time. From Epicurious:
- White wheat flour keeps, in an airtight container, at room temperature for about 1 year, but will stay fresh longer if refrigerated and much longer if frozen.
- Whole-wheat flour should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place and used within 3 months or stored in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 year.
- Rye and pumpernickel flours can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 6 months or the freezer for 1 year.
- Organic flour needs to be placed in the freezer for a minimum of 72 hours to kill grain moth larvae or weevils before it can be used. Afterward, store as you would regular flour, in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Details found under the Ingredients tab also walk you through the basics and some ways to make your bread more than just something to use for a sandwich.
Once you have everything in place, you can use the step-by-step instructions and videos found under the Basic Steps tab to master your technique before clicking over to try several recipes.
After spending some time reading all of these bread tips, I think I’m going to put away the bread machine for awhile and take another stab and baking bread the old fashioned way.
Anyone with me?
I’ve been in the food industry for years. Grilling and tailgating are my specialties. I’m also addicted to watching food shows on TV.