Bread Baking Mistakes To Avoid
Learning to bake is an ongoing education. You will always be learning new things to help you become a better baker and how you apply those lessons will determine what kind of baker you will become.
Baking bread is both rewarding and frustrating. Even though most bread recipes are basic, it is amazing how many errors are commonly made, even by experienced bakers. Listed below are a few common mistakes made by bakers of all skill levels when baking bread and some suggestions to help you avoid them.
Pay Attention To The Salt!
When the salt is forgotten to be added to the whole wheat bread dough, by far the most common bread baking mistake is.
This results in very bland bread, and even effects the rising of the dough. Making your whole wheat bread flat on top.
The best solution for this is to use a post it note as a reminder to yourself, to add the salt to the whole wheat bread dough.
You can stick the post it note where ever you’re most likely to see it (fridge, recipe book, etc.).
Sometimes bread dough will rise more than expected, or maybe you lost track of time, which leads to it falling over the edges of the bread pan. When the bread dough is forgotten about, this usually happens.
Don’t fret, there is a solution: If the whole wheat bread is already in the bread pans when it over rises simply use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the excess dough off the sides of the unbaked loaves.
Separate and roll this dough into a few small balls of dough. Allow them to rise 20 minutes to 30 minutes on a baking sheet, covered, and then bake them at 350 Fahrenheit, for 15 to 20 minutes. You just turned your baking problem into a baking success.
Buy A Kitchen Timer
Another solution to help you keep from forgetting about your bread, is to use a timer which will beep loudly after the selected time period is up. Make sure the timer is loud. It might be irritating but you need it to warn you that things are happening and it’s time to pay attention.
Using a timer can also help stop other baking catastrophes from happening.
Hot Water Kills Yeast
Too often bakers will accidentally use water that is far too hot when they are activating the yeast. This mistake will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise. Yeast is a living thing and water that is too warm will kill it, and with it your bread. Investing in a cooking thermometer will eliminate this potential problem. They are cheap and will make your life in the kitchen much easier.
Fear not if the recipe you use makes too much dough for your family’s needs and you worry that the extra bread will grow stale before you use it.
It is perfectly safe to refrigerate unused dough for a few days and allow it to finish rising once you get it out and let it warm up. You can use a plastic freezer bag or plastic wrap over bowls that contain your bread dough when you store it in your fridge, air will be the enemy.
Don’t Burn The Bread
Nothing tastes worse than bread which is black as charcoal. It is easy to over bake bread, especially if you are doing other tasks in the kitchen. This is another example of the value of a good kitchen timer. Follow the recipe closely when it comes to baking times. When you tap the top of the load it should make a solid thunk sound. This means it’s done and it’s time to take it out of the oven.
Remember that gas ovens and electric ovens vary in their temperatures. , if you’re using an electric oven you should bake almost all flour based items at 350 Fahrenheit. If you are using a convection oven you will want to reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes.
Sometimes a recipe will call for you to start baking a loaf of bread on a higher temperature, but will also usually tell you to turn the heat down after a certain amount of time.
Mistakenly or purposefully using the wrong type of flour. The only way to get good results is by using whole wheat flour to bake your bread if you are baking whole wheat bread.
There are different recipes for all the different types of bread and they all use one specific flour for each recipe.
Don’t try any substitution hoping that by adding rye flour for instance, you will actually turn a whole wheat bread recipe into rye bread. Because you won’t.
Those Pesky Air Bubbles Ruined My Bread
Last but not least there is the problem of air bubbles (also called “pockets”) which create large holes inside the whole wheat bread, after it’s done baking.
The best solution for this is to pinch any such bubbles whenever you see them in your whole wheat bread dough, before you bake it. This will immediately deflate the bubble.
One trick that will help eliminate bubbles in the bread dough is to do the mixing and kneading of your dough with a stand up mixer. The constant motion of the blade and dough hook will make sure the ingredients are mixed well, the dough is kneaded properly and that most of the air bubbles are removed.