Friday, 3 June 2011

Guide to Making Homemade Bread pt 2

Kneading Dough
Start kneading the dough by turning it over several times and removing unwanted particles.  Fold it in half in your direction.  Use the heels of your hands to push it away from you.  Make a ¼ turn with the dough. 
Keep doing this until your dough has been smoothed out and feels springy.  The dough and your fingers should not be sticking to each other.  Add enough flour so that the dough does not stick to the board or whatever surface you are working on. 

Rising Of the Bread
Lightly grease the mixing bowl that you will use.  You can use butter or shortening.  Turn the kneaded dough into the bowl and make sure every part is greased.  Greasing keeps the dough from drying out as it rises while it's baking.  Use a clean cloth to cover it.  Store it in a warm area.  You can place it on an oven (gas or electric) and allow the dough to rise. 
When the dough rises to double of what it was, press your fingers on the top of it.  There should be an indentation when you are done pressing with your fingers.

Making Loaves
Make a fist and push the dough down in the center.  To remove the air, the dough edges should be pulled in the depressed part and pushed down.  Place it where the flour is spread out and turn it.  Shape the dough according to the instructions.
You can use loaf tins to put the dough in.  Make sure that they are thoroughly greased.  Or if you want free form loaves, use a cookie sheet and it should also be greased.  Cover the dough and watch it until it has risen to twice the size.  Since the dough will have more yeast the second time that it rises, it won't take as long to do that..

Preheat the oven to the specified temperature.  Put it in until you see a golden brown color on the outside.  You will know that the bread is done when you tap it with one or two fingers and it has a hollow sound.  Take the bread from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool.  You can add more butter on the top for flavor and a softer crust.

Baking can be a fun thing to do, especially around the holidays.  It's not difficult to make a loaf of bread, even if it's your first time doing so. Get all of your ingredients together.  For a regular homemade loaf of bread, you will only need flour, water, (or milk) salt, yeast, sugar and butter or vegetable oil for the fat.  
1.      Since you will have wet (liquids) and dry ingredients, you will need measuring cups and spoons.  You can also use a digital kitchen scale for dry ingredients.
2.      Use a measuring spoon to measure the yeast and put it in a large bowl.
3.      Turn on the water and feel it until it gets to room temperature.  Having the water at room temperature is very important because the yeast will work better.  Get a measuring cup and allow the exact measurement to the fill line.  The water should be poured in the same bowl as the yeast.  Stir the yeast and the water together.
4.      Get the milk, sugar, salt and oil and mix them together.  Put them in the bowl with the yeast mixture and stir.
5.      Put the flour (whatever measurement the recipe calls for) lightly in a measuring cup using a spoon.  Level off the capacity with a knife and get rid of any access.  The flour should not be packed in. 
6.      Place one cup of flour at a time in the bowl.  Knead the dough until it has a smooth texture.  You can add additional flour to keep the bowl and the dough from sticking to each other.
It is important that the ingredients are measured exactly as instructed.  If they are not measured correctly, your bread may not turn out right.  It could rise too high or not rise enough.  Or your bread may have a tough texture, being difficult to eat. 
This comes from putting too much flour in the mixture.  You can also have a loaf that is not sturdy enough to hold its own because you did not put enough flour in the mixture.

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