Monday, January 17, 2011

Yeast bread baking tips

I have been baking yeast breads for several years now. I had saved some documents that I found on my old (now almost dead) computer. When I was trying to back up the files to get rid of the hardware, I found them. I do not know the source of this since it was many years back, but I believe it was from some bread baking group or forum. All the tips given in that document are true to my knowledge. Here it is if it helps someone in baking good yeast bread. My additions and notes are in the parenthesis.

1. Using milk in place of water will produce a softer crust. (If you want a gorgeous color but don't want to use egg wash, try mixing equal amounts of milk, oil and sugar to brush the loaf before baking)

2. Olive Oil will prevent the bread from drying out too quickly.

3. You can cut back on the salt and sugar but do not omit them.

4. Do not use Lite or tub margarine if first ingredient is water. Bread will over rise. (This is if the first ingredient in the tub margarine is water)

5. Be sure to spoon the flour and not dip the measuring cup into the flour. Fill the cup over the top and then level off with a straight edge. (Other better option is to weigh the ingredients. Use a digital scale)

6. Vital Gluten is the dried protein taken from the flour by getting rid of the starch. It is a good dough conditioner or enhancement for yeast breads especially for whole grain breads or when using all-purpose flour.

7. If making 100% whole wheat bread, use 1 1/2 teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten per cup of flour. (I prefer using 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten for every cup of whole wheat flour)

8. Lite salt can be used if it has both potassium chloride and sodium.

9. One 1/4-ounce packet of yeast equals 2 1/4 teaspoons.

10. During the winter or drier months, the amount of water may need to be increased. (Do this 1 TBSP at a time)

11. During the warmer or more humid months, the amount of water may need to be reduced.

12. Before measuring molasses or honey, oil the measuring spoon to help it run better. (I spray the measuring spoon or cup with vegetable oil spray before measuring honey, molasses or corn syrup)

13. Using water that potatoes have been cooked in produces a higher loaf of bread. (You can use rice water to get the same effect. But, the bread baked with potato water or rice water tends to go bad faster)

14. If using fresh fruit in a bagel or bread recipe, reduce the amount of liquid used. Any fresh fruit will add extra liquid.

15. If bread is falling or is wrinkling on top, too much liquid was used. If bread did not rise, it could be a number of causes: forgot yeast or yeast was expired or stored wrong; forgot to put in the kneading blade; or the salt was omitted.

16. Fruit juices, beer and purees can be used in place of liquids in a recipe. (But be careful about how they affect the yeast. Sugary environment is not all that great for yeast growth)

17. Measure the liquid ingredients in a glass measuring cup.

18. Let the bread cool at least 30 minutes before slicing, and completely (an hour?) before putting it in a storage bag or container.

19. Breads made with oatmeal tend to stay fresh longer.

20. Oat Bran can be substituted for up to 1/4 cup of oatmeal in a recipe.

21. For a bit of crunch add 1/2 Tbs untoasted Wheat Germ per cup of bread flour.

22. Quick Cook Oats or Old Fashioned Oats work best in a bread machine.

23. Too much garlic in a recipe causes bread not to rise. Add garlic to liquid, avoid yeast.

24. Too much cinnamon causes bread not to rise. Use only 1/2 tsp per cup of bread flour.

25. Have all ingredients (milk, juice, butter, etc.) at room temperature before adding to pan improves rising.

26. Refrigerated or frozen dry ingredients should be brought to room temperature before using.

27. Measure accurately - too little or too much yeast can ruin bread making. Too little causes a heavy, dense loaf; too much produces a porous texture and excessive yeast flavor.

28. Recipes to which you increase sugar (or other sweeteners), or add fruits or nuts -- often require more yeast. (Yeast needs sugar to grow at the same time excess sugar hinders yeast growth)

29. Dense, low-gluten dough like those made with rye flour rise better/faster by slightly increasing yeast.

30. A dough with too much flour or lacking enough gluten results in bread that it is dry and dense.

31. Baking bread at lower temperatures (325 to 350 F) creates thicker, chewier crusts, whereas baking bread at higher temperatures (375 to 425 F) produces a thinner, crispier crust.

32. Correct liquid temperature is a critical variable for proofing bread. Measure temperatures of all liquids; adjust to 85 F for normal and rapid cycles, and to 125 F for a FAST 1-hour cycle. (This tip is mainly for bread machine)

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  1. I got loads of useful information about bread baking..thanks a lot :)

  2. That's one informative post. Thanks for putting this up along with your comments

  3. Very useful tips,a treasure to be bookmarked..

  4. Fantastic post Champa! Very informative and helpful!

  5. Very useful info! Thank u! will come in handy when i start baking breads :)

  6. Wonderful,sure it will help for beginners like me...

  7. great tips champa! happy to get so many tips !!

  8. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Very useful tips! Thanks a lot. I have been able to bake whole wheat breads successfully now. These tips will be very helpful.

  10. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

  11. very good tips, will be very useful for me..

  12. I don't have wheat gluten @ home right now but, I am planning to bake your whole-wheat-orange-cranberry-bread. Could u please suggest an alternative?



  13. Sumi,
    If you don't have wheat gluten, just knead it for an extra 5 minutes. It should be alright. If you knead the dough with the bread machine, Start the machine and when the first 5 minutes are over, turn it off and restart it on the same settings. Good luck with your bread baking.

  14. thanks..u have a store of information..believe the tips are worth making a book.really need to sit down and read all your posts at leisure have bookmarked the column "tips".


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