Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bread Making Tips and Tools

Making homemade bread is a great way to start adding whole grains into your diet. The following are some tools you will need to be successful in making bread:
  • Bread pans - I prefer pyrex pans (glass) as they give the bread a crispy outer crust and cook the bread evenly.
  • Bread mixer - this is not optional in my opinion. I prefer Bosch mixers - the compact Bosch is perfect for a small family - it makes 3 loaves.

  • Grain Mill - I love the Wonder Mill (used to be called Whisper Mill). Hand mills are excellent for emergency situations, but impractical in my mind for everyday bread making. Freshly ground grains add more nutrition to your diet than store bought flours. The fresher the flour, the more vitamins and minerals it will contain, and the better it is for your family.

Now for some tips:
  • Yeast - I use SAF-instant yeast. It is wonderful!
  • Dough should still be very sticky when dough mixing. In fact, so sticky that when you go to put it in the pans, you can't form the loaves without putting a little oil on your hands first.
  • Gluten Flour - the purpose of the gluten flour in my whole-wheat bread recipe is to stick the bread together better. Gluten is like glue. Freshly ground whole-wheat tends to have less gluten than the white flour you can buy in the store. When using whole-wheat flour it takes more flour to make the bread stick together, which makes the bread less moist, more dense and less tasty. Adding the gluten flour makes the bread stick together better without having to add more flour and hence keeps it moist, light and very tasty.


NoSurfGirl said...

we just got a big block of that kind of yeast. For our 3 months supply. And some glutin flour, and we have a 50 pound bucket of hard, red wheat. Anything else we need for our 3 month supply for breadmaking? Our sweeteners so far are honey powder and raw sugar.

I'd LOVE a bosch. Love one. I think we're gonna have to wait a while, though...

Heather Smith said...

You'll probably want to get some oil and salt to include in your 3 month supply. The hard, red wheat is okay, but it will make heavier bread than the white wheat. You may want to try adding more gluten flour than the recipe calls for to see if that will help.

I haven't done much research as far as alternative sweeteners go. I've heard that you usually substitute 1/2 the honey for the sugar in a recipe because honey is sweeter than sugar. Does anyone have any more information about sweeteners to share?

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