In our society, bread baking has largely fallen out of favor in the past century, replaced by supermarket loaves. Now, however, with the rise of DIY culture and the increasing demand for high-quality, nutritious foods, home baking is making a comeback.
Breads to make in the home
With just a few simple ingredients, as well as some basic kitchen equipment, the varieties of bread you can make are nearly endless.
A simple white yeast bread dough can be used in numerous ways-as pizza crust, dinner rolls and the ever-popular sandwich loaf.
By using different flours, vastly different loaves can be achieved. This is especially good for those with a gluten allergy or intolerance. You should be aware, however, that most non-wheat flours result in loaves that are very dense, due to their inability to form gluten.
If you favor wraps or burritos over sandwiches, flatbreads are very easy to make and require little special equipment.
Bread making equipment
Don’t own a bread machine? No problem. It is unnecessary to invest in one. You can make incredible loaves in your regular oven.
Most yeast breads require substantial kneading to develop the gluten bonds needed for a good rise and puffy texture. It’s easy and satisfying to knead dough, but if it doesn’t appeal to you, use a stand mixer with a dough-hook attachment. These can be expensive, however, and are not strictly necessary. All you really need to make bread is a few big bowls, a loaf pan or baking sheet and an oven.
Choosing proper ingredients
While all-purpose flour can be used, bread flour is specially made for producing light, fluffy loaves. Whether you choose to use white flour or whole wheat, or go gluten-free, make sure it is high-quality. Flour is the main ingredient in any bread, so it will be the deciding factor in both taste and texture.
For yeast, there are several kinds, but active dry yeast is the most common. Just make sure it is still usable. Old yeast is dead yeast and will not produce the chemical reaction necessary for forming gluten bonds.
When working with yeast, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, and wet ingredients are slightly warmer. Too hot, and it will kill the yeast. Too cold, and the yeast will become sluggish and not rise properly.
Try this simple recipe and see how cheap, delicious and nutritious bread can be!
Easy white bread