Just like many, at the beginning of quarantine I decided to pick up bread baking. I don’t like sourdough so I decided to replicate the breads that I enjoy the most. There’s a few favorites I haven’t tried yet like a french baguette, but I have the confidence now that I can do it when I decide to try.
Whenever I’m trying something new, I like to keep my starting cost low. So I went with this book, not for the recipes but the detailed explanations about bread making. It’s only $10 and it thought me a lot, specially about the importance of temperatures of ingredients in bread making. This book also has some great recipes.
Understanding the science of having your water at the right temperature when using active dry yeast or instant yeast, is key. Instinct is important as well, I live in South Florida that is really hot and humid, often I have to reduce the amount of water I use. My home is usually cold, so if my bread is not rising, I can turn off the AC or simply let my bread rise on the balcony. These little details are why I went with OK loaves to amazing ones.
I also invest in good flour from Janie’s Mill or King Arthur for the yummiest loaves. The book I mentioned above goes through a list of everything you need, but I don’t believe you need everything on their list.
Here are the few items I got to get my bread making to the next level. These clear mixing bowls, bread knife (don’t even try to cut your bread with a regular knife), kitchen scale (accuracy is key with bread making so this is a must!), thermometer, 9×5 nonstick bakeware, dough scraper & cutter.
Since I started making bread, I know weigh all ingredients when I’m baking anything.
As far as recipes goes, this book has all the great basics. A lot of the recipes in it don’t have any fat as in oil, butter etc… That’s totally fine but know that breads with no fat almost have to be eaten in a couple of days.
My friend Gina shared the recipe below for wheat bread and it’s my favorite. I’ve made it countless times. I looked for it online to link to the source but couldn’t find it. Trust me, wheat gluten and dough enhancer will take your loaf to the next level, I’ve purchase the ones linked here.
This Butterflake loaf is another recipe that was such a hit on the first try, loved it! The King Arthur site has all sorts of amazing recipes. I will for sure be making this savory and sweet version as well.
I made this pizza last Sunday and it was AH-mazing! Keep in mind this new skill also made me better at pizza crust, focaccia etc… So this is definitely a great skill to have.
I got a KitchenAid mixer at the beginning of quarantine and I’ve gotten my money’s worth already. I use it to knead my bread because I don’t have the desire or upper body strength to do that manually.
When I have a bigger kitchen, I will definitely get a bread maker because now I know I only want to eat my homemade bread.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment or shoot me an email.
Thank you for stopping by, remember you can subscribe here to get my posts directly in your inbox.