There are a lot of bread maker machines available with different settings, types and features & there are a lot of articles online about great bread makers at resources such as breadmakersolutions.com, but again, it is not always guaranteed that you will make a high quality loaf just for that. Baking is hard work as well and I believe that it is not always about what are the best machines, regardless of these, what you really need is knowledge and better understanding how the ingredients work together and also to put in mind the techniques that will help you be confident and successful.
1. LEARN HOW TO USE A SCALE
As they say, baking is all about accurate measurement and if it is not then you will not be successful.
2. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR YEAST
The yeast plays a vital role in bread making so make sure that you check them prior to the process. How do you check if the yeast is still good? Get warm water, put in the yeast, add a pinch of sugar, a bit of maple syrup and mix all together and wait around 10-15 minutes. If you do not see any bubbles or foam, then the yeast is not good.
3. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RANGE OF FLOUR AMOUNTS REQUIRED
It is always tricky how to determine the correct ration of flour that many recipes instruct. If the recipe says use 6-7 cups of flour, then strictly follow it. Even if the dough may seem too sticky or whatnot, resist adding extra flour because it might just make you unsuccessful in making your dough rise. It is also advisable to use organic flour, as the difference in flavor is noticeable. Well, this is just optional since we all know that organic flour is much more expensive than those ordinary ones. But it is always worth a try sometimes so you can compare the
taste and the finished product.
4. USE OLIVE OIL OR PAN SPRAY WHEN KNEADING
As mentioned above, we should resist adding extra flour and this is usually the mistake of some bakers during the process of kneading. Some will use extra flour to turn the dough out on a surface. Rather than using flour, spray a light mist of olive oil or pan spray on the surface and on your hands or you can even use melted butter.
5. USE PURIFIED WATER
Water is one of the ingredients. Use purified water instead of domestic water to make the loaves taste fresher.
6. USE SEA SALT
Always make sure that you use good quality ingredients since it will always help your finished product as good as what you can buy from the stores. Use sea salt instead of table salt in mixing the dough or it can also one way of finishing touches since it can add crunchiness and flavor.
7. BRUSH DOUGH WITH MILK
When your dough is ready to be put into the oven, do not forget to brush the dough with egg or milk.
8. SLASH THE DOUGH
To make your finish product pleasing to look at, do not forget to slash the dough before putting into the oven. Not only that it will increase crustiness but this is also one of the best finishing touches.
9. ALWAYS PREHEAT THE OVEN
Upon preheating, make sure that it is below the required baking temperature. Only turn up the temperature to the correct one once the bread is already in the oven. This is the technique to add a “lift” on your dough as it rises in the change of the heat.