December 5, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

best hacks for homemade bread


Once you’ve baked your first loaf of bread, you may never stop. Nothing beats the gorgeous aroma in your kitchen than a freshly baked loaf. Our tips and recipes will help you master the basics and beyond, whether it’s a simple white tin loaf, a show-stopping plait, an Irish soda bread, mastering a sourdough or a perfect pizza.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Strong wholemeal flour is higher in fiber than white flour. It absorbs more water and requires more kneading. A loaf made with 100% wholemeal flour will be quite dense, but perfect for toast. Most bakers prefer to mix half-and-half strong wholemeal with strong white flour which gives the loaf a more complex, nutty flavor and, of course, added health benefits.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


You can use either fresh or dried yeast in bread-making, although fresh gives it a more obviously yeasty flavor. Fresh yeast needs to be proved before using. Add a little sugar and warm water, and it will begin to bubble and ferment. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead. Fresh yeast can be frozen then thawed at room temperature, as it has a short shelf life. If you use instant dried yeast, buy in small quantities and always check the use-by date on the packet, or your lovely loaf won’t rise.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


In theory, you don’t need any special equipment to make bread but it’s definitely worth getting digital scales. Accurate weighing is an essential for baking. If you’re really committed, the best item to buy is a stand mixer which has a dough hook, or even an electric hand whisk with a dough hook. It’s a huge time-saver. A baking stone is a good investment for pizzas and bread, and a pizza cutter is handy for shaping rolls and breadsticks.



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Kneading dough helps distribute the yeast to get an evenly-risen loaf, and develops the gluten which makes your bread rise. It makes the bread light and airy. You want to achieve a springy elastic dough and it’s best done in a mixer, if you have one. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth, no longer sticky and springs back when pressed with your finger. It usually takes about 10 minutes in a mixer but double the time if you’re doing it by hand.



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Once the dough has been kneaded, put it into an oiled bowl, cover it with oiled plastic wrap and leave it for its first rise, when it should double in size. Then, knock the dough back (also called punching it down). This is when you beat the air out of it to create an even texture in your loaf. Knead it a couple of times then shape it. Now, leave to prove again in its tin, lightly covered with oiled plastic wrap, for about two hours. You can’t rush this second fermentation.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Rye flour is much lower in gluten than wheat flour, so it takes much longer to rise. It’s best to leave it to rise for about 24 hours. Rye ranks low on the glycemic index (GI) and is high in fiber, so is a good healthy choice and perfect for Scandi-style sandwiches or toast. Some bakers mix rye with wholemeal; others add a tablespoon of black treacle or honey to the dough to add sweetness. Caraway seeds are a traditional addition in Germany, but you could swap them for fennel or pumpkin seeds.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


How you glaze or flour your bread will affect the crust of the final baked loaf. For a shiny crust, brush with a beaten egg white and a tablespoon of water before baking. For a soft crust, brush melted butter over after baking. For a crisp crust, mist the bread quickly with water several times during the first 10 minutes of baking. For a chewy, rustic bread, dust the dough with extra flour to give a chewier finish.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Once you become confident in your bread-baking, you can add ingredients to a basic wholemeal bread recipe. Buy a pack of mixed, unsalted seeds, then add cranberries or sultanas. Toast some hazelnuts or walnuts then chop them finely and add to the dough. With time, you’ll develop your own signature recipe.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


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