Help! Why Can’t I Make Bread?

Jun 27, 2013
Christina Cherrier

How-to-make-bread-at-homeQuestion: “Anything I try to make with bread dough or bread-like dough, I mean soft pretzels, bread, bread rolls etc… always turns out bad tasting… either like nothing, or tasting like the leavening agent… it’s dry, cracked, and it never browns evenly. Every time I follow recipes on the internet usually, process is ok, but anything I try to make out of bread just doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?”
Sens by Natalya

Editor: here’s a small collection of essential steps to make bread, try and compare with the steps you usually go through.

1. Always add a pinch of sugar to activate the yeast or leavening agent. Never use baking powder, it’s for cakes only. Use baker’s yeast, or sourdough.
2. Regular, thorough kneading to properly develop the gluten network.
3. Check that the room temperature is sufficient for good growth of yeasts (75°F – 25°C minimum), otherwise let the dough rest near a radiator.
4. For a nice crust: place a pyrex bowl with water in the oven, so it develops moisture.
5. Brush the dough with a brush and hot water to obtain a glutinous starchy surface. The coloring will be more pronounced.

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