Change energy supplier
  . . . cooking recipes, cookery, food, cooking vacations  
   
 
     
Cooking courses :
Cooking courses
Cooking vacations
Cooking holidays
Culinary tours
Cooking tours

HOW TO MAKE BREAD FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

How to make your own breadThis article comes from the teaching notes of Tallyrand which he gives to his student chefs when he finally lets them loose on making breads! How to make your own bread makes for most interesting and informative reading but if at any time you need help or advice or would just like to make a comment feel free to email us.

Contents:

YEAST FOR BREAD MAKING

Bread making with Surebake yeast

A brand name for a mixture of active dry yeast and bread improvers (dough conditioner and nutrients), these stimulate the yeast activity. Because of its make up it is able to be blended directly into the dry ingredients during bread making. If the recipe calls for dried yeast, substitute double the amount of Surebake.

Ever fancied a cooking holiday? Ever fancied learning
to make bread - www.cookingholidays.co.uk

Bread making with Dried/active yeast

This has a limited shelf life and is best used only for products that either require an extensive preparation or very slow proving. If the recipe calls for Surebake, substitute half the amount of dried/active yeast.

Fresh yeast : storage and quality points

  • Should be wrapped and stored in a cool place

  • Use as quickly as possible after purchasing

  • It should be fresh and moist, have a pleasant smell and crumble easily

Points to remember when using in bread making:

  • Bowls and flour used for making doughs should be warmed

  • Yeast requires sugar to ferment

  • Use at room temperature

  • Proving temperature is best between at 21º - 32°C, depending on recipe

  • Liquids used in the making of doughs should be 36º - 37ºC

  • Yeast doughs require kneading, to form an elastic dough and to ensure the yeast is well distributed

  • Prove the doughs covered in a warm place, free from draughts to double the original size, knock back to original size then re-prove, before lightly kneading, moulding to shape and proving a third time

  • Salt retards its properties and can destroy it

  • Temperatures above 52ºC destroy yeast (but it can start to die above 40ºC)

  • Yeast can withstand low temperatures without damage

  • Never over prove, double the original size is the maximum or the dough will spoil.

Reasons for possible faults in bread making when using yeast doughs

Texture too close/ dense : too hot oven
too little water
insufficient yeast
insufficient proving
insufficient kneading
   
Texture uneven : insufficient kneading
over proving
too cool an oven
   
Wrinkled crust : over proved
   
Sour tasting dough : over proved
stale / dead yeast
   
Broken crust : 2nd proving was insufficient

YEAST LEAVENED BREAD - PLAITED LOAF AND BREAD ROLLS WITH ONION, GARLIC AND OLIVES

This recipe uses what is known as the ‘sponge method’. The onion and rosemary could be replaced by many other ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes and basil, garlic, olives etc.

Ingredients

flour – Champion Beta

(a high gluten content flour)

2

 

kg

fresh yeast

100

 

gm

milk/water mix

1200

 

ml

butter

100

 

gm

castor sugar

50

 

gm

salt

1

 

tsp

       

onion - small

1

 

pc

garlic clove

1

 

pc

olives

10

 

pc

olive oil

25

 

ml

eggwash

   

sq

poppy seeds

   

sq

sesame seeds

   

sq

Method

  • Melt butter and sugar in the milk/water mix to 37°C (use thermometer or temperature probe)
  • Add yeast and stir until dispersed
  • Add half of sieved flour and combine to form a batter like mixture (this is the sponge)
  • Allow to prove for 30 minutes
  • Crush garlic to a puree, finely dice the onion and add to the oil, sweat until softened and set aside
  • When cool add the sliced olives
  • Knock back the sponge by rapping the bowl on bench and add the onion and olive mixture
  • Add enough of the remaining sieved flour and salt to form a loose dough (this should still be slightly sticky)
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured work bench and knead for approx. 10 minutes to develop the gluten strands until a soft, elastic dough is formed
  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and prove until doubled in size
  • Knock back and ‘scale’ into 1/3 and 2/3’s

For plaited loaf  (from the 1/3 mix)

  • Scale into three even size pieces and roll into three equal lengths
  • Plait
  • Place onto lightly greased tray and re-prove until double its size
  • Lightly brush with eggwash all over (be sure to brush all over, in a neat even fashion)
  • Bake at 200°C for 15 – 20 minutes
  • Brush with eggwash again, sprinkle with seeds and bake for a further 2 minutes

For rolls (from the 2/3 mix)

  • Scale into 10 - 15 even pieces and shape into rolls
  • Place onto lightly greased tray and re-prove until doubled in size
  • Brush with eggwash all over (be sure to brush all over, in a neat even fashion)
  • Bake at 200°C for 12 minutes
  • Brush with eggwash again, sprinkle with seeds and bake for a further 2 minutes

Chef's Tip:

When placing breads in the oven ensure they are placed on the middle shelf, and checked after 5 minutes. Cover with tin foil if required to prevent further browning.

BREAD MAKING DEFINITIONS

Dispersing : to evenly distribute, scatter, break up the yeast through the liquid used. Similar to dissolve, but this term is often used in recipes that use fresh yeast, that is a living organism which cannot be dissolved. The liquid for this should be at 37 - 38°C
     
Kneading : to stretch and work a dough to develop the gluten strands, thus producing an elastic dough
     
Proving : to ferment a dough under controlled temperatures so that it doubles in size, through a fermentation process. The recommended temperature range for this is between 22 – 30°C
     
Fermentation : the action of yeast + liquid + sugar + warmth that produces carbon dioxide gas (CO2). This is the process that causes the bread to rise and also what causes the bubbles in champagne, fizzy soft drinks, beer etc
     
Knocking back : to punch a proved dough, this distributes the CO2 and yeast through the dough
     
Scaling : to cut a large amount of dough into its required measured amounts for making loaves etc

UNLEAVENED BREAD - PARANTHA (FLAKY INDIAN FLATBREAD)

Traditionally Indian breads were always unleavened breads, however these days they are often produced with the addition of baking powder or yeast to leaven them

The herbs and spices can also be replaced with other flavourings as required such as nigella seeds, garlic, etc.

Ingredients

flour - wholemeal

150

 

gm

flour - white

150

 

gm

chillies – green (small)

1

 

pc

cumin seeds

1

 

tsp

green ginger - grated

1

 

tsp

coriander leaves - chopped

2

 

tbs

oil

2

 

tbs

water

250

 

ml

melted butter (ghee)

100

 

ml

Dough production

  • Unleavened bread Combine the flours with the finely chopped chillie, cumin seeds, grated ginger and coriander in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper
  • Drizzle over the oil and rub in with the flour with fingertips until a crumbly texture is achieved
  • Add two-thirds of the water to make a soft dough knead for 5 minutes adding more water as required to form a loose and slightly sticky dough
  • Knead for another 10 minutes
  • Place the dough in a bowl, cover with either a damp (clean) tea-towel or clingfilm and place to one side to rest for approx. 1 hour
  • Briefly knead again and divide it into eight even pieces; this is best achieved cutting in half, and cutting each half into half again and then repeat – this way all pieces should be the same size!
  • Roll each piece into a ball and flatten slightly

Parantha production

Complete the following for each piece of dough:

  • With a rolling pin, roll out slightly, turn 90 degrees and turn over
  • Roll slightly again and continue this rolling, turning etc until it is a 12-15cm circle
  • Brush the surface with the melted butter
  • Fold one side of the round over so that a third is still uncovered
  • Then fold the uncovered side over to form a rectangular shape and brush with melted butter
  • Fold one end over so that a third is still uncovered, and now fold the other end over to form a small square
  • With a light dusting of flour if required (to prevent sticking), roll this out evenly to form a large square (approx. the same size as the circle was to begin with)
  • Lightly dust each parantha with flour

Cooking the parantha

Indians have a special pan for cooking breads called a ‘tava’ but any good cast-iron griddle pan, cast-iron frying pan or non stick pan can be used

  • Place your pan over a medium-high heat and allow to heat thoroughly
  • Place the parantha into the hot pan and allow to cook for approx. 30 seconds
  • Brush with melted butter and turn over
  • Cook for another 15 seconds, brush with melted butter and turn over
  • Repeat this process 4 – 5 more times; the bread cooked when it has light brown spots, is slightly crisp on the outside and soft (but cooked through) on the inside
  • Repeat with the remaining rolled out parantha
  • As each parantha is cooked, stack on a on a plate and cover with a cloth to prevent them drying out and to keep warm

Chef's Tip:

To this basic recipe may be added garlic or other seasonings, herbs and spices

USING BAKING POWDER IN BREAD MAKING

Baking powder is normally available in two forms:

  • instant
  • slow acting

Most domestic / retail brands are slow acting in that the dough, batter, etc may require being rested to allow a fermentation process to take place before baking, frying, etc.

A good commercial instant baking powder that is also stable is ‘Hercules’

Baking powder is a combination of:

  • one part baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to two parts cream of tartare (tartaric acid)

As the baking soda is a alkaline, when combined with the tartaric acid and a liquid it begins to ferment, forms CO2, and thus allows products to aerate.

But the very thing that makes baking powder work also makes it unstable and gives it a short shelf life, as eventually the two chemicals cancel each other out. When this happens the baking powder is dead and any scones, etc made from it will not rise.

Purchasing the two chemicals separately and making your own baking powder will greatly increase the shelf life and always ensure you have a good, workable baking powder. Alternatively, purchase baking powder in small amounts and use frequently.

Baking soda can also be used as a raising agent (as for Irish soda bread), in this case buttermilk is normally used (or milk with a small amount of vinegar added). This acidity activates the alkaline of the baking soda to produce CO2.

YELLOW CORNMEAL LOAF

This recipe was provided by Tallyrand in response to an email enquiry.

Ingredients

flour – Champion’s Epic Bakers
(this is a medium gluten flour)

75

 

gm

castor sugar

55

 

gm

coarse yellow cornmeal

65

 

gm

milk

100

 

ml

oil

25

 

ml

baking powder

3

 

tsp

eggs

1

 

pc

Method

  • Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, stir in cornmeal
  • Beat lightly together  eggs, milk and oil
  • Stir egg mix into flour mix, and beat until smooth
  • Pour mix into prepared muffin moulds, round cake tin or loaf tin (2/3’s full)
  • Bake at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes
  • Cover with tin foil after 5 minutes to prevent excess browning

IRISH SODA BREAD

Certainly a well kept secret in many parts of the world, Irish soda bread can be made with a variety of different ingredients to suit even the most discerning palates. Wheat flour, buttermilk, and currants are commonly used in Great Britain.

Ingredients

soft flour
300
kg
baking powder
25
gm
buttermilk
sq
sugar
40
gm
salt
sq
vegetable shortening
40
gm
raisins
30
gm
caraway seeds
4
gm

Method

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together and work in the shortening
  2. Add the raisins and caraway seeds (both optional)
  3. With the paddle on low speed, blend-in the milk to make a shaggy mass
  4. Knead for 20 seconds on a floured surface.
  5. Divide the dough into 400 gm round loaves. Put them on a sheet pan.
  6. Dust the top of each loaf with flour. Press a cross into the top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Do not cut completely through the dough.
  7. Bake the loaves at 220ºC for 30 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven, dust with flour and allow to cool

Chef's Tip:

Milk with a dash of vinegar can replace the buttermilk if you are unable to get it

BEER BREAD

Ingredients

flour

300

 

gm

baking powder

3

 

tsp

lager or light malt beer

300

 

ml

Method

  • Sieve together the flour and baking powder
  • Add the beer to form a batter
  • Pour into a prepared loaf tin
  • Bake at 200ºC for 30 minutes

SOURDOUGH BREAD

Sour dough bread is made by making what is known as a ‘starter’ - this is flour and water mixed to form a soft, slack dough and leaving it for a week prior to requiring the bread. This ‘starter’ is used as the rising agent and was the basis of breads for hundreds of years in many cultures. It uses the natural yeasts found floating in the air, that are captured by the starter dough.

Lost to many countries over the years with the advent of yeast, it is now again making a comeback. Although, as many countries that there were which lost sourdough breads there were others that maintained and embraced the loaves. Maybe it was for the cultural significance, maybe the traditional, maybe it was the exceptional taste of the loaves over yeast breads. Whatever the reason sourdough breads are back with us in an ever increasing big way, which this chef is more than pleased with.

This is the bread many of our ancestors / forefathers were used to, the style of bread referred to in the Bible, the bread the ancient Romans marched on their bellies on and conquered the world with, it is simply the bread of legend.

Sourdough BreadPeople who have experienced my sourdough breads, those that have had it in restaurants or specialist bakeries rarely go back to store bought yeast breads. Sourdough breads have a wonderful smell, a crispness of crust and a chewy texture and body that can only be described as pleasurable to the point of being illegal, supermodels would kill for such body!

It is so easy to make and the finish of one loaf means the automatic start of the next - as you will see from the following recipe. But it does require patience and time initially. If you want to make a loaf every day, you will have to start by making a starter every day of the week for a week. Labelling them so you remember which was made on what day and then using that starter to make the bread on the corresponding day the next week. Sounds complicated and a lot of fuss, but it isn’t and you will love the initial effort and it is worth the wait for the first loaf . . . if you can wait for Xmas once a year, then a week for a great bread loaf is not too much to ask.

Ingredients

flour

1

 

kg

water (warm)

   

sq

flour

1

 

kg

salt

25

 

gm

patience

   

sq

Method

Day #1

  • Combine 1kg of flour with enough water to form a soft, slack dough
  • Place into a large, clean bowl outside for an hour
  • Cover with cling-film and place in a warm, (but draught free - a linen closet is excellent) place for two days

Day #2

  • It should have started to ferment already, but just leave it alone and just forget about it until tomorrow

Day #3

  • It should have fermented nicely by now
  • Add sufficient flour and water to bring it back to the same texture as it was on the first day
  • Cover and leave it alone for two more days

Day #4

  • It should have fermented nicely again, but just leave it alone and just forget about it until tomorrow

Day #5

  • It should have really fermented by now
  • Remove from the bowl and add the second lot of flour and sufficient water to bring it back to the same texture as it was on the first day
  • Knead for 10 minutes
  • Split into two and use one half for the starter for next weeks bread
  • With the remaining dough, add the salt and knead for another 5 minutes
  • Split into two and shape into a nice round loaves, place on a baking tray and loosely cover, leave it overnight to prove in the a warm place (at least 12 hours)

Day #6

  • Pre-heat an oven to 180ºC
  • Place bread in oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes until crisp and sounds hollow when tapped on the base (this method is used to try all breads for whether they are cooked or not)

Day #7

  • Enjoy the remainder of your bread and start all over again

AREPAS

Ingredients

arepa flour (or masa harina)

250

 

gm

salt

1

 

tsp

Parmesan (grated)

75

 

gm

Mozzarella (grated)

75

 

gm

butter (melted)

75

 

ml

boiling water

750

 

ml

sour cream

300

 

ml

butter

3

 

tbs

oil

   

sq

Method

  • Heat oven to 175°C
  • In a large bowl combine the arepa flour, salt and cheeses
  • Stir in melted butter and enough water to knead to a pliable dough (add more water if necessary; dough should have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes)
  • Divide dough equally into 16 pieces
  • With wet hands, roll each into a ball and flatten from the centre out to make a patty about 1cm thick
  • Heat butter and oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, fry arepas until light golden on each side
  • Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning once, to finish cooking. Serve right away topped with sour cream.

Chef's Tip:

Arepa flour or masa harina is a yellow cornmeal flour

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Enjoy your bread making and bon appetit . . . . .

Tallyrand
From professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com