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Bake Your Own Bread: Expert Tips and 5 Easy Recipes

These easy bread recipes make it a cinch to fill your home with the tantalizing aroma of a freshly baked baguette, a peasant-bread boule, or some homemade sourdough.

By Amy Ahlberg


Bake Your Own Bread: Expert Tips and 5 Easy Recipes

Make and bake: Making homemade bread is a hands-on experience.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Trapped indoors by cold winter weather? It's the perfect time to fill your kitchen with the warm, yeasty aroma of homemade bread. We've got some easy bread recipes that you can use to create fresh, healthy, warm loaves that taste as great as they smell. And if you’re intimidated by the idea of working with yeast, don’t be—it’s not nearly as hard as it seems. For expert advice, we talked to Pastry Chef Caitlin Grady, of Stephen Starr’s Parc in Philadelphia; Grady crafts authentic French breads and pastries at the restaurant. Read on for her words of leavened wisdom, along with some classic, easy bread recipes from the Rodale Recipe Finder. And before you know it, you’ll be kneading and baking like a pro.

The tips:

Mix the bread dough until you can stretch a piece of it thin enough to create a translucent skin or “windowpane.” At this point the gluten has developed enough and the dough can be left to rise (a.k.a to proof).

If left at room temperature, most dough will proof in a little over an hour (slightly less for small dinner rolls). To keep a skin from forming on your bread as it rises, rub a small amount of cooking spray or olive oil on the surface of the dough before it proofs. This allows your bread to expand in the oven to its full size.

For extra flavor, you can let the bread proof in your refrigerator overnight. This is a long, slow fermentation, and will give the bread a nice crust. Make sure to proof on the tray you will bake the bread on, and to cover the dough loosely with plastic, which prevents the bread from absorbing too much moisture in the fridge.

Filed Under: RECIPES

Published on: February 8, 2010



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Those rosemary onion wheat

Those rosemary onion wheat baguettes look delicious! Nothing like the smell of fresh-baked bread in the house.

Henry
Frisco Colorado Real Estate

Home-baked bread

Hi Linda it's great idea never thought about that

Natasha
Colorado realtor

Don't I wish!!!

I'd love to be able to sink my teeth into a crusty baguette! Unfortunately after having been recently diagnosed with celiac disease, it's not something that's easy to achieve even with my new KitchenAid stand mixer. Baking with gluten free flours is a whole new learning experience but I'm practicing.

Home-baked bread

Among its other benefits, homemade bread is a great tool for selling real estate. I always advised my clients to bake a loaf of bread on the days when I was showing their house to potential buyers. Makes it very hard to forget a home with an aroma like that. . .

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