Monday, June 14, 2010

Bread Making 101: Rising and Baking

So, you've made your bread dough and kneaded it. Here's what you're going to do next...
Phase 3: Rising.
The rising process is a simple one provided you have the right conditions to rise your bread. Bread dough likes warmth. Our house isn't very warm. Unless it's winter and freezing outside and I have the wood stove pumpin', then I'd say our house stays on the cool side. So I rise by bread in the oven. If your house is warm you can just rise your bread on the counter top.

I turn my oven to 170 degrees (because that's the lowest mine goes) and then after just a few minutes of it heating, I turn it off. I turn the oven light on to maintain the warmth inside. You should be able to touch the inside wall of your oven and have it feel warm, without burning yourself. If you can't comfortably touch the sides then it is too hot. Rising in your oven also keeps away any drafts.
Place your bread dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp washcloth. Allow dough to rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Remove your dough from the oven and punch it down with your fist. I knead mine a little more right inside the bowl before letting it rest.

Here's the dough after the first rise.

Grease your baking pan well while the dough is resting, then shape your dough into a flat loaf and place inside the baking pan. Put your dough back into the oven to rise again for another hour.
Once risen in the loaf pan (the second rise)it should look like this.


Phase 4: Baking
You're going to bake your bread at 385 degrees for about a half hour. I like to cover my loaf halfway through with parchment paper and foil to keep the top from browning up too much.
After the bread has baked, I pull mine out of the oven and cover it with a dry dishcloth. I allow it to cool and then remove it from the pan and wrap it in the same dishcloth. I then place the loaf (and cloth) into a plastic bread bag. I find that the dishcloth keeps my plastic bag cleaner (so that i can reuse it!) and it doesn't seem to harm the bread at all.

Slice the bread as needed, it will keep better that way. And since dough conditioners are not used in this recipe I'd recommend using your bread within 3 days. There is a reason bakeries sell "day old bread" for cheaper!
Baking bread at home is so rewarding and nutritionally better!

I would love to hear about your trials and experiences if you'd like to share them!

6 comments:

AMKreations said...

That looks amazing! My favorite bread to make is italian...however last time I forgot toe punch it down every ten minutes. It still tasted good...just not sure I did a good job. =)

AMKreations said...

That should say "to" not toe...I don't use my feet when making bread. =)

Leslie said...

i love a fresh bakes bread!

Beautifully Veiled said...

And don't forget the big sign on the oven door to remind yourself it is in there rising. And the 3 timers set all over the house to remind you...and your cell phone set in case those didn't work. Of course, I'm not speaking from experience or anything!!!

Love your pictures! Your bread is beautiful!

Holly said...

Nice job on the pics. Heather. Loved the timer comment! I never thought to heat my oven then turn it off. Great idea!

Kris said...

Heather, your bread looks like mine. Yum! I was making bread the other day and had just put it in the oven when the guy came to load up my heifer to take her to his bull. I went with them to help. I completely forgot about the bread in the oven! I was gobe about 45 minutes at the most. When I got home I smelled bread. Uh oh! It was quite done for sure. But just the way my hubby likes it. Almost burnt!

Kris

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