Whether rustic, cereal or gluten-free, the baking of the bread is decisive to achieve a perfect result. Except, getting it soft on the inside and crispy on the outside is sometimes an art. Do you need a little help? In this article you will discover the main steps to follow to bake bread successfully and without false notes according to the advice of Roger Le Fur, a baker from Chamonix.
What is the secret to perfectly baking bread in the oven?
It is one of the most consumed foods in the world. Spread, gratin, bruschetta, plain or grilled, bread is a big star in the culinary world. It is proudly imposed on all tables and accompanies most of our dishes, although nutritionists recommend consuming it in moderation. Precisely, to limit calories, many people prefer homemade bread that contains only natural ingredients. It also turns out fresher and tastier.
Do you want to know the secret to making delicious homemade bread in the oven? Specifically, the main factors to take into account are the composition of the bread and the baking temperature. If you want to reduce the purchase of commercial bread and gladly choose to prepare it in your kitchen, the experts draw your attention to the optimal baking time.
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What is the ideal temperature for baking bread?
If you want your homemade bread to have a good texture, a slightly golden color and a crispy crust, experts advise you to set the oven temperature between 160 and 200°C. But, if you want it to be a little softer, it is necessary to lower the temperature a little. Another important aspect: follow the preparation of the recipe to the letter and choose the ingredients well. For example, specialists advise against adding too much yeast to the production process, since there is a risk of spoiling the dough.
These are the preparation steps:
Baking bread at home is not that complicated. It is still necessary not to make mistakes and follow the next path.
Ingredients (for 2 classic baked white breads)
- 500g of flour
- 30 cl of slightly lukewarm water
- 10 g of fine salt
- 2 packets of baker’s yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- The first thing to do is hydrate the yeast. Put a little water in a bowl: pour the yeast and sugar. Stir for about 2 minutes with a wooden spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved.
- In the mixer bowl, pour the warm water, the hydrated yeast, the olive oil and 5 tablespoons of flour. Knead well for a few minutes and form a ball with the dough. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place at room temperature for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, after this time you will see that the dough has risen and is full of bubbles. It is time to incorporate the rest of the flour.
- Knead again by hand until you get a thick and homogeneous ball, quite elastic when touched with your fingers. Add the salt at this point. Once it has doubled in size and is compact, place it on a well-floured work surface.
- Knead for a few more minutes. If you rub your hands with a little olive oil, it won’t stick. Let the dough rest for half an hour, covered with a kitchen towel, on a floured work surface. Then, cut it into two parts with the shape you want. Cover them with the towel.
- Spread a little oil on the baking paper as well as on the inside of the mold that will be used for cooking. After 30 minutes, the dough is ready to bake. Grease your hands with oil and squeeze the air out of the bread. On the baking sheet, with the help of a knife, make some cuts to facilitate the growth of the loaves. Sprinkle with a little flour to give the bread a rustic look.
- Cover the dough with the mold so that the moisture of the bread does not escape. Preheat oven to 210°C. Give the bread the desired shape (baguette or ball) Bake for about 35 minutes with rotating heat from top to bottom.
- Then take the loaves out of the oven, remove the Pyrex mold and place them on the wire rack to cool a bit before serving them at the table.
Good to know: Wondering how much water to use for 500g of flour? In order for the dough to have a soft, flexible and non-sticky structure, it largely depends on the balance between water and flour. Lack of water will cause the dough to become rough, dry and not foldable. Ideally, a flour/water ratio of 2:1 makes it possible to obtain a dough with a homogeneous consistency. Therefore, for 500 g of flour, use about 250 ml of water.
The safest technique is the following: it consists of piercing the bread with a toothpick and removing it. If it is dry, the bread is perfectly cooked. If, on the contrary, it comes out with lumps and is wet, it means that the bread is still raw.
Why isn’t my bread baked on the inside?
As you salivate at the beautiful browning of the bread baking in the oven, you can’t wait to finally take it out of the appliance to savor it. But once outside, at the first cut, frustration suddenly invades you: you are very disappointed to find that it has not been cooked enough inside. But why does this mishap often happen to you?
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These are the reasons that can explain it:
- Your oven may have been too hot, so the crust of the bread cooked faster than the interior.
- You probably took the bread out of the oven too soon.
- You did not let the dough come to room temperature before baking it.
- You have not checked the ideal internal temperature of your bread.
It is important to follow some golden rules! Preheat the oven to 175°C, this is the ideal temperature to heat the bread. Once introduced inside, leave it to act for 5-10 minutes. To get the perfect consistency, there’s a little trick you can try: you have to soak the bread you want to reheat. Just moisten it with a little water on both sides before putting it in the oven. It is also possible to season it with salt, butter, oregano or garlic.
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