Baking tips

March 13, 1994|By Eating Well Magazine

* When mixing dough, always stir in the same direction to

avoid breaking strands of gluten.

* The amount of flour needed will vary, depending on its moisture content. While kneading, have extra flour within reach for sprinkling the work surface.

* These bread doughs can be kneaded in a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook.

* For oiling the bread bowl, pans or baking sheet, use canola or a mild-tasting olive oil.

* Use plastic wrap rather than a damp tea towel to cover the dough. A damp tea towel will quickly dry out.

* Do not set the dough to rise in a warm place. This will hasten the rising time and compromise flavor. Let the dough rise at room temperature. If the temperature is less than 65 degrees, the dough will simply take longer to rise.

* You can determine if a loaf is sufficiently baked by tapping the bottom. It will sound hollow when done. After checking loaves PTC baked in pans, it is not necessary to put them back into the pans; just slide them onto the oven rack to finish baking.

* Bread can be stored for up to two days wrapped in a cloth (or a plastic bag if you prefer a moist loaf) at room temperature. Never keep bread in the refrigerator. Freeze for longer storage.

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