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5 Secrets to Baking Excellent Crispy and Chewy Bread Every Time

Let’s face it, bread is a baked good practically everyone can come to love. There is nothing better than a fresh homemade steaming loaf of hot bread right from the oven. Store bought bread just can not beat homemade bread by my opinion.

When it comes to nailing the perfect chewy and crispy loaf though, there are a few keys to nailing that classic crust and signature chewy inside.

In today’s article, I’m sharing with you a few of the secrets to what make a great loaf of bread.

That said, let’s not leave you hanging. Ready to dive in? Great! Here’s secret number 1…

1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO KNEAD YOUR BREAD DOUGH

Make sure you take the time to really knead your bread dough. The purpose of this process it to both build and work the gluten’s in your dough.

Gluten is formed when you work flour and water together, and what really contributes that chewy texture that we have all come to know and love with bread. For more info on what exactly gluten is, I would suggest you check out my article here on “What is Gluten and Why Do We Need it?”

This said, it is still possible to over-knead your dough however. So how do you tell when you have kneaded your dough long enough? Check out the next tip below to find out…

 

 

2. CHECK THAT YOU’VE PROPERLY KNEADED YOUR DOUGH LONG ENOUGH

Their are a variety of ways to check if you have kneaded your dough long enough. However, two of the ways you can do this are by a method known as the window pane test and another method is by pressing your finger on the dough.

 

You can use the following tests below to identify if your dough has been kneaded long enough.

HERE’S HOW TO DO BOTH TESTS…

THE WINDOW PANE TEST…

This test it a method of grabbing a ball of dough, and pressing your dough out to make it sort of see through. The goal here is to see if the bread keeps it’s strength.

To see how this works, here’s a video I found that perfectly illustrates this up above.

 

THE FINGER PRESS TEST:

Another way you can tell if your bread dough has been kneaded long enough, is you can take your finger, and gently press down on the dough. The dough should spring back.

 

 

3. DON’T SKIP THE RISING TIME

The typical bread recipe will consist of two rise times. One will be done in a bowl, and then the second one will be in your bread pan that you shape your bread in.

Aside from this though, why is rising even important? The reason rising is important comes to do with how the rising time allows the yeast to form air bubbles.

These air bubbles can then catch any gases produced from things like steam, which in turn makes the loaf of bread grow higher.

Basically, the yeast eats the sugars in the dough, and burps that into CO2. This article has great explanation of what is going on in this process…

https://www.rd.com/article/why-does-bread-dough-rise/

 

 

4. MAKE SURE YOUR OVEN IS HOT

The temperature for a typical bread can vary depending on the recipe. However, one of the keys to getting the classic crispy crust on your bread, is to make sure you have a really hot oven.

You can do this by making sure you start preheating your oven ahead of time, and using a thermometer so you can make sure your oven is up to the correct temperature when you stick your bread in the oven.

Every oven is unique. Some ovens can run much hotter than the dial/digital screen setting, while some can run lower.

 

5. SCORE YOUR BREAD DOUGH BEFORE BAKING

We’ve all seen the unique marks on a loaf of bread. However, did you know those marks serve more than just the purpose of making your bread look awesome?

The real reason you want to score those marks on your bread is actually to help the bread dough properly bake. According to a recent article listed below, if you don’t do this step, you face a slight risk of a lump, or a large hole showing up in your bread. This article is worth checking, and better describes this… https://www.thespruceeats.com/scoring-bread-dough-4799413

So there you have it. If you follow these tips, you should be well on your way to an amazing loaf of bread. As you can imagine though, their are a whole variety of things that can effect a loaf of bread.

Which is why, if you ever find yourself with any issues with your loaf of bread, or any baked good for that matter, feel free to send me an email at – colton@thebakerslife.com to ask me any baking questions you might have.

Or as a matter of fact, an even better option is you could share it over on “The Baker’s Life Community”, where you can get your answer from me, and allow other people to learn with you. Chances are if you’re thinking the question, other people are thinking the same question as well.

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