5 Common Bread Baking Errors

Solving The 5 Most Common Bread Baking Errors

Bread is really a simple recipe.  Flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar make up the basic ingredients for most bread recipes.  That said, it’s really quite easy to have bread baking chaos, and the problems are usually small but noticeable.  Here are some tips to help you avoid or correct some of the more common bread baking errors.

 

Error #1 Salt

More specifically, forgetting the salt.  There is not a lot of salt in bread but it is an important ingredient.  Forgetting salt results in very bland bread, and it will even affect the rising of the dough.

The best solution is to use memes to remind yourself.  Attach a post it note as a reminder to yourself on the recipe page, reminding you to add the salt to your bread dough.  Or if you don’t want to use your recipe book or card, you can stick the post it note where ever you’re most likely to see it (fridge, oven door).

Error #2 Over Rising Dough

It’s sometimes hard to remember, but your bread dough is actually a living thing until you bake.  Yeast is alive and will continue to react with the water, salt and sugar.  After you have mixed and kneaded your dough (use your stand mixer, you will be amazed at how much work it will save you) it’s easy to forget about it while it’s rising.

The solution is quite easy.  Take your kitchen scissors and snip off the excess dough from the side of the loaf pan.  You can trim some off the top if you want but try to even out the surface.

Take the dough you have trimmed, and roll it into small balls, the goal being to use the dough for rolls or buns.  Let the dough balls rise for 20-30 minutes (and maybe pay closer attention this time), then move them onto a baking sheet.  The sheet should either be greased or covered with parchment paper or silicone mats.  Bake for at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (or until the top is golden and you hear a “thunk” when you tap the top).

Every kitchen baker should have a few timers, use your loudest if you have trouble keeping track of just how long your bread has been rising.

Error #3 Killing The Yeast

It’s very easy to have the water a bit too hot when you are ready to mix it with your yeast.  Fresh yeast is a living organism and this mistake can kill the yeast and keep your bread from rising.  The best way to avoid this is to buy a cooking thermometer.  They can give you an instant reading and you can avoid killing the yeast.

Error #4  Over Baking Your Bread

Yuk, burned bread is the worst. To avoid this error, be sure you follow baking temperatures and times strictly. When it’s time to remove your bread from the oven, check to make sure the top is golden.  The “thunk” test works well here and again use a timer to remind yourself.
Gas ovens and electric ovens vary in their temperatures.  350 degrees will be the same level of heat in both types of ovens but the consistency of the temperature will vary.  Electric is more consistent and will bake your bread faster.

Error #5  Adding The Wrong Flour

Mistakenly or purposefully using the wrong type of flour can only lead to problems . The only way to get good results is by using whole wheat flour to bake your bread if you are baking whole wheat bread.  This is a basic lesson for anyone who is trying to learn how to bake.
There are different recipes for all the different types of bread and they all use one specific flour for each recipe.
Don’t try any substitution hoping that by adding rye flour for instance, you will actually turn a whole wheat bread recipe into rye bread.