Common Bread Baking Mistakes

Let’s face it EVERY cook makes mistakes (yes, even the most professional of professional bakers make massive screw ups).
I’m going to list here, the 7 most common whole wheat bread baking mistakes that you’re probably making right now.  Hopefully you will find some tips here that will keep you from making mistakes the next time you bake bread.

Bread Baking Goof #1

When the salt is forgotten to be added to the whole wheat bread dough, by far the most common bread baking mistake is.
This results in very bland bread, and even effects the rising of the dough. Making your whole wheat bread flat on top.
The best solution for this is to use a post it note as a reminder to yourself, to add the salt to the whole wheat bread dough.
You can stick the post it note where ever you’re most likely to see it (fridge, recipe book, etc.).

Bread Baking Goof #2

The second most common mistake is when the bread dough is allowed to over rise, which leads to it falling over the sides of the loaf pan.  When bread dough is forgotten about, it continues to rise.  Usually there is chaos in our lives, and who doesn’t forget things like this now and then?
Don’t fret, there is a solution.  If your bread dough is already in the bread pans when it over rises simply use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the excess dough off the sides.    Separate and roll this dough into a few small balls of dough. Allow them to rise 20 minutes to 30 minutes on a small oiled cookie sheet, and then bake them on 350 Fahrenheit, for 15 to 20 minutes as whole wheat rolls.
Allow the whole wheat bread dough to rise for about 15 to 20 more minutes before baking if it is extremely flat on top.

Another solution to help you keep from forgetting about your bread, is to use a timer which will beep loudly after the selected time period is up.  The louder the better.  Using a timer can also help stop other whole wheat bread baking catastrophes from happening.

Bread Baking Goof #3

It is easy to make the water a bit too hot when you heat up your water to put your yeast in. This mistake will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise.
You can avoid this mistake by investing in a cooking thermometer, to measure the temperature of the water with.  Most will give you instant readings and you can use the yeast packet as a good to the proper temperature of the water.

Bread Baking Goof #4

Fear not if the recipe you use makes too much dough for your family’s needs and you worry that the extra bread will grow stale before you use it.
It is perfectly safe to refrigerate unused dough for a few days and allow the whole wheat bread dough to finish it’s rising time once you get it out to use it.
You can use a Ziploc bag or plastic wrap over bowls that contain your whole wheat bread dough, to store it in your fridge and still prevent oxidation.

Bread Baking Goof #5

Burned bread, every baker’s nightmare. Nothing tastes worse than bread that is charred or burnt on the top.  Even slicing off the burnt bits doesn’t completely save this loaf of bread.

To avoid this, be sure you follow baking temperatures and times strictly. When it’s time to remove your whole wheat bread from the oven, and again use a timer to remind yourself.
Remember that gas ovens and electric ovens vary in their temperatures. , if you’re using an electric oven you should bake almost all pastries on 350 Fahrenheit.
Sometimes a recipe will call for you to start baking a loaf of bread on a higher temperature, but will also usually tell you to turn the heat down after a certain amount of time.

Bread Baking Goof #6

Mistakenly or purposefully using the wrong type of flour. The only way to get good results is by using whole wheat flour to bake your bread if you are baking whole wheat bread.
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. Because you won’t.  One tip for mixing the flour well with the wet ingredients is to use your stand mixer.

Bread Baking Goof #7

Last but not least there is the problem of air bubbles (also called “pockets”) which create large holes inside the freshly baked bread. The best solution for this is to pinch any such bubbles whenever you see them in your whole wheat bread dough, before you bake it. This will immediately deflate the bubble.

Don’t let the bread mistake blues get you down ever again.