I love it when readers share their thoughts on how they cook at home. In today’s food section, I wrote about a new no-knead bread I like, and before breakfast, I had an email from a reader named Wolf who wanted to share some of his own bread-making tips.
If you have your own tips and tricks on baking bread, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Thanks for your piece about bread making. Since I’m the breadmaker in our house, I want to suggest a few additions to the process. I’m a big fan of grinding wheat berries, spelt, or other grains so I can use really fresh flour. I have a grain mill attachment for my Champion motor. The benefits of taste and texture make freshly ground flour far superior to anything else. I usually combine some white flour with what I grind.
When it come to baking devices I use, as you do, Pyrex or a dutch oven. When I use the Purex, I pre-heat it and place another one on top to minimize moisture loss during baking. Same thing with the dutch oven…..I let the bread rise in a similar shaped container while the cast iron is heating in the oven. However I no longer grease any container as I have found it much easier, and less hassle, to use parchment paper. The dough is easier to transfer and there is no need to clean the baking dish afterwards.
I set the temperature at 450, bake for 25 minutes, remove the lid and bake another three to add to crust crispiness. I always use a drying rack as placing a hot loaf on any surface will result in too much condensation.
One of the best things I like about making dough is to make more than I need and store the unused dough in the fridge. Later it can be used for pizza, fresh rolls, cinnamon rolls, bread sticks, fry bread, etc.
Few people realize how easy it is to make bread……there is no substitute for the taste, smell and overall versatility of home made dough!