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Bread Recipes and Tips | Country Cook Laura Childs' Best Bread Ever

Bread Recipe Tips

Finding Delicious Bread Recipes

Excellent bread-baking cannot be properly explained in a multi-purpose cookbook. Nor is it likely you’ll get a great recipe off a website that allows anyone and everyone to post their recipes.

Each type of bread, each recipe has a unique style of preparation. You need a recipe book that is specific to bread and that explains and teaches the preparation within its covers.

Start Small When Learning to Bake Homemade Bread

Start small (easy) with white bread. Use store-bought yeast and a two loaf recipe. Far too many of my friends tried to make bread, failed and then gave up forever. Well at least until I walked into their kitchens, spent a few hours with them, mixing, kneading, waiting and baking – and they learned that they could make delicious homemade bread after all.

Why did they fail the first time? Generally they chose a complicated recipe (like my favorite Muesli bread) and/or they used far too much flour!

So let me get you started. I can’t actually visit and hang out in your kitchen, but I can give you a recipe that never fails to turn out two delicious loaves of bread, there’s very little kneading required, and it will give you the courage to keep going, trying more types of homemade bread that your family is going to love!

Know The Basics to Baking Bread

  • Fresh ingredients, patience and kneading (the more difficult the recipe, the more kneading required).
  • The age and quality of yeast accounts for much of your bread-making success.
  • Patience is required — you must wait for at least two non-forced and complete risings.
  • Kneading commonly occurs twice; once after the first mixing, then again after the first rising.

Bread Recipe Success Starts In The Bowl

Believe it or not, your success when baking bread relies heavily on the mixing bowl you use and allow your dough to rise in.

Glass, pottery or ceramic is best.

Plastic, on the other hand, is the worst.

Plastic bowls often hide bacteria, flavors and smells in tiny surface nicks. The bacteria alone can kill your yeast culture. Plus, those flavors and smells can ruin the taste and aroma of your finished loaf.

Imagine the slight taste of garlic through your loaf. Sounds yummy right? Well it isn’t when you toast up a slice and load it up with homemade apricot jam! Best Bread Dough

Metal bowls may be non-porous and would be considered a good mixing bowl but they are in fact inferior due to the way they conduct heat or cold. However, they’ll do in a pinch until your ceramic or glass bowl arrives. In the old days enamel bowls and large pots were often used for mixing dough and dough would still rise as long as they were left in a warm, evenly heated area.

I love starting my batches in the old glass and ceramic bowls, there’s just something much more ‘country’ about baking bread this way!Bright Bread Dough Bowl

Here’s a final great tip that I’ve always had success with. If you own one of those old stoneware crocks, use it to let your bread dough rise in! Especially when baking a large batch of bread. Mix it all up and let it rise twice in the old stoneware crock – you won’t have to worry about heat loss or temperature changes that way.

To learn more about baking bread start with my favorite easy bread recipe here.

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era.

Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.

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