The Importance of Baking Measurements

Accuracy in baking matters. Baking measurements matter. Being off by even a tenth of a percent on one crucial ingredient could be enough to throw off the entire recipe. Just think of baking bread and how even just a touch too much salt can easily kill the yeast and ruin the whole loaf. That’s where knowing your measures and how to measure ingredients comes in. Baking Measurements: The Measures vs. The Scale Once upon a time, back when we were starting the business, we decided we needed to find out just how good our measuring cups really were. After all, …

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How to Design Your Own Whole Grain Bread Recipes

You can make great whole grain breads! Often it’s as simple as substituting a whole grain blend for part of the flour in your favorite bread recipe. You may need to adjust the liquid a little, but other than that, it can be a straight substitution. If you want a 100% whole grain bread, start with your favorite whole wheat bread recipe. You can make great whole grain breads by starting with a white bread flour recipe and substituting the whole grains for part of the white flour. The result will be a lighter bread, sometimes an almost white bread, …

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American Hamburger Buns

buns

You can make hamburger buns or sandwich rolls from any mix or recipe. This homemade burger bun recipe is a little richer than most with milk instead of water. It makes a soft, delectable roll that your family will find irresistible. Be warned though: Once you’ve served burgers on fresh-baked buns, your family will never let you use store buns again. American Hamburger Bun Recipe Ingredients 5 1/2 cups plus of high gluten bread flour, divided 1 seven-gram packet instant yeast or two teaspoons 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon dough conditioner 2 cups milk 1 egg, warmed …

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Ciabatta Italian Bread

This rustic Italian ciabatta bread is unique. The dough is so wet that you don’t even shape the loaf—just scrape it onto the baking pan into any interesting shape. The resulting loaf is flat and irregular; Ciabatta in Italian means “old slipper”. The extra moisture in the dough creates an open, unusual crumb. The bread is baked in a steamy environment, which creates a wonderful chewy crust. We hope you enjoy this authentic Italian ciabatta bread. Note: Each step in the mixing of this bread is simple and straightforward but to develop the texture, the dough must rise three times. …

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Bread Making Primer

Bread-Making Primer Whether you’re new to making bread or just need a little refresher course, this bread-making primer will answer all of your questions about making bread. Click on any of the links below for a refresher course and extra information on each step to making bread. Making this in your bread machine? Click Here for Instructions Click any of the links below to jump to the right step: 1. Mix the Dough 2. Knead the Dough 3. Let it Rise 4. Form the Loaf 5. Bake 1. Mix the Bread Dough Bread Mixing Basics Additional Resources Bread Mixing Basics …

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Three Essentials for Making Bread

When it comes to making bread, I believe it is an art, and like all art forms, there are a few essentials that I would never go without. Here are a few tools that I consider essentials in my kitchen for making bread. But first, consider the Art and Science of Baking. The Art and Science of Baking Baking bread is not hard, but it pays to know the essentials and the science about baking. We’ve written a book by that title: How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking. If you are serious about baking, read that. But …

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Essential Guide to Making Bread

If You Want to Make the Best Bread, Here’s How It’s Done! Get Free Dough Conditioner for Lighter and Airier Bread. Add it to cart and use code “ZBEST” at checkout. Books have been written about baking bread but we’ll give you the essentials so you won’t have to read a thousand pages. This guide will make you a better bread baker. Ready? Here we go! The Bread Making Essentials Learn what you need to! Click on any of the links below. Use the best bread flour you can find. Knead the bread until it’s elastic. Cover the dough and …

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Drunken Bread: Proofing Bread Like an Artisan Bakery

Use Proofing Bags to Make Rising Easier and Bread Taste Better. Get 3 Bags FREE! Add them to cart and use code “ZBAGS” at checkout. How do artisan bakeries get great flavor into their bread? They make it drunk. By cooling the temperature of the dough to 55 degrees and letting it rest, a great flavor is developed. You can make your bread taste great too! It’s drunken bread— bread with natural alcohol from giving the yeast in the dough extra proofing time in a cool area. And it really works. The yeast in bread dough does two different things: …

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How to Form a Bread Loaf

We’ve already discussed how to mix bread dough, remembering to allow enough time for your yeast to work its magic and getting your dough just right. Now it’s time to go over how to form a bread loaf. In this article, we will discuss how to form the perfect bread loaf by hand, whether it’s free-standing or going into a bread pan. Basics of Forming a Bread Loaf Forming a bread loaf doesn’t have to be as hard as we often make it out to be. In fact, it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and you’ll …

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Can I Substitute Butter or Shortening for Oil in My Recipe?

When we developed this snickerdoodle mix, we wanted the crispness of shortening but the flavor of butter. So we used both. After several trials, it worked perfectly. So much so that the proprietor of a cookie store contacted us and asked if she could buy the mix in bulk and sell these in her store.“She said, ‘I’ll even put a sign on them saying, “Prepared Pantry Snickerdoodles”.’Of course, we said “yes.”Use the code above and share these extraordinary snickerdoodles with your family or friends.” Dennis Weaver The perfect cookies, the best sandwich loaves, the tastiest muffins— all of these require …

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How to Make Light and Airy Bread

It’s easy to make a lighter and airy bread loaf. All you need is the right balance of ingredients— which you can get with our easy bread mixes, dough conditioner, and enough time for the dough to rise. Time and time again, we’ve been told that our customers love the flavor that our bread mixes bring. We love our customers and know that you deserve the best, so we give you only the best mixes made with fresh ingredients and dough conditioner to give you an even fluffier bread loaf. But sometimes, it might be difficult to get the bread …

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How Long Should My Bread Rise to Get Light and Fluffy?

sourdough bread sliced

(Updated from May 10, 2014) Get a FREE Conditioner that will make your bread lighter, fluffier, and taller. See the reviews. Everyone wants light and fluffy bread loaves. The answer to getting light and fluffy bread is by letting the bread rise long enough. How long should your bread rise? That depends on the temperature of your kitchen. Yeast— the agent that allows bread to rise— is very sensitive to temperature. The best way to tell if your dough has risen enough is not by time—though it helps to set the timer so you don’t forget about your dough—but by …

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How to Mix Bread Dough

There’s nothing quite as rewarding as making homemade bread. Sure, it may take time, energy, and hard work; but it’s always worth it when you pull out that fresh loaf of bread from the oven, with the crust a delightful golden brown, filling the house with the sweet aromas and filling hungry mouths with tastes as if it came fresh from the bakery. Results like that can be done in no time at all and little effort in a bread machine, but in this article, we will be discussing how to make your bread by hand. There are four major …

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Seven Key Facts about Yeast that Will Make You a Better Baker

Hot water or water with too much chlorine or salt will kill yeast. You might try bottled water from the store. Make sure your water is under 120 degrees. What looks like yeast is not really yeast. They are little maltodextrin or other balls encapsulating yeast spores. The yeast spores are microscopic. Those little balls dissolve in the water to release the spores. Let the dough rise–a lot. In most applications, let it rise until it has doubled in size and then form the loaves. Forming the loaves forces much of the gas out and redistributes the yeast. Don’t handle …

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How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking

Become a Culinary Expert for FREE! Who needs an expensive culinary school when you can learn it all here with this free 250-page ebook? Learn how the ingredients work together, the best baking methods, tons of recipes, and even secrets from the baking pros. You’ll be an expert in no time and even have some tasty recipes up your sleeve to show off your new skills and impress the guests. Learn what they teach in culinary school–without the tuition! Baking: An Art and a Science I believe baking to be an art. There’s a certain creativity and flow to it …

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What Every Baker NEEDS to Know About Yeast

Dennis Weaver One of our good subscribers emailed me the other day with a question about yeast. I probably gave him way too much detail but I thought I would share this. The more you know about yeast, the better baker you will be. Hot water or water with too much chlorine or salt will kill yeast. You might try bottled water from the store. Make sure your water is under 120 degrees. What looks like yeast is not really yeast. They are little maltodextrin or other balls encapsulating yeast spores. The yeast spores are microscopic. Those little balls dissolve …

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Cherry Almond Monkey Bread Recipe

We got the idea for this monkey bread from a recipe that we found on our friend Linda Kilbride’s site, Recipe Goldmine. We thought our Swedish Vanilla Almond Bread would be a great starting point for this monkey bread. We drained the juice from the maraschino cherries and added that to the liquid for the bread. The result was a nice pink color in a cherry almond bread with a sticky glaze. 4 cups bread flour 1 seven gram instant yeast packet 1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries 1 large egg 1 1/2 cup combination juice, water and egg 2 tablespoons …

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The Versatile Santa Fe Sopaipillas

We like the versatility of sopaipillas. They are great at home as an accompaniment for meals, a vehicle for our favorite Mexican foods, or dipped in cinnamon and sugar and served as a snack for the kids.  But they also work as camping food.  They can be made ahead of time as a mix and they work as great, fresh bread on a backpacking trip.  And keep them in mind for emergency bread—they can be cooked over any heat when the power goes out.  Best of all, they are quick and easy. (We’re always interested in bread that can be …

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How to Make Pizzas with Your Own Refrigerator Dough

How would you like to mix up the dough for your favorite pizza before you go to bed, put the pizza dough in the refrigerator, and pull it out to make your pizza when you get home from work the next day? You can with this refrigerated pizza dough technique. We would like to tell you how and share some great pizza recipes. We’ll also give you a chance to save money on pizza tools—stones, pans, rollers, and cutters. One of the international pizza restaurant chains refrigerates their pizza dough for eight hours. We like that concept. Refrigerated dough makes …

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Summer Squash and Cheddar Cheese Pizza

This is a surprising pizza, a pizza made with summer squash.  It’s an excellent way to use the zucchini that grows so abundantly in your garden.  Because it’s a mild tasting pizza, even your kids will eat it. You can buy a ready-made crust at the store, use a pizza crust mix, or make your own.  The recipe below makes a very nice crust. Ingredients 1 thin pizza crust, unbaked 1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/8 inch slices 1 medium crookneck squash, sliced in 1/8 inch slices 1/2 medium red pepper, chopped 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped 1/2 cup marinara …

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