Get Bread-ucated: Bread Baking 101

By: Victoria Le Maire, RD, LD

Bread has been at the core of the western diet for hundreds of years. It’s a staple in the kitchen, the foundation for the perfect sandwich, the base for an artisan avocado spread.

Why is homemade bread taking social media by storm? It consistently lands in the top ten most-searched topics according to Google Trends. If you’re looking to awaken your inner foodie, here are a few of tips that will set you up for success on your bread-baking adventure:

1. Start simple

Finding a no-knead recipe makes this process so easy! Using minimal ingredients and preparation will allow you to focus on the task at hand and create a bountiful bread.

2. Lay it all out

Sticking to the theme of simplicity, try this: before starting, take out all necessary ingredients and measure them ahead of time.

3. Read the instructions

This might seem obvious, but it never hurts to hear it again. In a time where people are known to multi-task, baking bread requires your attention. Give your loaf the love it “kneads.”

4. Know your yeast

There are two types of yeast used to leaven bread: active dry yeast and instant yeast. Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in warm water before using while instant yeast can be mixed into dry ingredients right away. Some recipes suggest that swapping yeast can alter the final product, so read the directions carefully.

5. Have fun

Make sure you’re relaxed through this process and know that your bread might look a little different than the picture you saw on social media. Have patience as well. We promise it will be worth the wait. No matter what, you get to have the satisfaction and feel the accomplishment of creating bread from scratch!

We know all pantries look a little different. Some might have white flour; others might have whole wheat flour or a mix of everything. That’s OK! Here are some examples of bread varieties you can create with the flour you have on hand:

  • Basic White Sandwich Bread: This is the classic loaf of bread we’re all used to seeing at the grocery store. It will be the center of your next sandwich masterpiece.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Bread: This tasty, peanut butter-glazed banana bread requires no kneading or time to rise – just mix everything together and let your over do the hard work.
  • No-Knead Pretzel Focaccia: Another classic, no-fuss bread recipe. Get creative with this one, sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice before baking. Use fresh garlic and cheese on top to serve with your favorite Italian dish.
  • Avocado Lime Bread: Do you have over-ripe avocados on hand? Instead of tossing them out, use them to make this easy, sweet and zesty bread.

Now that you’ve created your bread, here are some ways use it:

  • Create an extra-cheesy grilled cheese.
  • Make DIY breadcrumbs to add to your favorite salad.
  • Treat yourself with homemade French toast.
  • Try a savory toast for breakfast topped with avocado, tomato and an egg of your choice.

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