Who doesn’t love bread?! It’s a family favorite for us – whether it involves yeast or not!
Here are some of our top tips to keep in mind when making bread:
HOW MUCH YEAST TO USE: 1 package of yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast measured out
HOW TO STORE YEAST: Both active dry yeast and Instant yeast can be stored in the fridge or freezer. If it is unopened it can last for 1-2 years in either place. If you open the package it will last for 4 months in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. To make sure yeast is still good, mix 2 ¼ tsp yeast with 1 tsp sugar and ½ cup warm water. Let sit for 8-10 minutes. If it bubbles and has a yeast-like smell, then it’s still good. If it doesn’t, the yeast is too old and no longer working.
TESTING YEAST: To make sure yeast is still good, mix 2 ¼ tsp yeast with 1 tsp sugar and ½ cup warm water. Let sit for 8-10 minutes. If it bubbles and has a yeast-like smell, then it’s still good. If it doesn’t, the yeast is old and no longer working.
TO FREEZE BREAD: Let it cool completely and then double wrap in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe Ziploc bag. When you want to reheat it you can place it in the oven and warm it until ready to go.
CERAMIC DISH VS BREAD PAN: Whether you make yeast bread or a quick bread the type of baking pan you use can affect the bake time. In general ceramic dishes retain their heat much better than metal pans. If a recipe calls for a metal baking pan, but you want to use a glass or ceramic dish simply reduce the recommended bake temperature by 25°F.
Be patient: give the bread enough time to properly rise so that the gluten develops effectively and makes a nice and fluffy loaf of bread. If you rush the process then the bread will be flat and dense, rather than light and fluffy.
Use as little flour as possible when kneading. Most doughs need to be sticky, but if too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.
Don’t overwork your bread when kneading it. You’ll know it’s been kneaded enough because it should be smooth and hold it’s shape when shaped into a ball, but should also still feel elastic.
Rise Time: It is more important to pay attention to how much the bread rises than to be stickler about the timing. Many recipes will give a rise time suggestion based on “room temperature”, but a warmer room will make the dough rise faster and a colder room will make the dough rise more slowly. When the dough is double its size, then it is ready.
Under Proofing can make the dough more dense and flat. Over Proofing can make the dough rise too much and then fall, so keep that in mind.
So many reasons to love quick bread. Here are a few reasons why we love them, and why we think they’re great for emergencies:
They DO NOT require yeast, which is great for emergency situations when yeast may be hard to find!
They’re QUICK (hence the reason why they are called quick breads). Since yeast is not involved, you do not have to let the bread rise, which cuts down on the time to make.
Quick bread recipes are great for BEGINNERS. They usually just require mixing the ingredients and baking!
Most quick Breads can be adjusted to make mini loaves or muffins. Simply use the different pan size and adjust the bake time. For example:
Loaf: Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes
Mini loaf: Fill the mini loaf pans ⅔-¾ full with batter and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.
Muffins: fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter and bake at 350° for 28-30 minutes.
They’re also easy to test to make sure they are done. Bake times are not always exact. Always test for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer or toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, then the bread is done.
SOOO many great reasons to love quick breads! Be sure to check out all of our Quick Bread Recipes.
Baking is a science so measure accurately and combine the ingredients as stated in the recipe. Seemingly simple changes can affect the outcome.
Be careful using substitutions. Some may affect the final outcome.
No electric mixers needed. Most muffins can be easily mixed by hand. This also helps make sure that you don’t overmix your muffins.
Mixing the dry ingredients together separately helps ensure that you don’t overmix the batter.
If the recipe doesn’t state otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to fill your muffin cups ⅔ full.
The toothpick test is the easiest way to test if your muffins are done. Simply insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin if it comes out with just a few mist crumbs, then it’s done. You may need to retest if you insert it into a more liquid part of the muffin such as a blueberry.
Liners: For a crispier muffin, then don’t use a liner. Simply spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and add the batter directly into the pan.