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Over the years, I have tried my hand at bread making many times. Note, that I do not state that I have made GOOD bread! Most of the time it comes out crumbly or collapsed in the middle or it takes 3 hours to rise and I get tired of waiting and toss the whole thing in the trash! In expressing my frustrations with the King Arthur Flour staff, they offered to help and for this I am extremely grateful! I decided to share their Bread Making 101 interview with me readers!
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With a few of their products and a recipe from their cookbook I made a wonderful loaf of Vermont Oatmeal Maple Honey Bread that turned out perfectly if I do say so myself! As I kneaded the dough and greased the pans I started thinking about what I have done wrong in the past and realized I had TONS of questions about bread making! Here are my questions and the helpful answers I received from King Arthur flour! I hope this information helps you in your own bread making journey!
Bread Making 101: Tips from King Arthur Flour
What is the difference between bread flour and traditional white flour? Are the two interchangeable in a recipe? If you only have white flour, will adding gluten improve your final product?
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Using Whole Wheat Flour
If I want to use whole wheat flour when bread making , can I substitute it in any recipe for an equal amount of white flour? Whole wheat bread is much healthier but I never know which recipes I can use it in.
What Type of Yeast to Use?
What is the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast? If a recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of one can I use an equal amount of the other?
What part does salt play in bread making? Is it only flavor or does the yeast’s growth rely on it?
How Much Flour to Add?
I realized as I was reading the bread making chapter in your cookbook that I think I have been adding too much flour. I thought the dough should look relatively dry as I was kneading it. Is there a way to tell how much flour is the right amount when most recipes call for a range (for example 3 to 3 1/2 cups)
Rising Dough in the Refrigerator
The hardest part about bread making is sitting around all day waiting for it to rise! Can I put my rising dough in the fridge if I need to run out to slow down the rising time? Any tips on how to incorporate bread making into a busy schedule?
Making Sourdough Bread
Any tips on making sourdough bread? Do I start from a commercial starter (does King Arthur offer one?) or make my own?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.