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It is almost winter. That means it's time for mothers to switch on their ovens and treat their families to fresh, home-made bread.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly baked bread, let alone the delicious aroma that fills the house.
With interest rates and food prices going up all the time, home-made bread is a great option.
According to Tumi Tau, a restaurant owner, home-made bread is substantially tastier than store-bought bread. It is cheaper to make, and it does not take as much time as you think.
Tau also says that one does not have to be a gourmet chef to produce tasty, nutritious bread.
"Bread-making is an art that has been perfected over time. The secret is in mixing and measuring everything accurately. The trick is to make sure that you don't add too much or too little water and that the temperature is perfect," she says.
"Being able to control the ingredients also means that you control the quality of the bread."
Tau says that no matter what sort of bread one bakes, the basic ingredients are flour, sugar, yeast, water or milk, oil or butter and salt.
"It takes practice to get the hang of making bread. You might make mistakes in the beginning, but never give up.
BREAD PROBLEM SOLVING
What if it does not rise?
Your liquid was either too hot or too cold and this killed the yeast. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 cup of very warm water. Mix in 1/2 cup of flour.
Let this mixture stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes. It will turn foamy and spongy.
Beat this mixture into the flour, then knead in enough flour to correct the consistency.
Cover the dough and place it in a warm area to rise. Proceed as normal.
What if my bread rises too much?
Simply punch it down, re-shape it and let it rise until it doubles.
How often can I punch the dough down?
Twice is optimal, but you can do it more often to correct dough that has over risen. You must try to punch the dough down as soon as it has risen in order to have bread with a fine texture. Bread that has over-risen will be have a coarse texture.
What if I don't have time to finish making the bread?
No problem. Let the dough rise once, then punch it down, place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate it.
You can even freeze it if you like. When you're ready to continue, remove the dough from the cold, let it rise and continue. - Additional information from www.fabulousfoods.com