Calling Bread Bakers!
After several weeks of learning to bake bread, completly from scratch,...
I am getting consistently good results.
The kneading seemed to hold the key...I finally perfected that, after having kept the birds well feed.
I am quite pleased with my last few loaves. They look attractive, they are light and airy, they taste good, rise well etc............
BUT, after a couple of days, the bread crumbles when I attempt to slice it. It is not fit for making sandwhich slices.
Is this normal for homemade bread? Is there something more I can do? The reason I am bothering to do this at all is to avoid chemical preservatives.
It could be too dry or even kneaded too much (over kneading can break the gluten strands that bind it together). Also, try laying it on it's side to slice. (tip: if you lay it on it's side as it's cooling on a cooling rack, the rack will make nice marks it it for even slicing) Also make sure your knife is sharp (serrated preferred) so that you're slicking and not sawing the bread.
Try putting a slice of apple in with the bread when you store it. I usually use paper bags, but I think the loaf stays more moist in plastic bags, so you might want to try using plastic bags too. My homemade bread doesn't hold up well past day 4 anyways....(if there is any left with all the kids around, that is!)
Make sure you are using a good bread flour. I have had hit and miss luck when it comes to crumbly bread. A fantastic bread recipe that I have made is this one:
Try storing it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. This will help it stay fresh so it will not dry out so fast. We keep our "store bought" and homemade bread in the refrigerator.
Butter or other fat improves the keeping quality of bread a bit. But why do you think the french get their loaves delivered every morning like we get papers. Proper bread lasts a day or two at most at its best
Also store it in paper or a sealed paper bag or at the least air tight cling film.
There is a nice recipe here if anyone is interested
http://matthewkirk.hubpages.com/hub/How … -first-try
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