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What Are the Best Tips for Baking Whole Grain Bread?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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The best tips for baking whole grain bread are to soak the grains prior to adding them to the dough, to leave the dough to rise twice before baking, to coat the bread with butter before baking it, and to avoid making the dough too dry. These tips help to make the bread rise as much as possible and not go too firm during cooking. The grains must be soaked to soften them and make them easier to eat. Coating the bread in melted butter before baking helps to stop the crust from going too hard when cooked.

Grains included in whole grain bread need to be soaked before they are added to the dough mixture. When baking whole grain bread, un-soaked grains can be tough and difficult to eat. Bakers should put the grains in a cup of water overnight before baking. They should take into account that the grains will swell during the soaking process. The water should be added to the dough along with the grains.

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Letting the dough rise twice is a good tip for baking whole grain bread. Many bakers only leave bread to rise once before punching down and baking. This reduces the amount of air holes in the finished loaf and makes the bread denser. The bread should be left to rise twice to increase the amount of air holes in the loaf and make it easier to eat. Bakers should cover the dough with a damp towel to prevent air from getting to the dough.

Wet dough is better than dry dough when baking whole grain bread. Ideally, the dough should stick to the baker’s fingers slightly during kneading but not leave residue. Many amateur bakers struggle to get the consistency of the dough right. If the baker isn’t sure, he or she should leave the bread slightly too wet rather than making it too dry. Dry dough often goes too tough during cooking and the resulting bread is harder to eat.

Coating the top of the loaf in melted butter is another good tip when baking whole grain bread. This prevents the top crust from becoming too tough and difficult to eat. Bakers should melt some butter and then lightly brush it over the top of the loaf before it goes into the oven. Each loaf should be brushed with around two tablespoons of melted butter or margarine. The bread should be left to cool after it is cooked.

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