Whether it’s rustic, grain-free or gluten-free, baking bread is crucial to getting the perfect result. Aside from succeeding, making it soft on the inside and crispy on the outside is sometimes quite an art. Do you need a little help? In this article, you will discover the main steps to follow to successfully bake bread without taking false notes following the advice of Roger Le Fur, a baker in Chamonix.

What is the secret of baking bread perfectly in the oven?

It is one of the most consumed foods in the world. Spread, au gratin, bruschetta, plain or grilled, bread is a big star in the culinary world. It proudly imposes itself on all tables and accompanies most of our dishes, although nutritionists recommend consuming it in moderation. Precisely to limit calories, many people prefer homemade bread, made only with natural ingredients. It will also be fresher and tastier.

Want to know the secret of how to bake delicious homemade bread in the oven? Specifically, the main thing to consider is the composition of the bread and the baking temperature. If you reduce the purchase of commercial bread and are happy to choose to prepare it in your kitchen, the experts will point out the optimal baking time.

What is the ideal temperature for baking bread?

If you want your homemade bread to have a good texture, a light golden color and a crispy crust, experts advise an oven temperature between 320 and 390 °F. However, if you want it to be a bit softer, you will have to lower the temperature a bit. Another important aspect: Follow the recipe preparation to the letter and choose ingredients carefully. For example, experts advise against adding too much yeast to the manufacturing process, as you risk spoiling the dough.

Here are the preparation steps:

Baking bread at home is not so complicated. It is still necessary not to make mistakes and follow the way below. Ingredients (for 2 classic white breads in the oven):

  • 1 lbs. flour
  • 10 oz slightly warm water
  • 5 once fine salt
  • 2 packets of baker’s yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

The first thing to do is to hydrate the yeast. Put some water in a bowl: Pour yeast and sugar. Stir for about 2 minutes with a wooden spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. In the bowl of the mixer, pour the lukewarm water, hydrated yeast, olive oil and 5 tablespoons of flour. Knead well for a few minutes and form the dough into a ball. Cover it with a clean tea towel and let it rise in a warm place at room temperature for about 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time you will see that the dough has risen and is filled with bubbles. It is time to incorporate the rest of the flour.

Knead again by hand to obtain a thick and homogeneous ball that is quite elastic when you touch it with your fingers. At this point, add the salt. Once it has doubled in size and is compact, place it on a well-floured work surface. Knead for a few more minutes. If you rub your hands with a little olive oil, it won’t stick to you. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest on a floured work surface for half an hour. Then cut it into two pieces in the desired shape. Cover them with the towel. Spread a little oil on the baking paper as well as the inside of the mold, which will be used for baking. After 30 minutes, the dough will be ready to bake. Grease your hands with oil and squeeze the air out of the bread. Make some cuts on the baking sheet with a knife to facilitate the growth of the loaves. Dust with a little flour to give the bread a rustic look. Cover the dough with the pan to prevent the moisture from escaping from the bread. Preheat the oven to 410 °F. Give the bread the desired shape (baguette or ball) Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating heat from top to bottom. Then remove the breads from the oven, remove the Pyrex mold and place them on the rack to cool slightly before serving on the table.

Good to know: you wonder how much water you should use for 1.1 lbs of flour? For the dough to have a smooth, flexible and non-sticky texture, it largely depends on the balance between water and flour. A lack of water will make the dough rough, dry and not pliable. Therefore, for 1.1 lbs of flour, use about 1 cup of water.

How do you know if the bread is baked?

The safest technique is the following: It consists in piercing the bread with a toothpick and taking it out. If it is dry, the bread is perfectly baked. On the other hand, if it has lumps and is moist, it means that the bread is still raw.

Why is my bread not baking on the inside?

As you drool over the beautiful browning of the bread baking in the oven, you can’t wait to finally get it out so you can taste it. But as soon as you make the first cut, you’re suddenly overcome with frustration: you’re very disappointed that it wasn’t cooked enough on the inside. But why does this setback happen to you often? Here are the reasons that could explain it:

  • Your oven may have been too hot, causing the crust of the bread to cook faster than the inside
  • You probably took the bread out of the oven a little too soon.
  • You didn’t let the dough come to room temperature before baking.
  • You didn’t check the ideal internal temperature of your bread.

How do I heat bread in the oven?

It is important to follow a few golden rules! Preheat the oven to 345 °F, which is the ideal temperature for heating the bread. After putting it inside, let it soak for 5-10 minutes. To achieve the perfect consistency, there is a little trick: you need to soak the bread you want to heat up. Just wet it on both sides with a little water before putting it in the oven. It is also possible to season it with salt, butter, oregano or garlic.