Basic Baking

Basic Baking

Basic Baking
Yeast baking is so easy! Just follow these basic steps.

1. Preparing the Yeast
Anchor Bakers Cube Yeast or Active Dry Yeast must be dissolved in lukewarm sugar water  before use.
Mix and dissolve 5ml sugar in 125ml lukewarm water. Crumble the Bakers Cube Yeast or sprinkle the Active dry Yeast into sugar water and set aside in a warm place for 10-15 minutes  until frothy.  The froth indicates that the yeast is active and ready for use. Instant Dry Yeast, however, must not be dissolved, but added directly to the dry ingredients.

2. Mixing
Add the activated Bakers Cube or Active Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients according to the method of the recipe.A soft, pliable dough will rise quickly and successfully. The amount of liquid used in the recipe depends on the moisture content of the flour, and should be adjusted accordingly to ensure a soft, pliable dough.  Instant Dry Yeast is added directly to the dry ingredients, hereafter, liquid is added to make the dough soft.

3. Kneading
Dough must be kneaded thoroughly in order to distribute the yeast and develop the gluten.  The kneading process takes 5 minutes with an electric mixer or 10 minutes by hand.  The kneading time depends on the quantity of dough, the type of flour used and on kneading skills.

As cake flour is more refined, it requires a shorter kneading time than bread flour. Dough for white bread and rusks require a longer kneading time to yield a well risen bake. Kneading by hand is done on a lightly floured surface by pressing and folding the dough repeatedly until smooth and elastic.

To test if the kneading has been successful, pinch off a piece of the dough, press it flat and stretch.  If the dough tears, continue to knead until it becomes elastic.

4. Rising
Cover the dough with greased plastic to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the dough to rest.  Dough made with Bakers Cube Yeast or Active Dry Yeast must rest for 25-30 minutes whilst dough made with Instant Dry Yeast need only rest for 10-15 minutes.  This resting period allows the yeast to dissolve and start the fermentation process.

Dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days and used when required for baking.

5. Knocking down
Once the dough has risen, it is then knocked down to release all the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast.  For a finer texture, allow the dough to rise a second time, knock down and shape.
Knock down by pressing your knuckles repeatedly over the risen dough.  Ingredients such as dried fruit and grated cheese should be knocked into the dough, until well distributed.

6. Shaping
Shape the dough according to the recipe. You can create interesting shapes such as knotted breads, plaits and fancy rolls. Do not overfill the pans as you need to allow enough space for the dough to rise freely.  Dough which is placed on a baking tray should not be too soft as it will not hold its shape.

Grease the pans with a firm fat or lard.

7. Final rising
Brush bread and rolls with water then cover them with greased plastic to prevent drying.  Allow to rise in a warm place (±28°C) until double in volume. Brush savoury and sweet bakes lightly with egg once they have risen and then place them into the oven.

8. Baking

  • Sweet Bakes  – 180°C/350°F
  • Bread / Rolls  – 200°C/400°F
  • Pita / Bread Sticks – 220°C/425°F

The finished baked products should be light in colour, with a firm, springy texture.  Tap the bread with your knuckles, a hollow sound indicates that the bread is baked.  An under-baked product will be heavy, with a strong yeast aroma and will stale quickly.

9. Cooling of Bread
Turn the baked products out of the pans as soon as they are removed from the oven – to prevent moistness. Place the baked products on a wire rack and cut when completely cool.