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Baker's Classroom

Start Baking Better Bread

In our Baker’s Classroom we share what we’ve learned. Our goal is to offer not only baking tools, but also learning resources, to our broad community of bakers. We’ll tell you about things we’ve tried — many that have worked, and some that haven’t. Explore Baking Techniques, the Ingredient Directory, our Baker’s Glossary, and the Baker’s Q&A.

We receive a lot of questions about how to bakie better bread! Follow along with our step-by-step instructions and videos, and learn along with expert bakers Jim Challenger and James Beard Award winner Greg Wade.

As a daily baker, Jim Challenger is constantly discovering and evaluating new ingredients to bring to his bread. The Ingredient Directory is our place for learning about all the elements that we can bring to our collective baking.

And what is the difference between a hard white spring wheat and a hard red spring wheat anyway?

Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that stays crunchy even after cooking with it. If you do cook amaranth in water and it gets goopy, just rinse it off. Amaranth is often cooked into a porridge or sprouted before adding it to dough.
This is one of the varieties of wheat that’s known as an Ancient Grain. It is the trademarked variety of Khorasan.
It has a very golden whiteness that brings unique flavor varieties to cakes.

Bakers lay claim to a lot of good words: Banneton, Biga, Blowout, Boulot, Brotform. And these are just a few. Here’s where we go deep into the ABCs.

This is a term applied to different cereal grains that have undergone little change through the years. It usually includes buckwheat, emmer, einkorn, quinoa, and spelt. See also Heirloom Grains, Heritage Grains, and Landrace Grains.
This is a French bread that’s similar to a baguette but smaller.
When rye bread is baking, the dough structure can break down and is called the starch attack. This can be prevented by making rye bread with a sourdough culture which inhibits the excess amylase activity.

We’ve gathered and answered many of the questions we hear from bakers. From Why is my starter runny? to How do I get big holes in my bread? —to questions about proofing, hydration, and autolyse, we’ve got you covered. 

If you knew your starter was strong when you used it or your yeast was not old, then you may just be getting impatient. Dough takes time to rise, and the amount of time depends on the temperature of your dough. When your dough is warmer, your dough will rise faster. When your dough is cooler, then your dough will rise slower. You can always use more or less starter or yeast the next time to adjust the fermentation to your schedule.

If you’re asking this question, then our guess is that you’re trying to make bread using a dough that’s got too much water in it for your skills. Yes, you can throw flour all over your bench, but it won’t really help you make a great loaf of bread with such a dough. Our suggestion would be to cut back on some of the water in your recipe and try again.

The short answer is no. Sometimes if you’re doing an ambient proof so you can bake your dough the same day that you make it, then 30 minutes in the freezer will make it easier to score.

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