Bread Tips from the Teaching Kitchen
Roll out the dough
Make sure you have a large surface to work on. Sprinkle a layer of flour on the surface - this will keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
Never roll breadsticks out individually! Form a square with the dough and cover with toppings making sure to cover with egg wash first (so toppings stick).
The toppings pictured are: chili powder and parmesean cheese on the left and sesame seeds on the right.
Cut 1" slices from the dough square and place them on a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal
You can get fancy twisted breadsticks by pinching the top of two pieces of dough together and gently twisting.
Finish off by pinching the bottom. Yum!
To make a braided loaf of bread you start with three thick strands of dough on a clean surface covered with flour.
Next, lift (don't twist!) each strand and create a loose braid. Be careful not to stretch and not to make the braid too tight - you want oxygen to be able to get into all crevasses so the bread is properly baked.
Finish by sealing off the end by pinching the three pieces together and tucking the end underneath the bread.
Carefully lift the bread onto a sheet covered with oil and cornmeal
Brush the egg wash on top. Egg wash consists of 1-2 beaten eggs.
Cover the braided dough with a topping. We used sesame seeds.
Next, bread has to "proof." Proofing is the final dough-rise step before baking - this is the rest period where the yeast is allowed to leaven the dough.
The crazy looking contraption below is called a "dough proofer." A dough proofer is a chamber used in baking that encourages fermentation of dough by yeast through warm temperatures and controlled humidity. The warm temperatures increase the activity of the yeast, resulting in increased carbon dioxide production and a higher, faster rise.
Here's some proofed bread coming out of the dough proofer. It almost tripled in size!
Some proofed bread ready to go in the oven.
Here's the braided loaf after it's been proofed and baked. We checked the internal tempature and it's ready to come out -- 200 degrees exactly!
Some baked bread on the cooling rack. This has been covered with asiago cheese, sesame seeds and an egg wash.
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