Hello bakers! This time in Bake Off at Home, we’re getting some bread-making advice from contestant Ilona Nicola.
If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll know that we’ve been sharing clever and easy baking recipes and tips from the folks competing in this season of The Great Australian Bake Off. This tip is perfect for those of you who enjoy baking bread at home – or perhaps have dreams of doing so.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Bake Off at Home: How to simplify your bread recipe
Nicola shared that “when making bread, the fridge is your friend”.
“If you are in the midst of making bread, and you need to buy beer, meet friends, make a cat video… no worries! Just pop your dough in the fridge. Chilling dough slows the fermentation process, buying you extra time,” she shared over email.
In essence, she said that when you return from your time away, you can simply pick up your bread recipe where you left off and that it actually may give you a better result in the long run.
“[When you’ve returned] take your dough from the fridge, bring it back to room temperature and continue where you left off. A slow fermentation, using the fridge, also improves the texture and flavour of bread. A slow overnight proof in the fridge limits how sour the dough becomes and encourages gluten formation –which gives bread its nice structure and ‘chew’,” she explained.
“Shaping the dough while it is cold means it is less sticky and easier to handle. This leads to less manipulating, which means lighter, more aerated bread. Win-win.”
Nicola went on to share that cold fermentation is a technique that has been used in pizza dough recipes for some time now and one that J. Kenji López-Alt also raves about.
If you want to give yourself more time to bake your bread, and get a tastier loaf along the way, give this hack a try!
The Great Australian Bake Off airs Tuesdays at 8.30 pm from June 13 on FOXTEL.
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