To make good homemade bread, first and foremost you need good ingredients! Some people prefer to knead bread by hand and others prefer to use a machine. Terry Pomerantz offers us some tips to help us choose the best ingredients and the best breadmaker. And since good bread has to be shared, whether in Montreal or Naples, Terry reveals to us the secrets of his pizza dough.
The flavour of your bread, the crispness of its crust and the texture of its crumb depend on the quality of the ingredients you use. From the quality of these ingredients also stems that heavenly aroma which makes us exclaim “Yum! Smells like warm, freshly made bread!”
The ingredients to make bread are simple: flour, yeast, salt, sugar and a little water. Depending on the recipe, you may add eggs, milk, butter, dried fruit or seeds (sesame, flax, sunflower, chia).
Specialists suggest that you pay special attention to the bread flour you choose. These flours are more or less refined and always contain a greater or lesser amount of gluten. Type T55 wheat flour is ideal for baking, while T65, T80, T110 and T150 wheat flours are coarser and rustic.
It should be noted that gluten-free flours should only make up a part of the total amount of flour used. For example, rye flour should make up only one third of all the flour in your rye bread recipe. Oat, barley, millet, spelt and corn flours should make up only 20% of the total flour in these types of bread.
Do not use baking powder to make your bread. Baking powder is for baking purposes only. Use fresh or active dry yeast, or instant yeast to make bread rise. While dry yeast does not need to be rehydrated, fresh yeast should be diluted in warm water before being added to the flour. If you use a breadmaker, be sure to choose a bread machine yeast.
Read your breadmaker’s user manual
Each bread making machine has its own specificities. Often, a recipe that suits one does not suit another. To make the best bread, read the instructions carefully. In general, the manufacturers will give you precise details about the order in which the ingredients should be put in the bowl and the programming you need to choose.
Which breadmaker to choose?
The advantage of a breadmaker is that you can make your own fresh, warm bread that fills your home with fragrance. Who can resist a loaf that has just come out of the oven? Certainly not Terry Pomerantz! With experience, you will also be able to make excellent sesame, cheese and egg breads, as well as doughnuts, buns and bagels. To make gluten-free bread, make sure the breadmaker you’ve chosen allows for it.
Some criteria for choosing your breadmaker
Here are some criteria that will help you choose the breadmaker that best suits your needs.
- Bread pan capacity
If you plan to bake 500 g of bread at a time, consider a small machine. However, if there are more than 4 of you at home, choose a 1.5 kg pan.
The power of bread machines ranges from 500 to 1,600 watts. But do you actually need to consume that much energy to bake the bread you need?
- Specific functions
Manufacturers of breadmakers are very creative. They offer machines with very sophisticated functions. However, “Do you really need it?“ (Pierre-Yves McSween, French text only).
- Your budget
Prices vary from $99.99 for entry-range models—often from house labels of big box stores—to over $300 or even $500 for sophisticated breadmakers such as the Breville or KoMo Mills.
It is important to consider the dimensions of the breadmaker you will buy. On your kitchen counter, it will probably be placed next to the coffeemaker, toaster and food processor.
Origin of the pizza dough
Pizza is a recipe of Italian cuisine originating from Naples. It is essentially a round flattened base of dough topped with various ingredients: tomato sauce, olives, anchovies, prosciutto, provolone, vegetables and cheese such as mozzarella, parmesan or gorgonzola.
Terry Pomerantz’s easy pizza dough recipe
The secret to Terry’s pizza dough is simplicity itself! “The only dough I bake that looks like bread is pizza dough. I found a very simple recipe on the KitchenAid website.”
Ingredients for 6 people
- 375 g flour
- 1 packet of yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- In the mixer bowl, mix the flour, salt and dry yeast with a whisk.
- Place the dough hook on the mixer.
- Pour in the oil.
- Start the mixer on medium and gently pour in the warm water.
- Knead for 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap.
- Let the pizza dough rise for at least one hour at room temperature (the dough should double in volume).
And there you have it: the dough is ready, and it is delicious. All that’s left to do is to spread it out on a baking tray, garnish it and bake for 30 minutes at 410 °F (210 °C).
“Good homemade bread, good wine, family and friends together (don’t lose hope, gatherings will be allowed again!), that’s happiness. Have fun!” Terry Pomerantz concludes by breaking a loaf of warm bread.