Last Rise and Baking
Published Tuesday, February 07, 2006 by Susan Och | E-mail this post
|I used to let my loaves rise on the counter under a damp dishtowel, but I found that the dishtowel often stuck to the dough, causing it to fall again before I got it into the oven. Now I set all four loves side by side on the middle oven rack and let them rise in the cold oven.|
|If you have kneaded well, they will rise for quite a while. When you have more experience you can try for giant loaves. The first time just get wait until they have filled the sides of the pan and rounded an inch or two over the top of the pan.|
| After about an hour, I check them. If they look nice and plump, I turn the oven on to 350 degrees and set the timer for 40 minutes. (If they are going into a preheated oven they only need 35 minutes.)||>|
| Lately I have been using the timed cook feature on my oven to start the bread after I have left the house. This is only a good idea if there is going to be someone home at the end of the cook time to take the bread out of the pans, as it will sweat and turn mushy if it is left to cool in the pans. My teenagers love it when they are home alone and suddenly smell bread baking.|
| Bread is done when you turn it out of the pan and the bottom of the loaf looks golden and sounds a little hollow when you tap it with your knuckles. If you have an instant read probe thermometer the internal temp should be about 190 degrees.|
Cut bread with a bread knife, that is a serrated knife. The serrations make the knife rip instead of crushing. Cooled bread is easier to cut, but everyone wants to eat fresh bread out of the oven, even if the loaves get mashed in the process.When the bread has completely cooled, you can put it into plastic bags for storage.