Bread & Baking Tips

Bread & Baking Tips

Author -  Kate Morland & Vicki Martin, Nutritionists

No matter how much you try to follow a recipe, sometimes your baking just doesn’t end up looking like the picture. If you are finding your cake flops in the middle or your bread turns out like a brick, there are a few easy tips to improve your success rate. And if you are wondering how to make your baking a tad healthier, experiment with these grains!

Breads and cakes sometimes fall in the centre. To prevent this try the following:

Reduce the amount of the yeast or the water.  Fallen centres are common with bread baking, often because there is too much yeast or water - or sometimes both. Try reducing one or the other (not both together) to confirm which one is causing the problem.  Note that if the weather is humid or damp, it will alter the amounts of fluid or yeast required.

Add Healtheries Gluten Flour. Sometimes bread or cakes rise too fast, and don't have enough gluten protein to support their structure. Gluten is the protein part of wheat that makes your finished product strong, flexible and tender. For every cup of flour used in the recipe, substitute 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon with gluten flour. High grade flour contains more protein and will require less gluten flour.

  • Avoid the temptation to open the bread maker lid or oven door before the bread or cake is finally cooked. This allows valuable heat to escape, and may collapse the centre of your product.
  • Use dried yeast instead of fresh, as it may be more successful in bread making.
  • Make your flour finer. If you require lighter flour, you can put your stoneground flour into a food processor and process for a few minutes; this will make a finer product.

Experiment with grains and increase fibre and nutritional content with:

  • Ground Linseed or LSA: add 1 tablespoon to ½ cup to cakes, muffins, biscuits and breads. The amount will depend on your recipe and desired texture.
  • Bran flakes: replace ¼ to ½ cup of standard flour in your recipe with bran flakes. Mixture may require extra liquid e.g 1-2 tablespoons, to achieve usual consistency. As bran is distinctly flavoured with a courser texture, your original product will be altered in taste and mouth-feel. Experiment with smaller amounts of bran and use in recipes that tend to be moist e.g contain liquids or fruit.
  • Wholemeal flour: replace ¼ to ½ of your standard flour with wholemeal flour. Again your mixture may require 1-2 tablespoons of extra liquid. The texture and flavour of your original products is likely to be altered, so you may need to experiment a few times to achieve your desired taste.
  • Bircher muesli or oats: Adding oat based cereals to recipes like pancakes or muffins are both nutritious and tasty. Oats are great blended into smoothies or added to meatloaf and meatball mixtures. Plus they can be used in place of breadcrumbs for coating or crunchy toppings.
  • Ryemeal flour: Is wheat free but has similar properties to wheat flour. Contains gluten but in a lower amount than wheat flour. Ryemeal is perfect to add to breads and muffins as a substitute to standard white flour. It produces a darker rich colour, nutty flavour and heavy moist texture.
  • Cornmeal: replace a small portion e.g ¼ cup of wheat flour with cornmeal to improve the moisture, texture and lightness of breads, pikelets, loaves and cakes.
  • Wheatgerm: Substitute a small amount of regular flour e.g ¼ cup, with wheatgerm to add a sweet nutty flavour. You can also add toasted wheatgerm to meat dishes, eggs or use as a yummy topping for salads, cereals, desserts or casseroles.