There’s an art to making bread at home, local bakers say

The search to alleviate quarantine boredom has given rise to many trends. Posts about whipped coffee, fostering shelter animals and tie-dye projects have swarmed our social media feeds. Then there was all the bread making: like banana bread, focaccia and sourdough starters.

Our Daily Bread owner Al Himel and bakery delivery driver Darron Messina talked with 225 Dine about the at-home bread baking trend and gave advice for new bakers.

Bread was in high demand when the stay-at-home order was announced in mid-March, according to Himel. Customers were buying bread to stock their freezers, and Our Daily Bread cut down on baking some of its other goods to focus on keeping bread in stock.

A few weeks later, customers eventually began buying up Our Daily Bread’s stock of flour—taking on the quarantine at-home project of baking their own bread.

“Bread is the trend because it appeals to everyone’s tastes,” Messina says. “There are so many different types of variety and flavors of bread that will please anyone.”

Good bread, Messina says, has a good proof—meaning the bread was allowed to rise properly—and good consistency and texture, as well as being made with quality ingredients. 

Our Daily Bread’s Mainstay bread is a favorite and also the easiest for the shop to produce, according to Messina.  “Since it only needs a few ingredients, it has less margin for error,” Messina says.

Time, weather and temperature all affect how breads rise, making a perfect proof difficult to achieve. Messina warns about over-proofing, as over-proofed bread will fall in the oven. Collapsed bread results in a dense loaf.

Messina’s personal favorite bread to make is Our Daily Bread’s IVH bread, which is full of flavorful veggies and herbs. At home, you can use the same veggies and herbs to jump on another trend: focaccia bread art. This trend uses carefully cut and placed veggies and herbs to decorate the top of the bread, usually with floral patterns.

Fun dinner alert! Get this focaccia dough ready tonight and make this tomorrow with the kids. Fun and tasty! https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/focaccia-bread-art/

Posted by Sugar Geek Show on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Regardless of what bread you decide to make, persistence is key to success.

“Great bread is made through time and practice,” Messina says. “If the first time you do not succeed, try and try again.”

Check out some of Our Daily Bread’s recipes here. Some other easy at-home breads to try include this three-ingredient artisan bread or this three-ingredient rustic bread.

And we’ve got some easy bread recipes from 225 recipe writer Tracey Koch here, including a delicious and rustic French boule recipe, and one for a quick beer bread.

Have you been joining the at-home bread making trend? Let us know about your experience in the comments!

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