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Fluffy home made bread secrets..

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I found I had variable results using dried yeast so switched to fresh around 2 years ago - have never had a problem since.

 

I also use a stand mixer with dough hook, i just don't have the strength to kneed for the length of time it needs to give a good result.

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Fresh yeast - if you can find it - is deffo better than dried yeast... but I think the main secret is in the kneading. My home-made bread usually tastes quite nice, but has the denseness and consistency of a house-brick! I have neither the physical strength, nor the patience to knead properly. You need big strong hands, muscly forearms and lots of time and energy to knead properly! I think this is why blokes tend to usually (although not always) make better bread-makers than women do - it's all about the pounding and pummelling...the stretching and yanking!!

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if you ask at a supermarket that makes their own bread they will generally give you fresh yeast sainsburys and tescos do on abbeydale road

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My recipe is basically that of chrispin2 but do add the oil, olive or sunflower and don't be tempted to add extra flour if it seems too sticky or wet, apart from a very little to dust your work surface. Just keep kneading for 10-12 minutes (and that's without too many pauses) until you feel the dough getting elastic and not sticking to your fingers. Then give it a good hour to rise until it doubles in size. Don't panic. My bread was like yours and I despaired then one day it all clicked, just like that! Keep going and you will be rewarded!

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