What are your best tips for new bread bakers?

When it comes to baking bread, we know that *many* of you gained Expert status over the last year... but lots of us could still use a little guidance! So, share your wisdom: What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring bread baker?

Emily Kochman


PaulaMarie S. April 18, 2021
A kitchen scale! For successful bread baking you MUST weigh your ingredients. A one cup measure of flour will vary quite a bit depending on your style (did you scoop and sweep? spoon in? sift?). A simple, inexpensive scale - mine, with a tare function, was less than $20 - will help keep your bakes consistent every time.
Emily K. April 19, 2021
Thank you, PaulaMarie—so true, and an incredibly handy tool for all sorts of baking projects.
Tom V. April 14, 2021
I would say bake the exact same recipe 10 times in a row. You'll learn your ingredients, your equipment, and improve your process.
Emily K. April 14, 2021
Practice makes perfect!
Nancy April 13, 2021
Learn the textures, timing and visual signals that your dough is ready and/or progressing in its development. Then, use more or less flour, water, time, as needed.
Treat the recipe as a guide not a dictator.
Make two or three basic breads (maybe of different types) over and over until you master them. Then branch out to variations or other breads.
AAccept ccasional failures and keep going. If you have repeated troubles, in one area, learn from a class or a live teacher to overcome them.
Enjoy this basic skill and basic food :)
Emily K. April 14, 2021
Excellent advice for bread baking... and almost anything else too! Thank you, Nancy.
Happygoin April 13, 2021
I think the most important thing is to invest in an instant read thermometer. Many recipes say to use “bath temp water” or “warm water” which is much too ambiguous to be helpful to novice bread bakers.

If your water is too warm, you’ll instantly kill your yeast. A foolproof way to avoid that is to use a thermometer.
Emily K. April 14, 2021
Thermometer—great tip!
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