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Three ways to upgrade your homemade bread

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Discover three ways to upgrade your homemade bread to give it new life with exciting flavour variations.

If you’re not baking homemade bread in your kitchen this winter, you’re missing out. It’s simple, fun, nutritious and a great activity to bring your friends and family together in the chilly weather.

Once you’ve mastered one recipe for crusty homemade bread you can experiment with ways to transform it into something new every time.

Start with the perfect homemade bread dough

Before you do anything fancy with your homemade bread, you’ll need to make the dough. Our recipe for crusty homemade bread is the perfect base, and can even be served plain for a more traditional bread experience – in fact you’ll struggle not to eat it all as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This recipe is relatively simple and there’s no science behind making an excellent loaf of homemade bread, however you will need a clear bench for kneading and the patience required to let the yeast work its magic. Got a NEFF oven with VarioSteam®? Don’t be scared of this function – it helps to make your bread have a crusty exterior and a soft, delicious crumb on the inside.

Add some extra, special ingredients

An easy way to upgrade your loaf of homemade bread is to add tasty ingredients to the dough prior to baking. There is a plethora of different ingredients that can be added, each offering something fresh and appealing to different tastes.

We like adding fennel seeds to bring out the natural aromas, saffron for subtle sweetness, olives to cultivate a rustic taste and cardamom for strong fragrance and warmth. You could also add more seeds, such as chia or pumpkin seeds, for added grains and texture.

How to pick your additional ingredients

Before you stir through or add any additional ingredients to your loaf of bread, you need to consider how they might affect your final result. For example, adding fruit or vegetables such as figs or olives may increase the moisture content of your dough, so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe to balance it out.

Seeds, nuts and spices can generally be added to your recipe in small amounts – but be prepared for lumpy dough if they aren’t finely chopped. Cinnamon can increase the yeast content in some dough, which is why it is usually added as a flavour after the bake. While honey can make for a more golden crust and subtly sweet flavour, it can also kill yeast if used in large amounts. Do your research before adding anything to your tried and true recipe for more predictable results.

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