Hey Paul, As a regular watcher of The Great Baking Show I noticed that all the bakers weigh ingredients instead of measuring them. Is there a significance to this practice? Hope you're having an awesome day. Thanks Mia from the US
Hi Mia, Thanks for your message and thanks for watching the show. I always weigh ingredients using digital scales. For me they are an essential piece of my kitchen kit. It's more accurate and helps create the perfect bake. Happy baking and stay safe!
Hi Paul, Good afternoon, my husband uses your recipe to make a bloomer loaf quite often. Because of the situation at the moment I am unable to buy any quick action yeast, I did manage to find some dried active yeast but of course it has to be activated. How would the recipe differ? Thank you. Sue
Hi Sue ,
When using dried active yeast it needs reactivating. For 500g of strong flour use 1tbsp of dried active yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 150ml warm water. You need to dissolve the sugar in the water then add the yeast and stir well. Leave for 10-15 min then use with the additional water from the recipe. Enjoy, happy baking and stay safe!
Hi Paul, I hope you are keeping well in this current troubled time. I'm new to baking and have used sachets of dried yeast but today I was given a wedge of fresh yeast! But now I have a few questions. How do I store it? Can I freeze it? How do I use it in comparison to the sachets? Stay safe and many thanks. Graeme Lee
Hi Graeme, Fresh yeast can be stored in the fridge for 3 weeks. You can freeze it but the results are not as good and you may need to increase the amount you use from frozen. If you using fresh yeast you need 3 times the weight of dried. So if the recipe says 7g dried yeast you need 21g of fresh yeast. Enjoy, happy baking and stay safe!
Hi Paul, Is it possible to make bread without salt? Thanks
Hi, Yes this is possible, but it will effect the taste and structure of the loaf. Salt has two functions, not only does it add flavour, but it also inhibits the growth of the yeast. This slows down the rising process allowing the gluten to strengthen and give the bread a better crumb and crust. You only use 1-2 tsp of salt per 500g of flour. Which is a very small amount once the loaf is baked and sliced. Enjoy, happy baking and stay safe!
Annie from London asks:
Hi Paul, I am on my school holidays and am planning to do lots of baking. One of my favourite recipes is your banana and chocolate bread, it’s the best banana bread recipe I have tried. I want to bake a loaf to take to my family next week and wondered if it can be frozen. Thanks Annie
Hi Annie, I am so glad you like the recipe and are enjoying baking during your holidays. Yes my recipe can easily be frozen. Simply bake as the recipe says and then once baked and cooled completely, simply wrap it in baking paper and a food bag and pop in the freezer. Enjoy & Happy Baking!
Nancy from Canada asks:
Hi Paul, I have tried twice to make sourdough and the basic bread recipe from your book. Everything works fine until the final rise where they become a wet sloppy mess that spreads! What am I doing wrong? Thanks Nancy
Hi Nancy, Sorry that you have been struggling with bread making. I would suggest that you reduce the amount of water you add by 10%. I have found that different brands of flour absorb different amounts of water so by reducing it at the final prove it should be more stable. Best of luck & Happy Baking!
Hi Paul, my friend and I made a sourdough loaf today using your recipe. It tasted delicious and had a really good crust, but it was a bit dense. Can you please give us some tips on how to make it a bit more open in texture? Would greatly appreciate your advice. Thanks Carol
Hi Carol, I am so glad you that you tried the recipe and that you enjoyed the taste. To get a more open structure you need a wetter dough. Although this is harder to work with you will find that the structure will be more to your liking. Give it a go and fingers crossed you will see a difference. Happy Baking!
More baking basics
Here are some of my top tips to ensure your bakes are perfect every time.