1. Incorrect addition of water
When mixing the dough for your bread, always make sure that you add the exact amount of water that is required. You can choose to Adhere strictly to the recipe or switch things up your own way.
Using a measuring cup will help you achieve this. One other way is by slowly adding water to the dry ingredients so that you get a feel of whether it's enough or not.
2. Making a mistake while measuring the ingredients
Yes, this mistake can be rather costly. To get the perfect loaf, you need to use just the right amount of every ingredient required. Like that above, using an appropriate measuring cup will help.
However, the most accurate method is through the use of a weighing scale.
3. Putting the salt directly on top of the yeast
If you didn't already know, the yeast dies when salt is poured over it, science says. So, when you want to add these to the mixture, make sure they are on opposite sides of the bowl and not on top of each other.
You can also mix them, at separate times, into the flour.
4. Inadequately proofing the bread dough
Proofing is an essential step in the breadmaking process. This is the stage that makes sure that the bread dough rises as it should and that the crumb is perfect.
Proofing should be done just right. When it is overdone, you get a flatter dough, which may also stick to the cling wrap.
To avoid over-proofing, use your finger to push into the side of your formed bread loaf. If the bread springs back fast and your indentation disappears, then it needs to proof for longer. When your dough gets to the stage where your indentation disappears much slower, then your bread is adequately proofed.
5. Facing to cover up the dough at all stages of the process
Never expose your bread dough to air! When this happens, it causes a skin to form over it, and that subsequently makes it difficult for the dough to rise sufficiently.
To avoid this, wrap the dough in cling film then place a clean kitchen towel over that.
6. Not creating steam in the oven
Although not commonly practiced, producing steam should not be ignored. It makes your bread more exciting to eat by giving it a chewy and flexible crust.
There are two ways to create steam in your domestic oven. For one, you can place a pan containing water in the oven while preheating it. It should be left in there for the first 20-25 minutes that you put the dough in there. Afterward, remove it so that the crust thickens.
As for the second method, immediately, you put the dough in the oven, spray the insides of the oven with water.
7. Letting the heat escape while baking
If the door is open within the first 20 minutes of baking, it won't allow for "oven spring" and will cause the crust to turn soft. Oven spring is the first rise of the bread in the oven, and it is most vital to the process.
Always ensure that the oven door is closed and the heat in. Also, allowing heat to escape will result in a soft crust. This is a crucial part of the bread-making process.