Miele Ovens provide the perfect environment for baking bread, as you can achieve and maintain high and accurate temperatures. Our talented lead culinary manager, Cesar Fernandez provides insight into different proving processes for the best results and shares his top tips on how to achieve perfectly baked bread.
What is the advantage of using a Miele Oven with Moisture Plus?
“Miele’s exclusive Moisture Plus technology allows you to inject steam into the oven at different points during the baking process. Moisture is key when baking bread as it helps the dough lift and rise, whilst creating the most amazing crust. What’s more, most Miele models allow you to time control the bursts of steam, making the process even easier. If bread is baked without any humidity, it tends to look dull and feel doughy on the inside.”
Any other useful programmes when making bread?
“If you have never baked bread before, you can follow the automatic programmes on selected ovens to create the perfect loaf without having to think about temperatures and timings. Once you have perfected your bread recipes, you can also save your tried and tested steps and temperature to ensure the exact same results overtime.”
Tell us about the different types of proving methods and why they should be used?
“Depending on the type of bread, you might want to opt for a quick or slow proving method. As a general rule, I will always prove regular bread dough at around 40°C, as this speeds up the proving process. Enriched doughs such as brioche require a lower temperature, around 30°C is ideal, which can be easily achieved in a number of Miele Ovens.
If I am baking sourdough, I like to do things a little differently. I will prepare my dough in the morning, allow it to double its size at room temperature – or inside the oven at the lowest temperature – and then knock back, shape and do a second prove inside the fridge overnight.”
What are the advantages of cold proving?
“My favourite way to prove bread is always in the fridge overnight. Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a bowl and cover it with cling film. The temperature in the fridge will slow down the yeast and allow the flavour to develop fully. This method requires bringing the dough to room temperature the following day, but this can also be easily done inside the oven.
The longer bread proves for, the more developed the flavour will be. If using yeast, dough will stay active for up to three days in the fridge.”
What are your favourite flours to use and why?
“I have a large selection in my kitchen! I mostly use strong white flour, as it is the base for most breads such as sourdough, baguettes and brioche. You can find some amazing artisanal products on the internet. For pizzas or focaccias, I use Italian 00 flour as it has a lower protein content than regular bread flour, for an amazing texture.
Along with strong white, dark rye and spelt flours are always in my cupboard as they offer a more complex flavour when making sourdough. Rye also works really well on a robust Guinness and rye loaf and spelt can be used instead of strong white flour when baking brioche.”
Can you tell us about Gluten Development?
“Gluten is formed when wheat flour and water mix and this is what causes the dough to become elastic and stretchy. However, different types of baked goods require different amounts of gluten. Yeast-based doughs, such as many types of bread, rely heavily on gluten to develop structure. The more the dough is mixed, the more gluten is developed. When baking bread, strong white flour is best to use due to the higher level of gluten-forming protein, perfect for a chewy texture and light crumb.”
Top tips for beginners?
“It is best to start with a simple recipe that is baked in a loaf tin. This will help to clearly understand kneading, proving and baking. Always measure dry and wet ingredients with a scale, to ensure you have the correct proportions. A good oven is a must, and functionalities such as Miele’s exclusive MoisturePlus will help you achieve excellent results. Bread takes time though, so don’t feel defeated if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time around.”
Are there any baking myths that should be ignored?
“Don’t worry about sieving flour or dissolving fresh yeast in liquid. I always mix the yeast directly with my flour.”
Is there a way to make baking bread quicker at home - proving and cooking?
“You can speed up the proving process by placing the dough on a low temperature in the oven, but bread requires time so it is difficult to find a shortcut!”
Below are two of Cesar’s favourite bread recipes for you to try:
When it comes to toasting, we recommend the Dualit Long Slot Lite Toaster, which has been developed for artisan breads.
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