- Add a pinch of sugar to the warm milk mixture. Since yeast feeds on carbohydrates, this is the BEST way to see if your yeast is alive and healthy.
- After mixing the warm milk with flour, cover the dough and let it rest, or autolyse for (I like) 10 minutes. This helps the dough develop its own natural gluten, AKA less kneading for you.
- Try and incorporate as little uncalled for flour as possible when kneading, even use a bench scraper when necessary.
- When a recipe calls for a dough to be smooth and elastic, listen to your instincts. Often times this means the dough ‘bouncing’ back when you knead it, or if you want to be more precise, when lifted, it develops a ‘transparent windowpane.’
- Follow the instructions for a warm vs. cold proof. Do NOT mix them up, sorry cheaters.