The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie Here!

Tinapoy's picture

Newbie Here!

Hello Everyone,


I'm a new member of TFL but have been reading for some weeks now. I love eating bread and definitely wants to know how to make good ones. As I think that I can get better breads by making them than buying them plus they are too costly if theyre good I started to look for references on how to make homemade breads. So far this is the site that I enjoyed alot.

I've been trying to build my SD starter for two weeks now and got nothing. Alot more to learn on that. Yesterday I tried baking a bread and think its a good start though its salty and too dense inside.

Currently I'm equiped with a small electric oven toaster the one with the coil both bottom and top. A mixing bowl. Some wooden spoons. And a digital scale. For the ingredients the things that are available here in Dubai are WW flour, AP flour, Self Rising, Cake, Plain flour, Chapati Atta, Chaki Atta and Maida. Lots of spices can be found and some dried fruits too. So with these things and with the help of TFL and its community I hope I'll be baking quality breads soon. (I don't want to add more equips yet coz I dunno which to buy and if they are available here. most online stores don't ship here or too expensive to ship.)



flournwater's picture

Never been to the UAE so I have no idea what it might be like to shop in your region.  You list AP flour, Self Rising Flour, Cake and "Plain" flour.  What is Plain flour.

I'm sorry to say that I doubt you'll have much success baking bread in a toaster oven.  You can bake in them, but the temperatures and baking environments needed for baking a wide range of quality breads just aren't possible in that type of appliance.

Tinapoy's picture

Don't exactly know yet what's a Plain Flour is I'll go to the shop tomorrow and see the Nutrition Facts. It is labeled that way and I think its the same as Maida Atta which is labeled with "(Plain Flour)" under it.


About the toaster Oven, Believe it or not I've been looking for a bigger one and decent one but all I see are Gas ranges with ovens or the same thing but electric. I don't have much space for one of that and I like to cook food with gas coz its faster and most prefered in our type of food. But I read that baking is better with a convection oven as it provides even heat so I decided to keep em separate a counter top oven and a gas stove for our daily cooking. To follow up on that I checked some online sites to get a new oven. I find them cheap but shipping is hard and expensive. So the only hope I have Is to buy it from another region by myself. Luckily I am going home for a vacation next month and I really hope that I could find better things there to bring here.


I really think that people here in UAE are too busy to think about making their own good food. For the past month that I've been running here and there to find some food things, lots of them are not available. Like good baking equips, a 4Qt stand mixer an ice cream maker for home use, etc. etc. Maybe only restaurants and hotels are capable of getting their hands on this things and are not available to common consumers. If someone can prove me wrong about this then I'd say I didn't look enough or that I have to do more research but I've gone to almost all of big and well known supermarkets here only to be disappointed.


So I'd like to ask too if anyone knows what's the equivalent of bread flour I can use on the list of flours I mentioned above. All I get is WW flour and AP flour. I don't think its the same.

flournwater's picture

I might suggest you choose a flour with a protein content above 12%, prefereably as near 13% as you can find it.  WW us often availailable in wheat and white varieties but, if you're starting out, I'd stick to the white whole wheat flour.  That said, there's no reason why you couldn't make a perfectly acceptable loaf of bread using AP flour.  Just make sure it has a high protein content.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

flour.  If you get into sourdoughs, then there is an advantage to higher gluten flours because they can tolerate the long fermentations better but that doesn't mean you can't bake a decent loaf with AP.

I've baked in toaster ovens, the trick is with the pans in a small space.  The thermostat kicks the heat on and off with little buffer room.  Cover with aluminum foil for the first part of the bake and then remove to brown.  You might find a oven thermometer handy, mounted inside with the baking loaf or group of mini loaves.  Very important is the number of coils and getting the heat distribution even and centered under the loaf.   Many of the disposable type pans work wonderfully in a toaster oven!  What sized oven are we talking about?  Got a picture?  Rack or shelf?  Exact location of coils?

Salt, good you have a scales, weigh your flour, then depending on how you like your bread, use anywhere from 1.6% to 2% salt.  A level teaspoon of standard table salt is 5g. Sea salt and large crystals take up more room in a teaspoon, so a little more is needed.  Hope that helps you. 

A heavy loaf could come from several things, it would be better to post your recipe and more details for trouble shooting.


darren1126's picture

I've made this bread several times and it's great, but, what's the trick to making a lighter bread. I would like a lighter, less dense bread for Sub's.


Thank you,