The Biggest Homemade Bread Mistake You're Making

If you've taken the leap into making your own bread at home more regularly, then you might have already worked out quite a few of the small hiccups you could have encountered. Baking is, after all, a very precise science. However, some of the fixes you thought you knew might actually be what's causing your bread problems. One of the greatest fears home bakers likely share is the loaf they've nurtured for hours or days, sticking to things it shouldn't.

Whether the bread has stuck to the countertops, as you were forming the boule or if it cooked onto the baking dish in the oven — any sticking is generally not good. Generally, people do add flour to whatever surface they are using, even banneton baskets which have to develop a "seasoned" coating, to keep the dough from sticking to it (via Knead Rise Bake). However, this can also be the culprit for the biggest mistake. "The key mistake people make is using too much flour on their work surface," says Sam Fromartz, the author of In Search of the Perfect Loaf (via Food Network). Fromartz offers a better solution for keeping your bread in perfect condition.

Too much flour can make for messy eating

According to The Spruce Eats, adding too much flour into your loaf can cause the bread to have a crumb that falls apart. However, adding too much on top can result in you dropping flour all over your lap when you finally take a bite into your fresh loaf. "That's why I flick the flour from the side rather than sprinkle from above," Fromartz told the Food Network. "Use a pastry brush to brush the flour off the cooked loaf."

Apparently, when you sprinkle from directly above the loaf, a lot more flour sticks to the dough whereas from the side, you'll only get a thin coating. It's like pouring a lot of olive oil out onto a sheet pan to roast veggies, versus placing your thumb over the nozzle to control how much comes out. It's all about controlling how much of a good thing you're using. Otherwise, you could end up with less than ideal results. So, try flouring your bread with a lighter hand and from the side the next time you're baking. You just might find the results are a lot less aggravating to enjoy.