A reader has asked: My New Year’s resolution is to bake bread every week. I have had failures in the past, though. Do you have any advice for the novice bread baker?
A: First of all, buy an instant-read thermometer. Many fail at bread-making because they dissolve the yeast in water that’s too hot and the yeast dies immediately. Also use the thermometer to test the temperature for the baked loaf, which should be over 190 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more reliable than tapping on the loaf to determine doneness.