Are you on the lookout for everything and anything that is connected to the art of baking bread?
The easiest type of yeast to use is active dry yeast. It should always be fresh, so make sure to look at the expiration date on the packets. Having and using fresh yeast is important because you want the bread that you make be fresh as well.
For the water, you must get the temperature just right. Water is used to make the yeast dissolve and added to a mixture of yeast and flour. In order to get the right water temperature, get a thermometer. The temperature is supposed to measure between 110 – 115 degrees after the yeast has dissolved in the water.
For a flour and yeast mixture, the temperature for the liquid must be between 120 – 130 degrees.
In order for the finished product to have the right quality, you have to choose the right kind of flour. One of the best kinds of flour that will do your bread justice is bread flour. Bread flour can make the best kind of bread.
It has a high content of protein or gluten. Gluten is important because it can make your bread have a special texture. Gluten helps the dough to stretch in the form of a web. When the yeast ferments, air bubbles will try to emerge. Using gluten will trap them.
All-purpose flour can also be used to make the bread. Cake flour is not recommended because it doesn’t contain a lot of protein. Your bread will not bake right due to the cake flour not being strong enough to deal with the gas pressure from the yeast.
With whole grain flours, there is not enough gluten to justify making a loaf of bread. You would have to include all-purpose flour or bread flour to provide it with structure.
Depending on what type of liquid that is used in the dough will determine how it will come out. If you use water, the crust will be crisper and the bread will have more of a wheat taste to it. If you use cream or milk, the bread will have a richer taste and a fine texture.
Using cream or milk will cause the bread to brown quicker. There is more sugar and butterfat included in the dough. If orange juice is added, it will still be sweet and will help to kill the strong taste of the whole grain effect.
When you use shortening, oils or butter, the bread will have more flavor. It’s not a good idea to use margarine or whipped butter because they have water. Water is also found in low fat items, so they are not good to use either. Your loaf of bread will not hold up very well.
Your bread dough will have flavor when you add in the eggs. Eggs also give the dough richness and color. Eggs give your bread a nice taste.
Whenever you make bread, you should always include salt. Salt helps with how the yeast is developed and the bread will not rise more than it’s supposed to. The bread will also have a good flavor. Of course, there are some people who would prefer not to use salt. They can substitute it with items such as yogurt to help the bread to rise normally.
Photo. Monika M. Wahi