The Homemade Bread Cookbook
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Table of Contents
All About Bread Understanding the Kinds of Bread Bread Formulation and More Bread Sourdough and Leavening Bread Making - About Freshly Milled Grains Familiarizing Baking Ingredients On Bread Making ingredients The Bread leavening Process Yeast 101 How to Make Bread Homemade Bread Making Tips Making Homemade Bread The Processes of Making Whole Wheat Bread Comparing Sourdough and Sourbread How to Make Banana Bread How to Make Bread Crumbs How to Make Cinnamon Bread Rolls Making Cinnamon Bread Rolls How to Make Cinnamon Bread How to Make Flat Bread How to Make White Bread How to Make Whole Wheat Bread Making Sourdough Sourdough Starters and Bread Recipes The Sourdough Starter Recipe Links
All About Bread
Bread can come in different flavors, forms and sizes. However, they are typically all the same. You should know more about the different kinds to learn the many ways of making them. The more you understand the features and characteristics of dough, the better the quality of your products. Find out more about bread and see how much more you can add to create your own special taste and design.
What is Bread?
Bread is a basic food prepared by cooking water and dough of flour and potentially other ingredients. Doughs are generally baked in the Western world and several other countries. In other cuisines, bread is fried, steamed or baked on a hot skillet. It can be unleavened or leavened too.
Salt, leavening agents and fat like baking soda and yeast are basic ingredients. Bread may also have other ingredients like egg, sugar, milk, spice, fruit like raisins, nuts like walnuts, vegetables like onion and seeds like poppy seeds. Bread is among the oldest prepared foods in the world, dating back hundreds of years. Leavened bread can also be traced back to prehistoric periods.
More About Bread
Fresh bread is acquired for its quality, aroma, taste and texture. It is important to maintain its freshness to keep the food appetizing. Bread that has dried or stiffened past its ideal state is known to be stale. Recent bread is usually wrapped in plastic or paper film. It
may also be stored in a container like a breadbox to keep it from drying. Bread kept in moist and warm environments is prone to mold growth. Bread that is kept at low temperatures like being placed inside a refrigerator can grow molds slower compared to bread kept at room temperature. This will turn stale immediately because of retrogradation.
The crumb is described by culinary experts and bakers as the soft inside part of the bread. This should not be mistaken with small pieces of bread that usually fall off called crumbs. The outside hard part of the bread is known as the crust.
Bread can be served regardless of temperature. As soon as it is baked, it can eventually be toasted. Bread is usually eaten using your hands or a knife and fork. It can be eaten independently or together with other food and sauces like gravy, olive oil and sardines. It is also best served as a sandwich with cheese, vegetables or meat contained in between.
About the Crust
The crust of the bread is created from exposed dough during the cooking procedure. It is browned and hardened from caramelization of the proteins and sugars using the intense heat at the surface of the bread. The nature of the bread crust is different, based on the kind of bread and the manner of baking. Commercial bread is baked using jets the steam towards the bread directly to make a nice crust. Some bread crusts are unpalatable, especially among children. Crusts always have a different color compared to the rest of the bread.
Understanding the Kinds of Bread
There are several types of bread, each also having its own special features and characteristics. Bread can be eaten in different ways. People around the world prefer certain types of bread, depending on their basic needs and personal preferences. Understanding the qualities of each will help you learn how to prepare them better and with less problems.
The Different Types
Bread is a popular food in many societies. Every Asian society prefers steamed bread or noodles or rice. Bread is usually made using wheat-flour dough cultured with yeast, risen and baked inside an oven. Owing to the high levels of gluten, common wheat is the most basic grain used to prepare bread, although bread is also created from flour of other existing wheat species like emmer, durum, spelt, maize, rye, oats and barley. Common wheat is usually made for creating white bread. Other types of wheat are capable of creating black bread of good quality. Spelt bread is widely consumed in European countries. Emmer bread is a staple food in the Middle East. Canadian bread is known for its healthy consistency and high protein content.
Knowing the Breads
White bread is created from flour that only has the center part of the
grain, called the endosperm. Brown bread is created using 10% bran and endosperm. It can also mean white bread with coloring added like caramel to provide a brown color. This is also known as wheat bread. Wheat germ bread has provided wheat germ for more flavor. Wholemeal bread has the entire wheat grain or the bran and the endosperm. It is also known whole grain or whole wheat bread, especially in North America.
Wholegrain bread is similar to wholemeal bread or to white bread with whole grains added to boost fiber content. Roti is described as whole wheat bread consumed in South Asia. Another Roti variant is called Naan. Granary bread is created from granary flour. It is created using brown flour or malted white flour, whole grains and wheat germ. Unleavened bread does not have yeast and does not rise. Rye bread is created with flour using rye grain of different levels. It has higher fiber content compared to other bread types.
Quick breads are chemically leavened breads, usually having both baking powder and baking soda, plus a balance of alkaline ingredients and acidic ingredients. Some of the examples include muffins, pancakes, waffles and Boston brown bread.
There are so many variations of bread such as chapattis, pitas, biscuits, naan, bagels, tortillas, brioche, baguettes, puris, lavash and pretzels. Tortillas are staple food in Mexico. There is also the pan dulce and bolillo which are commonly eaten by Mexicans during breakfast. In the Philippines, peple eat pan de sal which is rounded bread. In Spain, bread is referred to as pan. In Peru, sweet bread is
eaten together with hot chocolate and butter.
Scottish people eat plain bread which is taller and thinner. The French eat pan bread used for toast or for making stuffing. Italians have several breadmaking recipes and usually eat large loaves and breadrolls.
Bread Formulation and More
If you want to successfully make bread, you have to know more about its composition and chemistry. There are different ingredients that have relative effects to the process. Choosing the right ones will result to delicious bread with good form that keeps for several days or weeks. You have to learn the balance between the ingredients to get the most benefits possible.
About Bread Chemistry
The amount of flour and water is very important when making bread, since these change the crumb and texture of the bread. Professional bakers use a system of percentages called Bakers' Percentage when following recipes and making formulations. They measure all the ingredients according to weight instead of volume. Measuring by weight becomes more accurate and consistent, compared to volume measuring. Dry ingredients are also easier to measure when weighed.
Flour always has 100% and all other ingredients get a percentage of that amount according to weight. The common table bread in America uses about 50% water, leading to light and finely textured bread. A lot of artisan bread formulas also have 60% to 75% water. In yeast bread types, high water percentages lead to CO2 bubbles, plus a coarser bread crumb. One pound of flour will result to a regular loaf bread or 2 french loaves.
Knowing Bread Flour
Flour is a product created from grain which has been ground into a powdery consistent form. Flour gives the primary structure to the final baked bread. Common available flours are created from barley, maize, rye and other grains. Wheat flour is the most commonly used for breads, with each of the grains giving protein and starch to the resulting product.
Wheat flour, aside from its starch, also has 3 water soluble protein groups, globulin, albumin, proteoses and 2 non-water soluble protein groups called gliadin and glutenin. When flour mixes with water, the water-soluble proteins dissolve, which trigger gliadin and glutenin to create the structure of the remaining dough. Glutenin creates strands of long thin and chain-like molecules when kneaded, while gliadin creates bridges between glutenin strands. The networks of strands create by the 2 proteins are called gluten. Gluten boosts the quality of the dough.
About Bread Liquids
Water or any other liquid can be used to create the flour and turn it into dough or a paste. The volume of liquid needed will change between recipes, although a ratio of 1 cup of liquid to 3 flour cups is
basic for yeast breads. Recipes using steam as a main leavening procedure can have liquid content in excess of 1 part liquid to 1 part flour according to volume. Aside from water, other liquids can be used such as fruit juice, dairy products and orbeer. These can provide added fats, sweeteners and leavening components. Bread Recipes
Bread recipes will differ, but it is important that you stick to the ratios provided. You will find that later on, you can change the amounts slightly to get the right consistency, flavor and texture that you prefer. Some countries have varying components to provide more uniqueness and creativity to the mix.
Bread Sourdough and Leavening
There are different agents used to make bread, thereby resulting to a variety of characteristics and properties. The yeast does not produce the sour taste of sourdough. It is actually lactobacillus, wherein the yeast lives in symbiosis. The lactobacillus feeds on end-products of yeast fermentation, in turn, creating the culture that goes sour through the excretion of lactic acid. This protects everything from spoiling.
All breads before were sourdoughs, and the leavening process was not fully known until the 19th century. Only with the development of microscopes did scientists find out that dough can rise through
microbes. The strains of yeast have been chosen and packed as Baker's Yeast. Bread created using Baker's yeast is not sour due to the absence of the lactobacillus. The yeast was then embraced by bakers all over the globe.
More on Sourdough Bread
Sourdough breads are usually made using sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is a culture of lactobacillus and yeast. It is a pancake-like flour and water mixture wherein the lactobacilli and yeast live. A starter can be managed nonstop by regularly eliminating a part then refreshing by adding water and fresh flour. There are starters owned by families and bakers that are many generations old. Starters can be acquired by getting a piece of starter and growing it. These can also be made from nothing. There are groups online who can send you starters. Other companies also can send you starters through mail order.
Other procedures can also be done to bake and culture sourdough. A more traditional approach is the process followed by peasant families all over Europe in the past. The family usually bakes on a regular basis, like once a week. The starter is saved from the dough made the previous week. The starter is then mixed using the new ingredients, and the dough left to rise. A piece of it will be saved to become the starter for the following week. The others are formed into loaves and marked with the family sign. The communal ovens will evolve into bakeries, with people beginning to specialize in bread baking.
On Bread Bacteria
Salt-risen bread uses a type of bacterial leavening that does not need