On Breadmaking Ingredients
You can use different ingredients to make bread. It is important
understand the characteristics of each, so that you can fully take
advantage of the process, thereby adding more flavor, texture and
quality. Each ingredient will determine a certain feature which will be
displayed by the bread as well. Here are some tips about the things you
Yeast is a living plant. It is a microscopic fungus that makes the bread
rise as a result of its presence. It will require food, warmth and
moisture to grow properly. Temperature should be around 100 to 110
degrees F to get the best results. Water is good, as well as honey,
sugars and molasses. Yeast can ferment sugars into alcohol and carbon
dioxide. The gas is then trapped inside the gluten network, leading the
bread to rise until all the oxygen is consumed or the yeast is killed
through over fermentation or baking.
The two common yeast types available are instant yeast and regular active
dry yeast. The two have been dried to deactivation, although the yeast
cells are not destroyed. Instant yeast dried at lower temperatures can
produce more live cells and are fast to act when water or flour is added.
Compared to active dry yeast, instant yeast does not have to be dissolved
or proofed in warm water. This can be added together with the flour after
the initial 2 cups of flour have been added.
On Active Dry Yeast
Active dry yeast has a tough outer shell that requires warm water and
sweetener to get softer for 5 to 10 minutes before you add other
ingredients. Glutathione in wheat germ can break down gluten. It is also
present in yeast in minimal amounts. It does not affect the bread
quality, considering that it remains in the yeast cell. Under adverse
conditions, glutathione can leak out. The dissolving water should not be
cooler than 100 degrees F if you are using active dry yeast.
Glutathione tends to leak out of the yeast cells very quickly in cool
water, leading to weaker dough strength. The instant yeast ensures that
the batter or flour temperature has a minimum temperature of 75 degrees F
when you add the yeast. If the freshly milled flour is warm or over 120
degrees F, the liquid should be cooler than 90 degrees F to avoid
overheating the dough and destroying the yeast.
Knowing the Liquids
Water is the cheapest, fastest and easiest liquid to use. The texture of
the grain tends to be chewy, and the flavor, more obvious by adding
water. Milk helps make bread rise faster. The bread also gains finer
texture and acquires longer shelf life. Scald all the milk except for the
canned one. Buttermilk helps make dough become tenderer and acquire a
nicer taste. Yogurt adds tang and can be substituted for 1/2 of liquid
replacement. Vegetable juices and broth like apple juice and tomato juice
can be used to add nutrition and improve texture and taste.