Understanding bread ingredients

Understanding bread ingredients
Basic bread is made of flour and water. Yeast makes it rise
and salt makes it taste better. Out of these ingredients, you
can make endless varieties of bread. You can expand your repertoire exponentially if you choose to add and/or substitute ingredients. You don’t have to be an expert before you substitute wine for water or add raisins.
However, there are a few things you may want to know before you begin. They are outlined in the following pages
and will be an invaluable guide on you new bread-baking
journey.
Flour
You can bake a kind of bread out of almost any flour,
although different kinds of flour behave in different ways.

Gluten in flour is like a balloon, expanding as the carbon
dioxide is expelled by the yeast. Flour with gluten includes
wheat (and its cousins spelt, emmer, kamut and einkorn),
rye and barley. Flour that may contain gluten includes oat
and hemp (read the label carefully if this is important to
you). All other kinds of flour are gluten free.
It is important to know a bit about gluten. Firstly, different
types of flour are not necessarily interchangeable and
secondly, some people are mildly or severely gluten
intolerant. This intolerance, called coeliac disease, affects a
small minority of the population and the symptoms can be
mild (tummy ache) to severe (neuropathy). This book has
some gluten-free recipes for things like fritters, pancakes
and ‘skillet bread’ but does not have recipes for gluten-free
bread baked as a loaf. There are some great recipes for this
kind of bread in Emmanuel

Different kinds of flour behave in different ways
The vast majority of bread that is eaten around the world is
made from white wheat flour which, in most of the
English-speaking world, is categorized by its strength, ie.
the amount of gluten it contains.
Very strong bread flour has a high gluten content, is very
stretchy, rises well, and makes great, sturdy bread.

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