Tips for successful bread making
- Measurements must be accurate
- All ingredients should be in room temperature unless specified
- Rising and proving of the dough must be done in a warm place; most kitchens are warm enough.
- Transfer breads to a cooling rack immediately after baking to prevent it getting soggy.
Often called “the staff of life”, bread has been made since prehistoric times. The first breads were unleavened mixtures of coarsely ground grains and water cooked on a heated stone. Ancient Egyptians are credited with the discovery of leavened bread and inventing the oven.
Yeast breads are made with high protein wheat flour (also known simply as “bread flour” of HP flour) because it has a high gluten content needed to make bread that is light and voluminous. When gluten is kneaded with water or other liquid, it forms a tough and stretchy network within the dough, making it elastic and springy. This network traps carbon dioxide gas produced by the yeast when it converts sugars in the flour to alcohol (alcohol evaporates during baking). The dough then expands, causing tiny holds in the bread and making it light. The gluten sets during baking and gives the bread its shape.
Yeast breads made with low protein wheat flour will most likely collapse during baking because the flour has insufficient gluten to trap gas and expand.
When making bread, with non-wheat flour, the non-wheat flour should be combined with wheat flour to obtain light bread with a large volume, as non-wheat flour does not contain enough gluten. Bread improver and be added to aid the development of dough and improve texture.
Breadmaking can be made easier with the use of instant active dry yeast. This yeast is added directly into the ingredients and does not need to be rehydrated.
Basic Bread Dough Recipe
Cajun Chicken and Cheese Bun