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 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.
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