Home Bread-Bakers v096.n057.4

About baking bread

Wed, 13 Nov 1996 08:17:51 -0500 (EST)


You had asked some questions about yeast, bread, overkneading, rising
etc. I hope the following info helps answer some of your questions. Below
are some" excerpts" from my personal bread baking guide.Please email me if
you have further questions.


Baker's yeast is a one celled fungus which in the presence of flours and
water will feed and grow ( bud ) and reproduce new cells. It is with this
process that oxygen and simple sugars are turned into carbon dioxide and
alcohol. the carbon dioxide which is trapped in the dough fibers causes
expansion and thus rising of the dough. the small amount of alcohol is
evaporated during baking .......

FERMENTATION:  is the name for the chemical process in which yeasts become
activated and give rise to the acidity in the dough ( starches broken down
to sugars , then to carbon dioxide and alcohol) this process creates the
flavor of the bread. Naturally a longer fermentation time offers the best
flavor and taste. Breads rushed in this fermentation process may have an
overly strong yeast flavor. Likewise breads that have overrisen may have a
sour quality to them. However many people do not find either taste
objectionable and enjoy the bread........

GLUTEN: is one of several proteins found in flour and holds the dough
together making it more stretchable and elastic.Think of gluten as having a
rubber or gum " stretchable" quality..When flour and water are combined the
gluten is being activiated. KNEADING of the dough helps continue to deveolp
and activate the gluten.Too little kneading  produces a weak
dough and a small compact baked product. Over kneading produces a
chewy, coarse grained product..... .
It is certainly possible to overknead a dough and cause the gluten strands
to rupture causing the product to collapse but I dont think it is usally the
case if hand kneading techniques are follwed properly.
Note:  We are discussing bread here not
pastries and tender cakes which require a lower gluten ( or protein flour ).
and limited kneading....Read labels on the flour for gluten content.

FLOURS are categorized as Weak: ( soft wheat
low gluten/protein ), example cake flour around 8%,  or Strong: hard wheat
( high gluten/protein ) example bread flour 14 -16%.
All purpose is a combination of both soft and hard wheat flours, 11% gluten
content. All percents are approximates but give you an idea of protein
content. Flours may be bleached, unbleached, bromated, contain additives and
other conditioners etc. but these are topics for another time.

RISING: you will know when the dough is ready for its first rising after
kneading, when the dough readily springs back when pressed with a finger.
The dough should feel smooth like an ear lobe or baby's behind! BRead fLour
usually needs 8 to 10 minutes of hand kneading whereas all purpose flour
usally requires 5 to 8 minutes of hand kneading. For both flours
done by dough hooks in the machine much less time is required.

The normal rising times for bread dough to double in volume is anywhere from
1 to 2 hours+, This depends on the type of dough ( eggs, fat, milk sugar
present in dough ), the warmth of surroundings etc.
Usually heavy dough ( sugar,fat etc. ) requires several risings opposed to
lean doughs ( flour and water )to achieve the best texture
.Dont be tempted to let any dough over rise more
than instructed because the dough may be coarse, heavy or collapse.

Finger press the risen dough, if an indentation remains, its ready to be
punched down( at this point it should not "spring" back if finger pressed.)

PUNCHING down dough: after rising it is necessary to do so,
so the yeast cells are
redistributed and thus causing a lighter textured, manageble dough.Follow
recipes instructions.Many sweet breads have double or triple risings as I
indicated above.

Hope this helps. I have a feeling most of the questions have been answered.
And Im sure you'll get info from others!


Joan,"Flour Power"


`[1;33;44mRainbow V 1.18.3 for Delphi - Registered