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BREADS

2020-01-31
BREADS

Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world and is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant importance since the dawn of agriculture. Bread may be leavened by processes such as reliance on naturally occurring sourdough microbes, chemicals, industrially produced yeast, or high-pressure aeration. Commercial bread commonly contains additives to improve flavor, texture, color, shelf life, nutrition, and ease of manufacturing. Bread plays essential roles in religious rituals and secular culture. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed (e.g., mantou), fried (e.g., puri), or baked on an unoiled frying pan (e.g., tortillas). It may be leavened or unleavened (e.g. matzo). Salt, fat and leavening agents such as yeast and baking soda are common ingredients, though bread may contain other ingredients, such as milk, egg, sugar, spice, fruit (such as raisins), vegetables (such as onion), nuts (such as walnut) or seeds (such as poppy).[36] Methods of processing dough into bread include the straight dough process, the sourdough process, the Chorleywood bread process and the sponge and dough process. Professional bread recipes are stated using the baker's percentage notation. The amount of flour is denoted to be 100%, and the other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of that amount by weight. Measurement by weight is more accurate and consistent than measurement by volume, particularly for dry ingredients. The proportion of water to flour is the most important measurement in a bread recipe, as it affects texture and crumb the most. Hard wheat flours absorb about 62% water, while softer wheat flours absorb about 56%.[37] Common table breads made from these doughs result in a finely textured, light bread. Most artisan bread formulas contain anywhere from 60 to 75% water. In yeast breads, the higher water percentages result in more CO2 bubbles and a coarser bread crumb. 500 grams (1 pound) of flour yields a standard loaf of bread or two baguettes. Calcium propionate is commonly added by commercial bakeries to retard the growth of molds. Flour is grain ground to a powdery consistency. Flour provides the primary structure, starch and protein to the final baked bread. The protein content of the flour is the best indicator of the quality of the bread dough and the finished bread. While bread can be made from all-purpose wheat flour, a specialty bread flour, containing more protein (12–14%), is recommended for high-quality bread. If one uses a flour with a lower protein content (9–11%) to produce bread, a shorter mixing time is required to develop gluten strength properly. An extended mixing time leads to oxidization of the dough, which gives the finished product a whiter crumb, instead of the cream color preferred by most artisan bakers.[39] Wheat flour, in addition to its starch, contains three water-soluble protein groups (albumin, globulin, and proteoses) and two water-insoluble protein groups (glutenin and gliadin). When flour is mixed with water, the water-soluble proteins dissolve, leaving the glutenin and gliadin to form the structure of the resulting bread. When relatively dry dough is worked by kneading, or wet dough is allowed to rise for a long time (see no-knead bread), the glutenin forms strands of long, thin, chainlike molecules, while the shorter gliadin forms bridges between the strands of glutenin. The resulting networks of strands produced by these two proteins are known as gluten. Gluten development improves if the dough is allowed to autolyse Water, or some other liquid, is used to form the flour into a paste or dough. The weight of liquid required varies between recipes, but a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 5 parts flour is common for yeast breads.[41] Recipes that use steam as the primary leavening method may have a liquid content in excess of 1 part liquid to 1 part flour. Instead of water, recipes may use liquids such as milk or other dairy products (including buttermilk or yoghurt), fruit juice, or eggs. These contribute additional sweeteners, fats, or leavening components, as well as water. Fats, such as butter, vegetable oils, lard, or that contained in eggs, affect the development of gluten in breads by coating and lubricating the individual strands of protein. They also help to hold the structure together. If too much fat is included in a bread dough, the lubrication effect causes the protein structures to divide. A fat content of approximately 3% by weight is the concentration that produces the greatest leavening action.[43] In addition to their effects on leavening, fats also serve to tenderize breads and preserve freshness. Salt (sodium chloride) is very often added to enhance flavor and restrict yeast activity. It also affects the crumb and the overall texture by stabilizing and strengthening[45] the gluten. Some artisan bakers forego early addition of salt to the dough, whether wholemeal or refined, and wait until after a 20-minute rest to allow the dough to autolyse.[46] Mixtures of salts are sometimes employed, such as employing potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level, and monosodium glutamate to give flavor (umami).