Yeast Cookery. Secrets of Making Bread

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bread_cHome baked bread is miles apart from bought bread. Yeast cookery takes some practice to achieve good results but it is well worth the effort involved. Do you know secrets of making bread? Read about such processes, as sponging, kneading, rising, proving, making short-time doughs. And also about different methods of adding yeast to flour.

 

Sponging

Is the action of the yeast when in contact with its food, i.e. sugar and warm water. Carbon dioxide is given off and the batter begins to bubble and froth on top.

Kneading

Is the acton of pummelling the dough to make it smooth and elastic; it is also important to distribute the yeast evenly and to develop the gluten network. Knead by folding dough towards you and then pushing down and away with palm of hand. Give a quarter-turn and continue developing a rocking rhythm. Knead for about ten minutes until dough feels firm and elastic and no longer sticks to the fingers.

Rising

In all but the short-time dough method, after the initial mixing, the dough is left, usually in a warm place, to rise until doubled in size and it springs back when lightly pressed with a floured finger. Rising times vary with temperature, but these are approximate: 45-60 minutes in a warm place, 2 hours at average room temperature (18-21°C, 65-70°F) 12 hours in a cold room or larder, 24 hours in a refrigerator.

Proving

Is the action of rising the dough, which is essential before the dough is baked. The dough is kneaded and formed into the required shape, and then normally proved in a warm place, but one not hot enough to kill the yeast. Dough should be placed in a large, greased polythene bag or covered container.

Short-time doughs

In the past bread making was a fairly long process with a number of stages. A quick method has been evolved using ascorbic acid. This saves time and energy by cutting out the initial rising process and replacing it with a 5-10 minute rest period.

When making short-time dough it is preferable to use fresh yeast rather than dried, as the latter gives a yeasty flavour to the bread.

Different methods of adding yeast to flour:

Apart from the short-time method of bread making using ascorbic acid, there are of course the more traditional methods of adding yeast to the flour.

1. Straight dough method (dissolved yeast method)

This method is suitable for all yeast recipes. If using fresh yeast it must be blended in some of the liquid, then added with remaining liquid to the flour, salt sugar and fat and made into a dough. If using dried yeast dissolve 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) sugar in a cupful of warm liquid (43°C, 110°F) from the recipe quantity. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave until frothy (10 minutes). Then add to the dry ingredients with the remaining liquid and make into a dough.

2. Sponge batter method

This method is especially good for using dried yeast, and for all yeast recipes especially rich breads, as the yeast is given a good start to overcome the retarding effect that additional sugar and fat cause A batter is made with one-third of the flour stated in recipe, all the yeast (fresh or dried) the sugar and warm liquid, but no salt. This is left in a warm place until frothy (20 minutes). Then the remaining flour and salt are added, plus any other ingredients such as eggs, fruit and fat. This is mixed into a dough, Continue as from STAGE 4 in Basic White Bread recipe.

3. Rubbing-in method using fresh yeast

This method is not traditional, and is not used very often in bread making. It is, however, suitable for all yeast recipes. The yeast is rubbed into flour (it is not necessary to break it up completely), the liquid is then added and made into a dough. The dough must be kneaded well to distribute the yeast evenly. Continue as from STAGE NO. 4 in Basic White Bread recipe.

4. Easy blend method

This method is very quick and simple. Add the yeast DRY to the mixture of flour, salt and fat Add the liquid and continue as from STAGE NO. 4 in Basic White Bread recipe.

NB: If liquid is added to Easy Blend Dried Yeast before it is added to the flour, the yeast will not work properly.

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