*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                           A Guide to Ingredients
 Recipe By     : Dinner Co-op
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Breads                           Info/Tips
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
 Flours react differently in their ability to absorb moisture. Depending on
 humidity and
 temperature, the amount of flour needed in a recipe may vary by as much as a
 cup or two.
 Therefore, the amount of flour called for in a recipe is always approximate.
 It is best to start
 with a smaller amount of flour and slowly add more while kneading to achieve
 a smooth, satiny
 textured dough. There are several types of flours used for bread making. The
 difference between flours is their protein content. When mixed with liquid,
 certain proteins
 form gluten which gives an elastic quality to dough. Gluten provides the
 framework for dough
 to rise by stretching and trapping the gas bubbles given off by yeast as it
 grows. The type of
 wheat, where it is grown, and the milling process all influence the amount
 of gluten. The higher
 the gluten content, the more volume the bread will have. Secondary
 differences are taste and
 texture. The most commonly used flours for bread baking include: 
      All-Purpose Flour, a blend of hard and soft wheat flours, is suitable
 for yeast breads
      as well as quick breads and most cakes. 
      Bread Flour, with its high gluten content, results in bread with good
 volume. Dough
      made with bread flour should be kneaded longer than dough made from
      flour to fully develop the gluten. 
      Whole Wheat Flour, which contains the entire wheat kernel, adds a
 distinctive “nutty”
      taste to doughs. Some all-purpose flour is often added to it to lighten
 the dough and
      yield a larger volume. Whole wheat flour should always be stored in the
 refrigerator to
      prevent rancidity. 
      Rye Flour, limited in gluten, is usually combined with all-purpose,
 whole wheat or
      bread flours to improve volume and texture. 
 Yeast is the leavening agent which makes the dough rise. A living plant
 which breathes and
 grows, yeast thrives on the sugar added to dough, producing a gas which
 stretches the dough
 and causes it to rise. It is available in active dry or compressed forms and
 can be used
 interchangeably. Compressed yeast usually comes in .06-ounce cakes and
 active dry yeast
 comes in 1/4-ounce packages. (One .06-ounce cake is equivalent to one
 1/4-ounce package.)
 Recently, quick rising yeasts have been developed. These finely ground yeast
 granules allow
 the dough to rise in half the time.
 Proofing the yeast: Yeast should be “proofed” before it’s added to the flour
 mixture to be sure
 it is active. To proof, dissolve the yeast in a small amount of warm water-
 approximately 105
 degrees F to 115 degrees F for dry yeast; approximately 80 degrees F for
 cake yeast-for 10
 to 15 minutes until the yeast is foamy. A small amount of sugar may be added
 to quicken the
 process. Note: If you are using the Rapid Mix Method where the yeast is
 added with the other
 dry ingredients, the water temperature must be 120 degrees F to 130 degrees
 F to activate the
 yeast. Quick rising yeast may be dissolved in water or added directly to the
 Liquid added to a flour mixture turns to steam and helps create texture.
 Water yields a crusty
 loaf with a fairly dense crumb while milk gives bread a rich and tender
 crumb and a softer
 Sugar is the ingredient that activates the yeast to make the dough rise. It
 also adds flavor,
 increases tenderness and helps the crust brown. Granulated sugar is
 generally used, but
 molasses, brown sugar and honey may also be used. Be careful not to add too
 much sugar as
 it can retard gluten development. A good rule of thumb is 2 teaspoons of
 sugar per 2 cups of
 Salt regulates the growth of the yeast. Salt-free bread rises quickly, while
 too much salt can
 reduce or destroy yeast action. It also enhances the flavor of bread and
 contributes to a finer
 Butter or shortening makes the dough stretch easily and makes the bread
 tender. It also
 contributes to flavor and aids in giving bread a longer shelf life.
 Eggs aid in gluten development and provide extra nutrients to bread doughs.
 They also add
 flavor and golden color desired in sweet doughs.
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 NOTES : http://dinnercoop.cs.cmu.edu/dinnercoop/Recipes/breadtips.html