Bread – From Struggle to Survival
WHAT IS BREAD?
Bread is a staple food in many countries typically prepared from a dough made of flour, water, salt, yeast, and other ingredients.
Bread is available in many varieties, including sourdough, sweet bread, soda bread, and more.
It has been eaten worldwide for millennia.
Gluten is essential for bread making and influences the mixing, kneading, and baking properties of dough. When you first start to bake bread, learning to mix the ingredients is very important.
Many different types of bread formulations have been developed so far. These formulations are developed in different regions based on the traditional food habits of the people.
The main bread types can be classified as under:
- Yeast bread: When the bread is leavened with the carbon dioxide gas produced by yeast, they are known as yeast bread.
- Pan bread: This type of bread is popular in economically developed countries including the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and European nations.
- Hearth bread or Sour bread: This category of bread is produced with or without lactic acid fermentation. Hearth bread is baked in an open hearth. These bread are becoming popular in France.
- Flatbread or roti/chappati: This category of bread is popular in Asian countries. The product is unfermented and flat. This baked on a flat hot pan.
HOW IT’S MADE?
1. Selection of Raw Ingredients
- Flour, Yeast, Water, Salt, Sugar, Fat, Liquid (Water / Milk)
2. Weighing of Raw Materials
- The correct weight of raw ingredients is taken.
3. Preparing of Raw Materials
- Basic mise–en–place
- Sieving the flour for removal of ash/bran and aeration
- Mixing yeast in lukewarm water and addition of sugar
- Addition of salt in the flour for even mixing.
- Glutenin and Gliadin join together to form gluten.
- Initially, the gluten is wet but the elasticity and WAP increase to improve the dough till it becomes homogeneous.
- Even distribution of all ingredients gives proper homogeneous mixing of the dough.
- Yeast feed on sugar to produce carbon dioxide.
- Part of the alcohol evaporates and part is converted into acetic acid (sour taste).
- 78°F to 80°F is the optimum temperature.
- 70 to 75% is the optimum relative humidity.
- Should not be over fermented as it becomes too soft and sticky and has an open texture and collapse during proofing or baking.
- It is done after ²/₃ of the estimated fermentation.
- The Centre comes on top in contact with the fresh air and the dough is virtually turned upside down.
Reasons of Knock Back
- Gluten remains in a stretched condition and might collapse with uneven gas pockets.
- Yeast cells surrounded by the gas slows the fermenting process, thus this process expels the gas giving yeast its position to carry out the function efficiently.
7. Dividing and Rounding
- The dough is cut into pieces of desired weight according to the size of the mold.
- The dough should not be pulled or torn as it may disturb the gluten strands, thus adversely affecting the final texture of the product.
8. Intermediate proofing
- During the dividing process, some gas escapes, and the gluten strands collapse, giving a rough surface.
- The gas will tend to escape from the torn surface.
- The cut dough is rested for some time when the pieces are again filled with gas and the gluten comes back to its original position.
9. Moulding and Panning
- Shaping into desired shape the finished product.
- Molding pressure should be even and uneven pressure will result in uneven texture.
- They are then put into clean and well-greased pans with proper space in between to allow the dough to increase in volume during proofing.
- Proofing is done under optimum conditions of temperature and humidity for maximum fermentation ( 95°F to 98°F & 80% to 83% ).
- Proofers are like chambers where a controlled condition is provided to the dough.
- Ensure there is no crust formation due to lack of humidity, as the rise will be slow then.
- Temperature is 400°F to 480°F.
- Oven Spring – increase in volume inside the oven, is seen as the yeasts are still alive.
- At 140°F yeast cells ceases functioning.
- At 172°F the proteins completely coagulate giving structure to the dough.
- Weight is reduced due to the evaporation of moisture and the crust starts acquiring golden brown color.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE OVEN IS TOO HOT?
- Fast coagulation of protein and crust formation, thus blocking easy heat transmission.
- Baking will not be proper inside.
- The volume will be small.
- Uneven shape
WHAT IF THE OVEN IS TOO COLD?
- Coagulation of protein will be delayed and the yeast will remain active for a longer time.
- Excessive volume of bread.
- Baking for an extended time, so the bread will be dry and crumbly and stales faster.
12. Cooling & Slicing
- Bread should be de-molded immediately from the tins.
- Moisture trapped between the bread and the surface of the mold will make the product soggy (sweating).
- Bread to be sliced when it cools slightly for even slicing (the globules are in a swollen stage when hot, so it’s unstable)
Why is it difficult to slice fresh bread? Starch cells are in a swollen state when hot and thus unstable.
When cooled, it shrinks and becomes more rigid. When heated again, they absorb available moisture and swells. Thus stale bread becomes softer when heated.
What happens if the moisture content is high in bread? Water absorption capacity will reduce, resulting in less yield.
- Bread is high in calories and carbs but low in protein, fat, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. However, the specific nutrient profile depends on the type of bread.
- Contains gluten, which can cause adverse side effects for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- High carb content can increase blood sugar and hunger while possibly promoting a higher body weight and an increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Whole-grain consumption is tied to a number of impressive health benefits.
In fact, eating whole grains may lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even colorectal cancer.
However, whole-wheat bread is higher in fiber, protein, and micronutrients like selenium and manganese than white bread, making it a better choice if you’re looking to lose weight or improve your health.
Bread is high in carbs, low in micronutrients, and its gluten and antinutrient contents may cause issues for some people.
Still, it’s often enriched with extra nutrients, and whole-grain or sprouted varieties may bestow several health benefits.
In moderation, bread can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.