The Bread Leavening Process

Leavening is a very important part of bread making so that you can get bread that is both chewy and tasty. You should understand how it works, since breads among different cultures generally use the same technique. Some people also serve unleavened bread, especially in the Middle East. You will appreciate yeast more as you go through the steps. Here are some tips on how to begin.

On Bread Leavening

Leavening is the process of putting gas to dough during or before you bake to create lighter and more chewable bread. Most of the bread eaten in the West is leavened, although there are also unleavened breads that have symbolic use in Judaism and Christian churches. The bread chemical leavening is a basic technique that incorporates gas-producing chemicals.

There are a couple of common methods. The first method involves the use of baking powder or a self-rising flour the also includes baking powder. The second method involves adding an acidic ingredient like baking soda and buttermilk. The reaction of the soda and the acid leads to gas. Chemically leavened breads are referred to as soda breads and quick breads. The technique is usually done to make sweet breads, muffins and banana bread.

On Yeast and Leavening

Several breads are leavened using yeast, a kind of fungus having only a single cell. The yeast used to leaven bread is called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the same species used to brew alcoholic beverages. The yeast will ferment carbohydrates in the flour and any sugar, thereby leading to carbon dioxide. A lot of bakers in America leaven the dough using commercially made baker's yeast. Baker's yeast provides you the benefit of creating quick, uniform and reliable results, since it comes from pure culture.

More on Yeast

The baker's yeast and sourdough method of baking bread typically follow a similar pattern. Water is mixed with salt, flour and the leavening agent. Other additions like fats, spices, seeds, herbs and fruits are not needed to bake bread, but are also used often. The mixed dough is allowed to rise 1 or more times so bakers will punch down the dough and allow it to rise again and again. The loaves are formed and the bread is ultimately baked inside the oven.

Several breads are created from straight dough, so all ingredients are combined in a single step. The dough is baked after the rising period. Dough can also be made using the starter method, when some of the water, flour and leavening are mixed 1 day or so before baking. These are allowed to ferment for 1 night. During baking, all other ingredients are added and the rest of the process is similar to straight dough. A more flavourful bread with better texture is made.

Steam Leavening

Rapidly expanding steam created while baking can leaven the bread. The method is both basic but unpredictable. The popover is the most common steam-leavened bread. Steam-leavening can be unexpected since steam cannot be created until the bread is baked. Regardless of the agents, steam leavening can be done. Agents include sourdough, egg snow, soda powder and yeast.

Other Bread Making and Your Life Articles

How to Make Bread
The Sourdough Starter Recipe
The Bread Leavening Process
On Breadmaking Ingredients
Making Cinnamon Bread Rolls
The Processes of Making Whole Wheat Bread
Making Sourdough
How to Make Whole Wheat Bread
Bread Sourdough and Leavening
Sourdough Starters and Bread Recipes
Comparing Sourdough and Sourbread
How to Make Cinnamon Bread Rolls
Yeast 101
Breadmaking: About Freshly Milled Grains
How to Make Cinnamon Bread
Familiarizing Baking Ingredients
How to Make Banana Bread
How to Make Breadcrumbs
Making Homemade Bread
Homemade Bread Making Tips
How to Make White Bread
How to Make Flat Bread
Understanding the Kinds of Bread
Bread Formulation and More

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