Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Process of Making Bread

Making BreadThis is an interesting lesson on the whole theory and process of making bread, from the "Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Household Management", published by the Canadian Ministry of Education, 1916. It describes the basic ingredients in a loaf of bread, what each ingredient contributes, and what happens to the bread during kneading, rising, and baking.

Ingredients of plain bread:

1. Liquid.—
(1) It wets the mixture and causes the ingredients to adhere.
(2) It furnishes steam for a lightening gent.
(3) It allows the gluten to become sticky and elastic.
(4) It furnishes moisture for yeast plants.

2. Yeast.—It gives off carbonic acid gas, which lightens the mixture.

3. Salt.—
(1) It gives a flavour.
(2) It retards the growth of the yeast plant.

4. Flour.—
(1) It thickens the mixture.
(2) It supplies food for the yeast plant.
(3) It supplies gluten for a framework for the mixture.

Amount of ingredients for one small loaf:
Liquid—1 cup or 1/2 pt.
Salt—1/2 tsp.
Flour—About three times the amount of liquid
Yeast—Amount depends on the time given the bread to rise, as follows:
1/4 yeast cake: 12 hr. to rise
1/2 yeast cake: 5 hr. to rise
1 yeast cake: 3 hr. to rise

Process in making bread:
(1) Mixing (stirring, beating, and kneading).—
(a) This mixes the ingredients.
(b) It incorporates air to aid the yeast plant and to act as a lightening agent.
(c) It makes the gluten elastic.

(2) First rising.—This allows the yeast plants conditions and time to produce carbonic acid gas, until the dough is distended to twice its original size.

(3) Moulding.—
(a) This distributes the gas evenly throughout the loaf.
(b) It shapes the loaf.

(4) Second rising.—This again allows the yeast plants time to produce gas which will distend the dough to twice its size.

(5) Baking.—
(a) The heat of the oven expands the air and gas in the dough, which causes the gluten framework to distend.
(b) The water changes to steam, which becomes another agent in distending the gluten.
(c) The starch on the outside of the loaf becomes brown in the dry heat of the oven, while the inside starch is made soluble in the moist heat of the mixture.
(d) The gluten stiffens into the distended shape.
(e) The yeast plants are killed.

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