Farm-to-Table Baking and Other Contemporary Trends in Baking

How to Bake Better Bread

by Ruby Rhodes

Have you just opened your bakery and you are not satisfied with the quality of the bread that you are producing? Below are some of the key elements that you should examine to identify why the bread might not be meeting your expectations.

The Flour

Different kinds of flour exist on the market. Make sure that you are using flour that is intended for baking bread. Next, examine the proportion of protein in the flour that you use. Why is this important? The protein in flour contains gluten. Gluten is responsible for the texture that people enjoy when they are chewing bread. You can, therefore, bake better bread by switching to flour that has a higher protein content. Read the product label and find out how much protein is in your flour so that you can select a variety that has a higher protein content.

Yeast

Yeast grows when you add it into your baking ingredients. However, specific conditions, such as pH, moisture level and temperature must exist so that these living organisms can release sufficient quantities of gases to make the bread rise. You must therefore first be sure that you are using the right amount of yeast in your mixture. Next, check and confirm that you have created the ideal conditions for the yeast to grow. For example, increase the moisture level in case it was not high enough to support those organisms.

Dough Enhancer

You can also improve the quality of your bread by using a high-quality dough enhancer. Dough enhancers or conditioners play several roles, such as adjusting the pH of the dough, so that yeast will thrive. Changing to a better conditioner can, therefore, give you better results because yeast will grow better in your ingredients.

A Thermometer

A reliable thermometer is an invaluable tool in any baker's arsenal. This is because temperature is an important aspect of good baking. For example, you must maintain the water that you use to mix your ingredients at a specific temperature. You should also monitor the temperature of the dough so that you are sure that the yeast has the conditions it desires to grow. Buy a thermometer that displays results instantly so that you can monitor your baking effectively.

Examine your process in terms of the factors above so that you can isolate the reason why your bread does not meet your expectations. You can also consult experienced bakers for advice in case you are unable to get better results after changing your materials and processes.

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