The most important thing to remember is that bread baking is more than just chemistry and physics. It moves into a realm that can best be represented as alchemy. You’re attempting to bring a living organism to live in the dough so that it can rise and expand.

That is exactly what yeast is for. Temperature regulation is often important, and accurate measurements are often a bonus.

Bread is divided into two categories: 

Yeast bread and batter bread. They are both characterized by a key ingredient, which also causes them to grow. Baking powder and/or baking soda are used as growing agents in yeast bread, while baking powder and/or baking soda are used in batter bread.

Bread made with yeast.

Yeast Bread

Yeast bread is made with yeast as a growing agent. The fungus yeast is a type of fungus. It’s a harmless mold that comes in packages and jars of soft cubes in a dormant state.

When warm water, sugar, and gluten in flour come into contact with yeast, it comes to life and starts to expand and multiply. It produces a waste product in the form of carbon dioxide gas as it grows. The bread inflates and grows due to the release of carbon dioxide.

After kneading, yeast bread has a classic dough-like consistency and takes time to rise. This causes the dough to rise and the yeast to begin to expand.

Bread of Batter

Bread of batter

Baking powder and/or baking soda are used as growing agents in batter bread. A batter’s bread needs no rising time since the rising happens when the batter is baking. It’s not an organic process like yeast but rather a chemical one.

When batter bread is poured into the bread pan, they have a batter-like consistency. They typically have a crack in the center/top of the loaf after baking.

Basics of Machinery

Baking bread does not necessitate a large amount of equipment. Here’s the rundown:

  • spoons for weighing
  • Cups that can be used for both liquid and dry measurements
  • a tub for mixing
  • Metal and Pyrex-glass bread pans

Yeast bread is best baked in metal bread pans. Suitable for the oven For batter bread, Pyrex glass bread pans are suitable. Before dropping the dough into the pan, yeast bread pans are normally lightly oiled. Since most batter bread contains oil as a primary ingredient, glass batter-bread pans are rarely oiled.

  • Sheets for baking buns, rolls, and biscuits
  • Cast iron skillets and pans for use in the oven or over open coals
  • Sources of heat
  • Electric and wood-fired ovens and open coals for cast iron baking are all viable choices for baking. If your wood-fired stove doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, oven thermometers can be put inside to help you handle the heat.

Baking over open coals is a bit of a trial and error process. Still, if you do it often enough, you’ll get a feel for how to best handle temperature and time.

The 5 Bread Baking Rules:

1. Precise measurements are needed.

Baking is a high-energy cooking form that involves both organic (yeast) and chemical components. Capriciously measuring ingredients is one of the most common errors people make. Here are a few things to remember.

  • When measuring dry ingredients, always level them off.
  • To ensure that your liquids are at the correct line, keep any wet ingredient measuring cup at eye level.
  • Weight is an alternative dry measurement process. Dry ingredients can be measured in grams using scales. This is the form used by professional bakers.

Bread Baking

2. Get to Know Your Yeast

There are three types of yeast used in baking. They are usually packaged in boxes or cans. For various forms of baking, they have different characteristics.

  • The most popular yeast used in baking is active dry yeast. Yeast packets usually carry 2 12 teaspoons.
  • Fast raise yeast has smaller yeast granules, and ascorbic acid added to speed up the growing process.
  • Cake yeast is a soft yeast that is commonly packaged in foil cubes. It’s used in bread that needs a long cool rise and results in a sponge-like texture. It has a two-week shelf life and must be kept refrigerated.

3. Understand the Different Types of Flour

Different Flour

Bread flour is a wheat-based bleached flour with the highest gluten content of any flour. Since yeast thrives on gluten, bread flour produces a higher increase.

All-purpose flour is bleached wheat flour that can be used in a wide range of recipes. It contains gluten as well, but not to the same extent as bread flour.

Wheat flour has an amber hue because it is unbleached. It is gluten-free compared to all-purpose wheat.

Since ryegrass grew so quickly and abundantly in the wild, rye flour was a popular flour in pioneer recipes.

It contains very little gluten, but it is not gluten-free.

Gluten-free flours aren’t made from wheat or ryegrass seeds. Rice flour, cornflour, almond flour, pine bark flour, sorghum flour, and chickpea flour are among the ingredients.

For thousands of years, ancient grains such as amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat flours have been used to make bread. They’re also free of gluten.

4. Master the art of mixing and kneading

Bread baking, bread kneading

It’s a mistake to toss bread ingredients into a bowl and mix them at random. This is particularly true in the case of yeast bread. Batter bread is more accommodating, and batter bread ingredients can be mixed and matched as you want. In contrast, yeast bread ingredients must be added in a specific order.

Here’s how to go about it.

  • Begin with the liquid, which is normally water but may also be milk. The temperature of the liquid should be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The simplest way to do this is to microwave the liquid in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds on warm. The liquid should be warm but not hot to the touch. Fill the mixing bowl with it.
  • To remove the sugar or other sweetener, stir it into the mixing bowl.
  • Toss in the yeast and give it a good swirl.
  • Attach the flour and whisk to blend.
  • If the recipe calls for it, add salt or oil and blend again. At first, you don’t want the salt to come into direct contact with the yeast. The salt slows down yeast development, resulting in a more balanced increase.
  • When the dough starts to take shape in the bowl and all ingredients are combined, pour it out onto a floured surface and knead it.
  • A table is preferable to a countertop for kneading. It is lower and allows you to use your back to move your hands and arms up and down when turning, pressing, folding, and kneading the dough.
  • Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes to fully mix the ingredients and add the yeast.
  • If you’re adding fruits or nuts, do so now by dropping them onto the surface and turning and folding them into the dough.
  • You may also do all of the mixings and kneading with a countertop mixer fitted with a dough hook.

5. Recognize the Causes of Success and Failure

Depending on the recipe and type of bread, yeast bread involves a growing period that can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours. Generally speaking, yeast bread dough should rise in the pan for at least an hour.

You can keep the surface moist by placing a soft, wet washcloth over it, or you can lightly oil it. When the dough increases, this keeps the surface elastic.