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Bread You Can’t Resist! Baking delicious loaves of bread is not difficult once you understand the proper techniques. But you might ask, why bother baking your own bread when you can go to the store and buy your favorite? Making your own can be so personally rewarding, not to mention the wonderful aroma that fills your home. Bread baking is one of the most therapeutic forms of cooking. There is something very soothing about working with dough. The effort of kneading the dough eases the stress of a long, busy day. In fact, the more effort you put into kneading, the better the loaf! At its most basic, bread is made from flour, yeast and water. Gluten in the flour becomes elastic when added to water. As the dough is kneaded, the yeast feeds on starches in the flour and releases gases. These gases are trapped in a weblike structure of gluten in the dough, which causes the dough to rise. In the recipes I am including here, I use a dry active yeast. This

Braided Bread doesn’t require any proofing, so you no longer have to add warm water and a little sugar to start the growth process before adding it to your dry ingredients. As long as you use the yeast while it is fresh, and before its expiration date, it will provide great structure in the bread. Different liquids added to the bread, ranging from water to beer, or milk to buttermilk, will change the flavor and consistency of the bread. Buttermilk adds a tangy acidity, while beer adds a full-bodied flavor. Milk makes a 59

March 2013 Tidewater Times  

March 2013 Tidewater Times

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