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99

I'm going to agree with Szczerzo about this being an anthropologic question, but I'm going to disagree about the cause. While nomadic lifestyles was an influence, it's not causative. I'm also going to ignore the distinction made about raising agents in the OP, because it's factually incorrect; most Arab/Levantine/Turkish/Kurdish breads use yeast. Instead, ...


38

The first yeast was "just there" - in the environment, everywhere. People discovered very early on that leaving the dough (or just a flour-water slurry) out would lead to it getting "sour" and "bubbly", thus leavening the bread: What we today call sourdough is in fact a mixture of yeasts and bacteria (lactobacillae). The origins of bread-making are so ...


38

Warm your plate. The moisture in your toast is coming off the toast and then is getting condensed into the cold plate just like a glass of ice water attracts the moisture from the warm air around it. If you heat the plate, the moisture will not condense on top the plate.


35

It's actually an anthropologic question. It's more due to Europe being settled down while Middle Eastern peoples were still nomadic. Raising bread, even with agents, is very hard when you move or don't have much time. For a raised bread you need a starter and few hours; for a flat bread you need a few minutes. Not to mention flat bread can be baked ON an ...


32

Making bread without sugar is nothing strange - I do so several times a week! The wheat flour (or whatever you're using) contains enzymes which, when you blend it with water, breaks down starch to sugars which fermenting agents such as yeast or lactobacilli can feed off. The Wikipedia page on sourdough has more info.


31

Well, I don't think you're doing anything wrong -- I think it's because you aren't using any preservatives in your bread (and that's a good thing, right?). I find my homemade bread has to be eaten in about a week, but I live in a dry climate. A more humid climate might result in it lasting 3-4 days.


28

You do not need sugar to make bread. The majority of traditional, rustic breads use just 4 ingredients - water, yeast, flour, and salt. Consequently, rising times are slower (usually resulting in better flavour) and the bread goes stale quicker (hence, for example, the French practice of buying fresh bread every day). Sugar softens bread by slowing gluten ...


27

Sugar has a few effects in bread: It helps make it soft and tender by absorbing some of the water and slowing down the formation of gluten strands. It feeds the yeast, resulting in a faster rise. Via caramelisation, it aids in the browning of the crust. It acts as a preservative, keeping the bread fresher for longer (though 1tbsp probably doesn't make a lot ...


26

The reason for doing delayed fermentation in the fridge is that the yeast development is slowed down, while still allowing the enzymes that naturally occur in the flour to do their work (converting starches to sugars, making a more flavorful dough). The risk of doing it on the counter instead of the fridge is that the enzymes are working AND the yeast is ...


26

I assume, by sugar you mean sucrose. However, yeast actually prefers glucose and maltose, see nutritional requirements of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and also proofing. Luckily, we get glucose and maltose "for free" from the flour, see this article on bread chemistry: Flour naturally contains both α- and β-amylases, which between them break down some of ...


26

I don't think that it is really necessary to use your knuckles. Rather, there are ways to knead dough well, and ways to knead dough badly. I have seen ineffective people pinching the dough, or turning it between their hands, or other strange motions, which in a cargo-cult way resemble actual kneading, but don't do anything useful. My guess is that whoever ...


24

The goal is to keep the surface of the bread from drying out. A wet towel works fine but plastic wrap is cheaper and easier than constantly cleaning wet towels. I have used both methods and haven't noticed a difference in the bread produced. In very dry climates, when I made bread with multiple rises I sometimes had to redampen the towel which was an added ...


23

It is because of the way starch retrogrades. It does so in stages. The first stage needs between 1 and 2 hours, the second one a few days. You have probably seen it more clearly in starch-thickened puddings: they thicken a bit on stovetop, but are only ready to unmold after a few hours, else they wuoldn't keep their shape. In a bread, the starch granules ...


23

Soft bread is soft because CO2 produced by yeast and water that gets turned to steam by the baking process gets trapped into pockets by a mesh of gluten, causing the dough to expand. The dough then solidifies, keeping its shape. If your bread is not soft then it hasn't expanded enough for one or more reasons: Dough too dry: as much as the yeast, water is ...


21

Bacteria need a friendly environment to live. They can't survive without mosture. Mold tolerates more, but it needs moisture for life too. Bread is too dry a food, so it doesn't catch bacteria. This is why it can be stored outside the fridge. But if you live in a moderately humid climate, it can still be moist enough for mold to grow, especially if stored ...


21

Hydration numbers aren't that meaningful by themselves -- whether an 80% hydration level can produce a high-rising free-form loaf will depend on a lot on the types of flours or grains that are used. (Usually, 80% hydration is most appropriate for flatter or roughly shaped breads: ciabatta, focaccia, pizza dough, rustic baguettes, etc.) With the specific ...


21

I think you will be disappointed. While a fantastic protein source, cricket flour does not contain the gluten proteins that make bread what it is. Therefore, bread made with cricket flour must get its structure somewhere else. The majority of recipes I can find are quickbreads which get their structure from added eggs blown up with baking soda. Dense and ...


20

Bread hydration varies widely. The "standard" bread using all-purpose (plain) flour has a ratio of water to flour weight (hydration) 60-65%. Flour with a higher protein level, labelled as bread, strong, or high-gluten, tend to use 65% hydration. Ciabatta and rustic breads generally use more water than normal. The extra water gives them more large, uneven ...


20

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, I think the dough is just more slack than you're used to. As @Jay noted, it can take some practice to work with a wet dough. But once you do, you'll be rewarded with a much more open crumb and a better final product. In my experience, I've found wetter dough and higher oven temps = better artisan bread (in ...


20

Yes, you can easily slow down the rising time by lowering the temperature of the dough ("retarding" it, as the pros say). You can either put it in a cool place or refrigerate it; the colder it is, the slower it will rise. Dough can even be frozen and proofed later, though sometimes that will make it a bit wonky when it thaws.


19

I love making bread. I make it every other day or three. (Also make your own butter it's so easy and tastes great plus less expensive than buying it. You can control the amount of salt.) My suggestion, as most of the reasons have already been very well addressed, is to split your recipe into two batches. Half of it should be cooked straight from its first ...


19

There are several factors that make bread be "holey". First of all we must understand that those big holes are created by "balloons" of gluten filled with CO2 and alcohol made by yeasts. Those balloons can grow in 2 ways Yeast cells close to the balloon make CO2 or alcohol, and it's "poured" into the balloon, and it grows. The wall between 2 balloons gets ...


19

Bread which is left out can have any number of things happen to it, all of which are usually progressing at once, although one will win out as the primary thing you experience: It goes stale, that is, the starches in the bread lose their hydration and re-crystallize giving the bread a harder texture It dries out, losing moisture to the atmosphere (or if it ...


18

Blowing out happens because the extra expansion of the bread in the oven, called oven spring, expands further than the skin of the bread can accommodate. The protein sheets that make up risen bread can toughen when they dry out. When the bread is introduced to the sudden high heat of the oven the water and alcohol vaporizes, filling the loaf with gas. If ...


18

There are several negative effects from over-kneading bread dough: Overheating - if the dough gets too warm, it will ferment too quickly (or over ferment) and will therefore lack flavour. Oxidisation - kneading for too long can cause the flour to oxidise and bleach, again impairing flavour. Breaking down - eventually the molecular bonds of the gluten will ...


18

There are lots of theories about this topic. Basically, to get large holes, you want a dough that has enough air to expand greatly, enough structure to support that expansion, and somewhat uneven distribution of the air/structure to produce various size holes. Some things that will help: Relatively high hydration. It's not strictly necessary, but it ...


18

Much of the bitterness in breads made from whole wheat is caused by the phenolic acid and tannins in the bran layer of the wheat. Different varieties of wheat have different levels of those compounds and produce breads with different levels of bitterness. "Traditional" varieties of wheat, such as red wheat, contain high levels of tannins, while hard white ...


18

Your enemy is moisture. Due to the airtight plastic, moisture will gather on the surface of the bread, which is the happy place for mold. If you don't store your bread in plastic wrap, you won't get mold. Yes, now you face the opposite problem - as the moisture is no longer stopped, you end up with hard bread, instead of moldy bread. So you want to ...


17

Slashing the skin of a loaf creates a weak area. When the oven spring occurs the dough will expand through that weak spot. Expansion will be limited in the stronger, unslashed areas. Conceptually this is fairly simple. Leave the skin unslashed in the direction you don't want the bread to expand. In the case of a checker slash on the surface of a boule- the ...


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