Bread is a staple product formed by the combination of dough of flour and water and other additional products. Doughs are generally baked but in some delicacies breads are often fried, steamed or baked. They may be leavened or unleavened. Breads also loaded with fat, salt, leavening agents like yeast and baking soda. The other components that can be used in making breads may include milk, egg, sugar, spices, nuts, fruits and vegetables. They are one of the oldest food products in use since the Neolithic times. The development of bread as a food products dates back to thousands of years ago. The prize of the freshly made bread depends upon its taste, aroma, quality, appearance and texture. The dried bread is called as stale. Modern breads are wrapped in plastics and stored to retain freshness. Bread if kept at a warmer temperature favours the growth of fungus, so it is advised to store them at low temperatures in refrigerators. Soft part of bread is known as crumb and the harder part is called as crust buy sourdough garlic bread.
Flour is the chief ingredient of bread as it affects its texture to a greater extent. Professional bakers use a proper system of percentages known as Baker’s Percentage in making breads. Calcium propionate is commonly added by the bakers to retard microbial growth. Flour is actually obtained from the grains in the form of powder. It is responsible for the primary structure of the final product. The flour of rye, barley, maize and wheat is commonly used in making bread. The protein obtained from flour actually serves as the best indicator of bread dough and finished bread. Wheat flour in addition to starch also contains three water soluble proteins namely albumin, globulin and proteoses and two non-water soluble proteins glutenin and gliadin. When the flour is mixed with water the soluble proteins dissolve while glutenin and gliadin do not dissolve and result in the formation of dough. When worked by kneading glutenin forms long chsin like strands. Both glutenin and gliadin form network of strands collectively called as gluten. Gluten development improves if dough is allowed to undergo autolysis.
Water and other liquids are commonly used for making dough. The volume of liquid varies in the ratio of 1:3. Dairy products, fruit juices may be used as liquids. Leavening is the process of adding gas to the dough before baking so that it can become lighter and easily chewable bread may be obtained. A simple method of leavening of bread is use of chemicals that produce gas. There are two familiar chemicals easily available. First is addition of baking powder to dough and second is use of an acidic ingredient like buttermilk followed by addition of baking soda. The breads prepared in this way are called as quick breads and soda breads. These chemicals are commonly used in the preparation of pancakes, muffins and banana breads.