Yeast bread when well made is a food of which the palate never tires, and it is usually recognized as a part of every well-planned meal. The quick breads are a convenient substitute at times, but they are not the staff of life in the same sense, and are, on the whole, less widely used.

The making of a perfect loaf of bread is the goal of all those who aspire to excel in cookery; and the art of bread making requires not only a clear understanding of the underlying principles, but patience and persistence in experimentation and practice until a uniformly perfect product is achieved. The fact that in yeast we have a living organism with which to deal makes the whole process a delicate one, in which every detail is of importance, whether it be a matter of ingredients, proportions, methods of mixing, or temperature.

The Standard Of Good Bread

There will always be some difference of opinion in regard to a desirable quality in bread, and individual preference will control the final result, whether the crumb of the bread shall be dry and porous or somewhat more moist and finer in grain. French bread is of the former type, the English preferring a close grain and solid loaf. Allowing for these differences, it is still possible to standardize bread, and to state in percentages the different points to be considered in judging a loaf.

We must consider the size and symmetry of the loaf, in order that the interior of the bread may be baked to the very center, without overbaking or burning the crust, and therefore very large loaves should be avoided. The crust should be uniform in color, the shade ranging from a light golden to a darker brown, and the quality may be soft or crisp, but never tough. The crumb should be light, the cavities evenly distributed throughout the loaf and of uniform size. It should also be elastic, tender, and yet not pasty, evenly baked without streaks and heavy portions near the crust, and the color should be creamy rather than a snowy white. (Fig. 55.)

The following score cards will be useful in judging loaves, and in the bread contests which are interesting and helpful.

BREAD SCORE CARD 1

I.

General Appearance.........................................................

..............

15%

1. Shape......................................................................

2.5%

2. Size ...........

2.5%

3. Crust ..........

10.0%

(a) Color

(b) Smoothness

II.

Internal Appearance............................................................

.................

55%

1. Depth of crust..........................................................

10 %

2. Texture (lightness)...................................................

15 %

3. Crumb.......................................................................

30 %

(a) Moisture Elasticity (25%)

(b) Color ( 5%)

III.

Flavor.............................................................................

....................

30%

100%

BREAD SCORE CARD 2

I.

External Appearance........................................................

.............

20%

1. Shape...................................................................

5%

2. Size............................

5%

3. Crust .................................................................

10%

(a) Color

(b) Smoothness

Fig. 51.   Composition of bread.

Fig. 51. - Composition of bread.

II.

Internal Factors........................................................................

50%

1. Depth of crust...........................................................

10%

2. Texture..........

20%

3. Crumb .....................................................................

20%

(a) Moisture . (15%)

(b) Color . . (5%)

III.

Flavor................................................................................

.................

30%

100%