A. Make Bread.
1/2 tsp. fat (lard)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt it is elastic and does not stick to the hands. Place over lukewarm water in the top of a double boiler which may be greased. Cover tightly. (Why?) The top of the dough may be brushed lightly with fat. (Why?) Maintain the lukewarm temperature until the dough has doubled in bulk.
1/4 c. boiling liquid (water, or milk and water)
Pour the liquid over the other ingredients. Let them stand until lukewarm (98°). Add 1/4 to 1/2 1 yeast cake softened in 1/2 tbsp. lukewarm water. Sift in gradually § c. flour, or as much as is needed to make a dough as soft as can be handled. Knead thoroughly but lightly, until
1 This large amount of yeast is added to enable the process of bread-making to be carried through in a very short time. For ordinary home use the proportions would be one yeast cake to a pint of liquid. The bread in this lesson can be mixed and baked in two hours.
Knead again until the bubbles have been evenly distributed, adding no more flour than is necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Shape into a loaf, first cutting off sufficient dough to make two biscuits.
Place the loaf in a greased tin, cover, and let rise until the loaf has doubled in size. Place in an oven at 450° F. for ten minutes, and finish baking at 365° to 385° F.
Knead a little extra fat into the biscuit dough, shape, and let rise as in the case of the loaf. The best temperature for baking rolls is 435° F.
B. Class Work. Kneading.
One student should make a larger quantity of dough, and each student in turn should be taught the correct process of kneading with the larger amount.
The term "breads" or "breadstuffs" includes unleavened bread, as well as bread which is raised with yeast or with gas from soda. The term "bread" is usually confined to bread made with yeast, and it is so used here.
The essentials in bread-making are flour, liquid, salt, and yeast. Fat is usually added, and other ingredients may be.
Bread is made in two ways, and is known as short-and long-process bread. The method of making short-process bread is the more modern. This method became possible only with the availability of fresh yeast, such as is found in compressed yeast cakes. In short-process bread-making, the yeast is stirred with lukewarm water and mixed with sufficient flour and warm water to obtain a dough of the desired consistency. The combination may be made by stirring the water into the flour, or vice-versa. If fat is to be used, it is melted by pouring hot water over it and then allowed to cool to the proper temperature. The yeast is stirred with water to separate it, so that it can be mixed more readily with the other ingredients. The water should be warm, about 90° F., in order to hasten the growth of the yeast. This is desirable, because less time is given for the development of bacteria which may cause the dough to become sour. In order to maintain the suitable temperature after mixing, the dough is covered to prevent its cooling and also drying. The flour furnishes both protein and starch as food for the yeast plants. Pure yeast cannot act directly on starch.
Flour contains diastase, an enzyme not unlike the ptyalin found in saliva, which is capable of changing the starch into sugar. As soon as sugar is produced, the yeast begins to act upon it by means of the ferments which it contains. These break up the sugar present into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide is a gas which cannot escape easily through the dough, since the gluten present holds it, much as the soap in soapsuds holds air when one blows into it.
Gluten in flour is developed by kneading, since this mixes water with the glutenin and gliadin, two proteins found in flour. Many people have an idea that bread must be kneaded with great force, but this is a mistake. The more lightly the dough is handled, the better the texture of the bread. As little flour as possible should be used, but, of course, enough must be added to enable the dough to be handled without sticking to the board or the fingers. Experience makes it possible to handle a very soft dough, and this is probably one of the ways in which skill counts in bread-making.
As the yeast grows and produces carbon dioxide, the dough is stretched by the gas until it is full of bubbles, and "rises." The action is allowed to go on, until the dough has doubled in bulk. At this stage, it could be baked, but it would give a bread of very uneven texture, for, with all the care in mixing, the bubbles of gas are unevenly distributed and some are very large. So, instead of being baked, the dough is kneaded again, this time to break up the larger bubbles and to distribute the gas as evenly as possible. Then the dough is shaped into loaves. It is again set in a warm place for the yeast to produce more gas, since some was lost in the kneading process. When the dough has doubled in bulk, it is ready for baking.
Fat is commonly added because the bread is " shorter", as it is called, that is, less tough. Sugar is sometimes added to hasten the starting of the yeast, as well as to make the bread more tender. Potatoes and potato water also seem to stimulate the yeast to quicker action, and to make the bread less dry after it is baked. Milk may be used as the liquid in place of part or of all of the water. It adds some fat as well as a little more food value to the bread and changes its flavor somewhat. If milk be used, it is first scalded to kill some of the bacteria present. There is always danger of the dough souring, because the yeast itself is not free from bacteria, and some kinds of bacteria act on the alcohol and produce acids which make the bread sour. In a short-process bread, there is less danger of sour dough, because the yeast usually acts too quickly to give the bacteria time to multiply sufficiently to produce enough acid to sour the dough.
The liquid must not be mixed with the yeast while it is too hot, or the yeast will be killed. Yeast plants cannot stand a temperature of 130° F.
The length of time necessary to make bread by the short process depends upon the amount of yeast used. If the first rising is to be overnight, usually from one-fourth to one-half of a yeast cake is used for each quart of liquid. To shorten the time of rising, the amount of yeast can be increased almost indefinitely. Even as many as five or six cakes of yeast can be used and, if they are perfectly fresh, they will not give a disagreeable flavor to the bread. But since they increase the cost of the bread unduly, usually not more than a cake to a quart of liquid is used.
Since neither yeast nor bacteria grow well in the cold, it is possible to check the rising of the dough by placing it in an ice-chest or some other cold place. This is sometimes done in order to keep the dough so that hot biscuits may be served at a special time.
Long-process bread is made by setting a sponge. This means that in the first mixing only about half the flour is used. The sponge, as it is called, is really a batter. This is allowed to stand until it is very light and foamy. Then the rest of the flour is mixed with it and the dough is then treated as if this were the first mixing in short-process bread. The advantage of this way of making bread is that dry yeast can be used, for the rising of the sponge gives time for it to become actively-growing yeast. Some cooks set a sponge when using compressed yeast, but there is no necessity for doing so, and as the long process means more work than the short process, the latter method should be preferred.
U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 389. "Bread and Bread-Making."
1. What will happen in bread-mixing:
(a) if the weather is too warm?
(b) if, in very cold water, the flour is not warmed? (c) if the bread is put to rise in too warm a place?
(d) if the bread is put to rise in too cold a place?
(e) if the bread is insufficiently kneaded before shaping into loaves?
(f) if the bread is kneaded too heavily? (g) if too much flour is used ?
2. What may happen if the liquid is not scalded?
3. When is it advantageous to use a bread mixer?
4. Why is a different temperature required in baking bread and rolls?