Time is important to good bread, and even more important when making great bread.  When a baker thinks about the time it takes to create a great loaf of bread, he or she has to think about all of the following:

 

  • The time it takes for the yeast to activate.

  • The time it takes for the sponge to grow and ferment.

  • The time it takes for the 1st, 2nd rise.

  • The time it takes for the final rise, whether the loaf is a self-standing loaf or in a pan.

  • The time it takes to heat the oven and to bake that great loaf of bread

 

And the time it takes to cool down before you dig in - which of course, never happens...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Importance of Time - Bread Science

Just Bread?

To make just bread, you could mix the ingredients, knead it for a bit, form the dough into a loaf, put it in the pan to rise, and bake the bread when the loaf is risen.  All without considering the time needed for a great loaf of bread.

 

What would you get?

 

A loaf that is not light and fluffy (depending on the flour you use), proabably a bit dense, not very elastic (bendable) or soft, and even flavorless.  The loaf may look good, but it won't BE good.

 

That's why time is important when baking bread.  The right amount of time:

  • Allows the yeast to activate and grow.

  • Allows the flour, liquid, sweetner and yeast to bond stronger (= better gluten).

  • Allows the yeast to feed on the starches and sugars to create the gas needed for the dough to rise.

  • Helps create the right flavor - a good flavor - even a great flavor in the bread.

  • Creates an environment where the dough is soft, workable, kneads well, has great texture and bakes just right.

 

Time is even more important when working with artisan breads to develop that flavorful taste or an excellent dough.  Although artisan bread isn't the focus of thise site, time and bread go together, whether it's a beautiful pan or sandwich bread, or a soft-in-the-middle, crusty loaf of artisan bread.

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