THE VITAL INGREDIENTS
FOR BREAD MAKING
Flour is the most important ingredient used
for bread making. It provides food for the
yeast and gives structure to the loaf. When
mixed with liquid, the protein in the ﬂour
starts to form gluten. Gluten is a network
of elastic strands that interlock to trap the
gases produced by yeast. This process
increases as the dough continues kneading
and provides the structure required to
produce the weight and shape of the
White wheat ﬂour (known as baker's
or bread ﬂour) or plain ﬂour may be
used. Plain ﬂour is most readily available,
however, best results are obtained from
ﬂour with at least 11% protein content.
For this reason, the recipes in this book
requiring bread ﬂour have been made with
ﬂour with 11% protein content. This is
normally indicated on the packaging.
Do not sift the ﬂour or use self-raising
ﬂour for bread making unless indicated
in the recipe.
When using a low-protein, plain,
stone ground or wholemeal ﬂour the
quality of the bread can be improved
by adding gluten ﬂour.
Baker’s or Bread Flour
There are several brands of baker's or
bread ﬂour available nationally. It is a high
protein, white bread ﬂour, with 11% protein.
Wholemeal wheat ﬂour contains the bran,
germ and ﬂour of the wheat grain. Although
breads baked with this type of ﬂour will
be higher in ﬁber, the loaf may be heavier
in texture. Lighter textured bread can be
achieved by replacing 1 cup of wholemeal
ﬂour with white bread ﬂour.
Rye ﬂour, popular for bread making, is low
in protein so it is essential to combine rye
ﬂour with bread ﬂour to make the bread rise
successfully. Rye ﬂour is traditionally used
to make the heavy, dense Pumpernickel
and Black Breads.
Gluten ﬂour is made by extracting the
gluten portion from the wheat grain. Adding
gluten ﬂour can improve the structure and
quality of bread when using low-protein,
plain, stone ground and whole meal ﬂour.
Bread improvers are available in speciality
stores. The ingredients in a bread
improver are usually a food acid such
as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and other
enzymes (amylases) extracted from wheat
ﬂours. Adding a bread improver will help
strengthen the dough resulting in a loaf that
is higher in volume, softer in texture, more
stable and has improved keeping qualities.
A simple bread improver can be a crushed
unﬂavored vitamin C tablet added to the
Sugar provides sweetness and ﬂavor,
browns the crust and produces food for
the yeast. White sugar, brown sugar,
honey and golden syrup are all suitable to
use. When using honey or golden syrup it
must be counted as additional liquid. We
have successfully tested granular 'Splenda'
brand low calorie sweetener as a sugar
Powdered milk and milk products
enhance the ﬂavor and increase the
nutritional value of bread. Powdered milk
is convenient and easy to use (store in an
airtight container in the refrigerator).
Low fat or skim milk powder can be used
with good results. Soy milk powder can
also be used but produces a denser loaf.
Fresh milk should not be substituted unless
stated in the recipe.
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