An Introduction to Bread Ingredients

Bread Flour

Bread flour has a high content of gluten so sometimes you may see this advertised as high gluten flour. High Gluten flour contains high protein and is usually a good flour for bread makers.

It makes the bread very elastic and will keep the bread from sinking or caving in after it has risen.

This flour is good for making a large size loaf of bread with a really good inner fiber because of the high gluten content.

It may sound obvious but there is not a more important ingredient when it comes to making bread.

Plain Flour

Plain flour is made by mixing well chosen soft and hard wheat and is best for making bread and cakes.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is made by grinding whole wheat. It contains the skin of wheat and it is heavier and more nutritious than common flour. Bread made by whole wheat flour is usually small in size. Most recipes for wheat bread will combine the whole wheat flour and bread flour in order to achieve the best results.

Black Wheat Flour

Black wheat flour also known as “rough flour” is a high fiber flour that is very similar to whole wheat flour. To obtain a large size after rising it needs to be used in combination with a high proportion of bread flour.

Cake Powder

Cake powder is made by grinding soft wheat or low protein wheat which is used for baking cakes.

While most flours seem to be very much alike it comes down to the yeast performance in combination with the flour and the way in which it is absorbed.

The area or region in which the ingredient is grown, stored and ground also plays a role in the performance of the wheat.

It never hurts to try a few different brands of flour to get an idea of what works best for you as well as tastes the best.

Corn Flour and Oatmeal Flour

Corn flour and oatmeal flour are made by grinding corn and oatmeal respectively. They are both the additive ingredient of making rough bread which is used for enhancing the flavor and the texture of the bread.

Sugar

Sugar is very important to the mix for adding taste and color. (In my opinion I do not think sugar is necessary.) I have made many a loaf without sugar and I can not tell the difference in taste or color.

Sugar does help to nourish the yeast to make a better rising bread.

If you are using a bread maker you may want to look for the ingredients in your super market that say “great for bread makers.” I seem to believe these ingredients that come advertised for the bread makers are of a different quality than those prepared for traditional baking.

Yeast

Yeast breaks down and than produces carbon dioxide which makes the bread expand and the inner fiber soft. Yeast also relies on sugar and flour as a source of nourishment.

Yeast also must be stored at a cool temperature so the refrigerator is an ideal spot for it.

Salt

Salt is necessary to improve bread flavor and the color of the crust. Salt is not a necessary ingredient so feel free to omit it all together. Your bread would actually be larger without the salt also.

Egg

Eggs will improve the texture of your bread as well as add nourishment and make it larger in size.

Grease, Butter and Vegetable Oil

Grease can make the bread soft and delay its storage life. Butter should be melted or chopped into small pieces before use.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is used mainly to make bread rise very fast. It will also bubble or soften the texture of the bread.

Baking Soda

Same principle as above and the two can be used in combination with one another.

Water

Water is a very essential ingredient to making bread so never leave it out of your recipe.

Delicious Mayonnaise Snacks

Mayonnaise is such a versatile condiment that tastes great and works with many types of foods. Mayonnaise is made up mainly of eggs and has a thick consistency that works for anyone.

    • Coleslaw is the most famous side dish and snack that contains mayonnaise. The dish consists of cabbage and carrots shredded to make thin pieces. What makes this dish delicious is how the mayonnaise complements the vegetables without giving the dish an overpowering taste.
    • Chicken and Tuna Mayo is a sandwich that, believe or not, is not entirely unhealthy. Instead of having condiments that contain many unhealthy preservatives, you have mayonnaise which doesn’t contain as many flavourings and added ingredients.
    • Devilled Eggs taste amazing if you are a person who has the taste buds for this snack. The eggs are boiled until it is hard. They are then cut in half and have the yolk removed and placed into a bowl. Mayonnaise and curry powder is then added to the egg yolk and mixed together until smooth. Using a piping tool, you can refill the egg whites and add paprika as a garnish.
    • Egg sandwiches are great for people who don’t enjoy eating meat. This is such an easy snack that children could prepare it (provided an adult is supervising). For the egg fill you first need to cook the egg as if making scrambled eggs. Once it is cool, you add mayonnaise and mix it well then add it to the toasted bread. Toasted bread is more stable and doesn’t absorb liquids as quickly.
    • You can also use mayonnaise to complement the snack you brought with to work. To spice it up a bit and allow yourself extra flavours, why not add a bit of curry powder to it? You can then dip your favourite (or least favourite) snack into the sauce. If you don’t enjoy curry powder, other possible spices or ingredients to add to your dip would be paprika, chilli slices, cucumber, melted cheese (which will need a bit more preparation), or your favourite bell pepper. If you use spices a lot you may want to get them in bulk from a cash and carry wholesaler.
  • Other traditional side dishes and snacks also include mayonnaise. Some people will make pasta salad that gives them their daily intake of carbohydrates. To make this you first need to cook the pasta according the packet instructions, and then add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper. This is a simple dish that can taste good without being over filling.

The Perfect Homemade Focaccia

You might be thinking of the round pizza that goes well with cheese topping, but traditional Italian Focaccia is slightly different to how it’s made in the restaurants. The base might have the same ingredients but the preparation is what makes this bread so delicious.

Before starting, you need to have all the ingredients in front of you so that the preparation will be easy. To make the homemade Focaccia, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of plain flour,
  • 300 millilitres of warm water,
  • one sachet of yeast,
  • a teaspoon of salt and
  • a teaspoon of sugar.
  1. Start off by sifting the flour and making a hole in the centre using the tips of your hands. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and then add the warm water. The warm water allows the yeast to react thus creating the perfect pizza dough.
  2. You will need to use your hands to mix all the ingredients together quickly so that the yeast does not prematurely start to react with the warm water. Once the dough has been kneed and is now a smooth looking ball, leave it to rise for about an hour or until the dough is soft enough to mould in a rectangular oven tray.
  3. Brush the bottom of the tray with a generous amount of sunflower oil. The sunflower oil will give the Focaccia a more prominent taste and will prevent it from sticking to the tray when baking.
  4. Now spread the dough in a singular rectangular tray. This bread will be quite thick and will need about twenty minutes to cook properly. A regular pizza would take twelve minutes for the base and an extra five minutes for the cheese to melt.
  5. Before putting the tray into the oven, use your fingers to create small, shallow indentations along the surface. You can put rosemary and salt on the surface as well as some more of the sunflower oil.
  6. Whilst waiting for the Focaccia bread to bake, prepare any ingredients that you would like to put in the centre of the still-hot bread. Many people choose slices of the cheese, deli meats, tapenade, or spread some more sunflower oil for a plain yet delicious snack.

To get the cheese to melt, make sure that you cut the Focaccia piece in half and quickly add the slices of cheese. With the combination of rosemary, salt, sunflower oil and cheese, you will have a sandwich that is worthy to be the meal of the day at a restaurant.