SCS 18| Four Pillars Of Bread


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In this episode of the Stella Culinary School Podcast we kick off our bread baking lecture series with a lesson on the four ingredients needed to make bread. We discuss the science behind flour, water, yeast and salt and how it will affect your overall bread dough recipe.

In this episode:

  • The baker's percentage and why it's important.

  • Gluten and what role it plays in producing a great loaf of bread.

  • The difference between cake, active dry and instant dry yeast.

  • Salt's effect on gluten networks and yeast.

  • The role acidic, alkaline and hard waters play in dough development.

  • The different types of flour used for bread baking.

Books mentioned in the culinary quick tip (non-affiliate links):

Podcast Links

 

For our complete list of audio lectures you can view The Stella Culinary School Podcast Index. For a list of video techniques, please visit our How To Cook Video Index. You can also subscribe to the Stella Culinary School Podcast feed through traditional RSS or iTunes.

 

15 comments

esavitzky
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Great first episode in the Bread Series.  Lot's of new info that is not in the FCS series.  Can't wait for the next episode in the series about Lean Doughs and Baguettes.

Elliot
Jacob Burton
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Hey Eliot,

Glad you enjoyed the first episode. This will be an important foundation for our more advanced lectures that will be coming up soon.
Jacob Burton
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@ Sharksfan7,

Great suggestion, I'll add a link right now.
esavitzky
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@ Sharksfan7

You can always download from iTunes.
strikingtwice
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Joined: 05/19/2011
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Jacob,
Listened to this on my plane ride to Italy just the other day. Terrific job, did a great job of expanding on a bunch of stuff you told me through an email conversation. Can't wait for the rest of this series.

Also, to anyone who is interested in baking bread, the recommended book "My Bread" by Lahey is a staple. The bread in the book takes time, as it is no-knead, but the results are astounding. He goes into some technique as well, but the basic bread recipe is so open to any changes. Try roasted garlic, kalamata olives or roasted tomatoes, and happy baking!!!
Jacob Burton
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@ StrickingTwice,

I'm glad you enjoyed the first podcast in the bread series. Even though a lot of the stuff we covered is common knowledge, especially if you've been hanging around on the forums for awhile, I was still important to set that foundation so we could expand BIG TIME coming up in the near future.

Hope you ate lots of great food in Italy.
GreenBake
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Using all of the techniques to strengthen the dough (slightly alkaline/mineral rich water, mineral rich salt, high-gluten flour, high-hydration, etc.), how much whole wheat flour can be used to get “close to” the texture of a good sourdough loaf? 25%?
esavitzky
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I add a mixture of 85% bread dough and 15% whole wheat flour to my starter when feeding.  Works for me.  I had to experiement with the amount of hydration and baking temp to make tradeoffs in the spring, crust and crumb.  A lot of trial and error.  Mostly error.  In the end, it all depends on your personal preference.  I also learned that one of the best parts of my sourdough is the high fat content European butter I use as a spread wink

Elliot
Jacob Burton
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@ GreenBake,

I find that anything above 25% whole wheat flour will start to create a dense texture. This doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done, but I've found that's the point where the whole wheat flour will start to degass the loaf and form a denser crumb.
kc0kdh
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Great first episode in the bread series.  I'm looking forward to the rest.  After 6 weeks, I'm finally caught up! Woo Hoo!  yes
Jacob Burton
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Hey, glad you liked the first episode. After building out a lot of the videos that I wanted to get done, I'm now focusing on finishing the bread lecture series along with the technique videos.

Also, thanks for the two quiz questions you submitted for this episode. Fifty Stella Stars each, and I will be incorporating them into the upcoming quiz.
kc0kdh
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Awesome, glad to help.  Thanks Chef.
Anselm Seepaul
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LOVE YOUR SITE IT HAS BEEN QUITE HELP FULL TO ME
THANK YOU
donner2000
@chefJacob
Because of your podcasts (both FCS and SCS), I have become extremely curious about bread and baking. Thank you so much for opening up that world. I am on a quest to make the perfect hamburger bun. SO if anyone has any suggestions... I'm all ears!

Yeast

Compressed, Active and Instant. If a formula outlines compressed yeast, and I want to use active, or instant, does the percentage stay the same?

For instance, if a recipe calls for .83% instant yeast (baker's percentage), will that be equal if I used compressed yeast or active?

Looking at a Danish pastry recipe, it calls for 55g of compressed yeast to 645g bread flour (8.8% BP). How much active yeast will I require? (won't it taste and smell very yeasty?).

Thanks,

Marc
Jacob Burton
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Hi Marc, good question. There is a slight difference in the yeast that you use. Usually with enriched dough (like hamburger buns or brioche) I like to use cake or "compressed" yeast because it gives that nice "yeasty" flavor. You can convert yeast though with the following formula:

100% Cake Yeast = 40% - 50% Active Dry Yeast = 33% Instant Yeast.

Hope this helps, and I do plan on doing a burger bun video in the future.

Jacob
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