Ingredients That Make the Difference
Basic Techniques of Breadmaking
Basic Bread Recipes
Wheat and Other Grains
Unleavened Bread - The Kaleidoscope
Sources for Flour, Grains, Mills, and Many Et Ceteras
Excerpt from page 4 - Ingredients That Make the Difference
Liquid.Use whatever the recipe calls for. Water is the liquid used in most breads, but be sure it's good-tasting water. If you have to buy bottled springwater to make your breads, it's worth it to avoid any off tastes. If you are feeling inventive, you can experiment with using different liquids. Try fruit juice in sweet breads, beer in herb breads, or substitute milk.
Almost more important than choosing what liquid you use is making sure the liquid is the correct temperature. Yeast works only at the proper temperature, and it's important that the liquid used in the proofing process be at the right temperature. Too cool, and the breadmaking will be slowed down; too hot, and the yeast will be killed! The temperature you want is between 95° and 110°F (35° - 43°C) - just a comfortable lukewarm.
Sweeteners. Yeast thrives on sugar, so most breads contain at least a little of it, usually added when the yeast is proofing. Honey can be substituted for up to a tablespoon of sugar, but do not use artificial sweeteners! When molasses is added, as in Anadama Batter Bread (page 27), it's primarily for its great, unique taste.
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