While most bread can be eaten relatively soon after baking, some achieve their best qualities only  after a day or two.

From a nutritional standpoint, the healthiest bread is made of wholemeal, ie the one that contains germ, rich in proteins, fats and antioxidants, as well as the rest of the grain, with starch and bran (rich in minerals and soluble and insoluble fibers ). The content in mineral substances indicates the bran proportion.

Because the laws allow the addition of several ingredients, including preservatives, bakers, who are interested to sell bigger quantities, add dairy products, fats, sugar and emulsifiers. In a bread bought in the city of Philadelphia, in addition to flour, water, salt and yeast, there are still 18 different ingredients. In Germany are no longer used the preservative substances. Adding a quantity of corn or potato flour does not diminish the nutritive qualities.

Sifting the flour through a sieve before adding the other ingredients makes it more loose and porous.

The amount of water differs from the type and the quality of flour. Usually, water represents about 50% (or less) of the flour weight and is better to be warm. White flour absorbs more water than wholemeal.

Making the bread with leaven or dough has some advantages:

– First, yeast, fresh or dried, is a ferment, a similar microorganism to that used in brewing.

The dough (or dough) contains several types of microorganisms. This diversity, and the longer duration of fermentation allows a better development of the aromas.

– Secondly, the bread dough prepared can be kept longer, up to two weeks if it’s wrapped in a napkin away from light and heat.

– Third, the induced fermentation of dough makes the components more soluble, favoring a better assimilation.

– Fourth, dough prepared bread contains less phytic acid. The dough enable the development of phytase, an enzyme that neutralize the phytic acid content in flour. Phytic acid brakes the mineral absorption, especially calcium, zinc and iron. The dough reduces phytic acid up to eight times. Wholemeal contains more phytic acid than white flour. Unlike wheat flour, which can be prepared with yeast or dough, rye flour always requires dough, which gives bread an slightly sour taste, appreciated by many.

If you add a knife peak of powder of vitamin C, it improves the quality of the bread. Our experience confirms the affirmation. The  scientific explanation is yet missing.

The main protein found in all grains, but in different proportions, are prolamines and gluten. The wheat is unique because contains a prolamin called gliadin and a glutamine called glutenin,

in almost equal proportions. Their presence in the wheat endosperm makes the wheat flour to be particularly suitable for baking. In the presence of water and the kneading, the two protein fractions form a  solid and elastic complex, known as gluten.

The gluten is not found as such in the grain, but is formed during the kneading of the dough, resulting in a flexible product, as a gum, as the gluten absorbs water and swells in a ratio of up to 200%. Gluten acts as a trap for the gases produced by yeast. The dough well kneaded must be like a chewing gum and, trying to remove a piece with a spoon, it should be flexible with a good spreadability, not to break.

To meet its metabolic requirements, the yeast cells need sugars and, during these sugars disolving, CO2 rise, as a byproduct.

The sugars in the flour are: glucose, fructose and sucrose, the first two being present especially in the germ which is removed from the market flours. Therefore, to speed up the fermentation rate is customed to add sugar, but too much sugar slows fermentation speed.

It is preferable the adding of monosaccharides, such as fructose or glucose, in the form of a mash of fresh fruits or dried, for example, raisins.

The secret of n excellent bread consists in the dough kneading. Today, this effort, otherwise very useful to the body, was taken over by the machines. Wheat flour is kneaded with devices that spin faster and longer, while rye bread is kneaded less, in devices with slower movements.

After kneading, the wheat flour dough needs a so-called rest rest for 20-30 minutes. Rye dough or the mixture of wheat with rye requires a rest period of 5 up to 20 minutes.

The baking temperature is between 200 and 2500C. Thanks to the oven temperature, from the starch and the protein from dough rises dextrin, caramel and roasted products which gives the characteristic taste. Small loaves of bread baking is recommended, for the high temperature to enter well, thus neutralizing the flour components that limit its digestibility and destroying yeast cells. Live yeast cells, like any living organism, requires nutrients that will take them from the body in which they arrived.

For this reason, the making of large bread is not recommended.

Categories: Diet, Nutrition
Tags: bread, flour, SUGAR

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