Culinary Class

The Basics for Bread: A Baking Glossary

Mushroom Levain or Mushroom Bread Recipe

Here is a list of all the terms you need to know on how to bake bread:

Autolyze: Rest period early in dough-making cycle that allows gluten proteins to bond.

Banneton: Round or oblong basket used to give bread shape as it proofs (also used to prevent loaves from sticking to one another). Usually made of wood and sometimes lined with canvas.

Bench Rest: Dough rest period after fermenting and before shaping, that allows gluten to soften, making bread pliable for shaping.

Bulk Proof/Bulk Ferment: Rest period after kneading dough, necessary for yeast to break sugar down into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Gas bubbles are trapped by the gluten so that when they expand the gluten stretches, causing dough to rise. Note: The alcohol evaporates during the cooking.

Couche: A type of linen that can be draped over and around dough to retain shape.

Crumb: Interior of loaf, defined by holes in bread.

Kneading: The process of manually working the dough with heels of your hands in order to strengthen gluten fibers, and thus transform the dough from a wet, shaggy ball into a soft,
pliable dough.

Lame: Double-sided blade used to score bread, usually secured to along handle.

Proofing: The final dough rise before baking (can also refer to the  process of proofing yeast to make sure it is alive and active).

Refreshing: Feeding the ‘mother’ starter with flour and water to keep it alive.

Retard: When fermentation process is slowed down through the cooling of the dough. For example, if you do not plan to bake the dough on the same day you make it, you can cover and refrigerate it for up to a few days.

Sourdough: Any bread made with wild yeast.

Now, you can consider yourself a professional baker as you throw these key words out in the kitchen and as you now know how to bake bread. Be sure to watch the reactions of those around you as you state the bread is proofing and how the crumb looks.

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