Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 3
What I know about bread apart from baking the occasional basic loaf is I thoroughly enjoy eating it.
I have just read some interest facts and learnt a few new things in the Bread chapter, which spans 75 pages (including recipes). It seems bread baking is an art form and there is a very delicate balance between a good and bad loaf with so many different things than can go wrong.
Under the heading Liquid, I learnt that:
“Milk adds to the keeping qualities of bread; bread containing milk usually makes better toast. Fresh milk or buttermilk should always be scalded and cooled to lukewarm before combining with the yeast. This scalding stops enzyme action in the milk, which might cause some softening of the dough.”
I also read that salt helps control the fermentation of the dough and that too much salt may retard rising and that insufficient sugar will slow the rising process and the bread may bake without browning.
And here is the full explaining about the importance of Kneading:
“Kneading thoroughly mixes the flour and liquid, distributes the yeast evenly and develops the gluten. The gluten myst be stretched to make a network which will hold the gas formed when the dough is rising. If the dough is insufficiently kneaded part of this gas may escape making the bread heavy. If kneaded too long or too vigourously the dough becomes very difficult to handle and shape and the bread will again be heavy.”
It seems the Rising process is quite a science too.
This chapter also included instruction and recipes for rolls/buns, various “flavoured” loafs, scones, muffins, quick loafs, a variety of griddlecakes(pancakes), waffles and doughnuts and 3 pages on toasted breads, including melba toast, French toast, croutons and bread crumbs.
All that being said, I will still try my hand at some of the wonderful looking recipes, starting with the Crusty Rolls.