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Home page > Resources > Technical files > Making organic bread with leaven > Making home-made bread with leaven: Improvement. > What is bread?

What is bread?

Tuesday 9 August 2011, by Antoine Polatouche

Before proceeding any further, let’s start by observing the bread and looking, most importantly, at its structure and composition.

Bread is made from flour, salt, water and ferments.

Once baked, it can be crudely described as a lump of honeycombed starch, held together by an elastic network of proteins.

The basic principle.

The basic principle of making bread, puts on centre stage four essential actors: proteins and sugars present in the flour, water and ferments.

  1. The flour’s proteins form a network of fine, elastic, watertight chains in the dough.
  2. The ferments are “little creatures” which feed on the flour’s sugars and liberate gas bubbles.
  3. These bubbles are held in by the elastic, watertight network. These imprisoned bubbles make the dough rise.
  4. The risen dough is cooked. The dough’s structure becomes rigid during the baking process, resulting in baked bread.

To make bread

You will need:
— ferments to make bubbles,
— sugars so the ferments can make bubbles,
— elastic, watertight proteins to hold in the bubbles and make the dough rise,
— an oven to heat the dough and make it become rigid.

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