Bread: How to Make It and Different Varieties
You can’t go wrong with bread. One of the oldest human-made foods, this food garnered significant importance since the dawn of agriculture. Additionally, it plays an essential role in both religious rituals and secular culture. So, how is it made? In today’s blog, we give the lowdown on the process of making this favoured carb. And, we discuss different varieties from around the world.
How to Make Bread
Bread is essentially baked dough. However, some cuisines use methods such as steaming or frying. Additionally, this dough may be leavened or unleavened. What this entails is add raising agents which lighten and soften the mixture. Thus, making the food easier to chew.
Common ingredients in the recipes include:
- Salt (for flavour as well as restricting yeast activity)
- Fat (like butter or oil – they help hold the structure together)
- Leavening Agent (such as yeast or baking soda)
- Flour (which provides the primary structure, starch and protein to the final baked product)
- Water (helps form the paste of the dough)
As well as other ingredients such as milk, egg, sugar, spices, fruit (usually dried or olives), vegetables (such as onions), nuts or seeds.
Easy Loaf Recipe
Hankering for some bread? Check out this straightforward white load recipe.
- Mix 500g of flour, 2 tsp of salt, a 7g sachet of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.
- Then, make a well in the centre and add 3 tbsp of olive and 300ml of water. Mix well — add more water if the dough seems stiff.
- Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 mins until a satin-smooth consistency.
- Place it in a light oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Then leave to rise for 1 hour until double in size.
- Once the dough is ready, next line a baking tray with parchment. Knock back the dough by punching the air out and pulling it into itself. Then gently, mould into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment and allow to prove (leaven) for another hour until doubled in size.
- When risen, dust the load with some extra flour and cut a cross along the top with a sharp life.
- Bake for 25mins in the oven at 220C. The finished loaf will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Want to try a different sort of dough? Dive into this non-exhaustive list of bread from around the world.
- Bagel. Originally from Poland, you’d be hard-pressed to not find a bagel shop in New York City. Ring-shaped, boiled, then baked, this distinctive flavour is famously accompanied with cream cheese, lox, capers, onions, and tomatoes.
- Baguette. The holy grail of French baking. This loaf is long with a thin crust and chewy centre.
- Brioche. Another French classic with a dough enriched with milk and eggs. Thus, creating a yellow colour and light and fluffy texture.
- Challah. Traditionally eat on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, Challah is recognised by its braided shape.
- Focaccia. Coming from the Latin for “place of baking”, this bread comes in different texture and flavours. Its crispy, salty, and utterly delicious.
- Injera. Crepe-like in texture, this spongy carb appears in Ethiopian and Somali cuisine. It is traditionally made with teff – a tiny grain indigenous to the region. But, millet or barley can be used instead.
- Naan. Well-know throughout the world, this Indian traditionally bakes in a tandoor (a clay oven). Thus, giving it its classical slightly puffed charred appearance.
- Pão de Queijo. Brazilian in origin, its name translates to “cheese bread” in Portuguese. The use of tapioca flour makes them crispy on the outside and airy on the inside. What’s more — their gluten-free!
- Tortillas. Yes, these corn-based Mexican staples are indeed a kind of bread!