How to Experiment With Bread Making, Yeast, and Gluten
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- The bread-making process?
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But leavening agents would just be bubbling brews without something to contain them. There are lots of different types of flour used in bread, but the most commonly used in raised bread is wheat flour.
Bread - Wikipedia
This is because wheat flour contains two proteins, glutenin and gliadin , which, when combined with water, form gluten. As you knead the dough, the gluten becomes more and more stretchy. This gum-like substance fills with thousands of gas bubbles as the yeast goes to work during rising.
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To learn more about gluten, check out the gluten animation. When starch granules are attacked by enzymes present in flour, they release the sugars that yeast feeds on. Starch also reinforces gluten and absorbs water during baking, helping the gluten to contain the pockets of gas produced by the yeast.
Sometimes, a baker will let the dough rise several times, allowing the gluten to develop more completely and the yeast to add more of its flavors. As the temperature of the cooking dough rises, the yeast eventually dies, the gluten hardens, and the dough solidifies. For more about bread science, check out these links!
Chinese Taro Root Buns. Armenian lavash. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or baker's yeast. Photos courtesy of Peter Hollenhorst and Catherine Fox.