434 Baking Bread
Alan gives the basics for baking bread.
Todd: Ah, so Alan, you know, you were a baker so can you explain to the listeners: how do you bake bread?
Alan: Well, you need, to make your basic white bread, white pan bread we call it, you need flour, yeast, sugar, shortening, salt, and water, so depending on how much you want to make, you, first of all, you throw in the flour into a big mixing bowl. Then you throw in the sugar, salt, and the shortening. You give it a mix. Turn on the machine and mix it a little bit because you don't want to have the yeast in direct contact the salt, because salt if it's in direct contact with the yeast, it kills, the yeast will not react and make the bread rise.
Alan: Then you take the yeast. Whatever amount of yeast you have, and the best way to do it, is you take your water, the amount of water that you need and you break up the yeast into the water, disolve it in the water, and then start the mixer and as the flour and all the other ingredients are mixing, you pour the water in slowly until you get the consistency that you want. That's one way or you can, after you mixed up the flour, the sugar and the salt and the shortening, a little bit, enough that it's mixed, blended together, you can just add the yeast into the mixture and then add the water, so you mix it until you, probably about, I think about eight minutes, or nine minutes, unitl the dough is developed, and it's a glob and you stop the mixer, you pull it off the bowl, you let it sit on the bench for about five minutes. You let it rise. Then you divide it up, into I think about maybe two kilos, it depends on how big you want you loaf. Usually loaves are between seven and eight hundred grams, maybe one kilo. Divide it up and mold it and put it into the pan. It goes into a proofer. The proofer is a steam box with heat. Moisture and heat, and the bread rises and then when it's at a certain level in the proofer you take it out and put it in the oven.
Todd: OK. Sounds good. How long does it have to be in the oven?
Alan: The oven? Usually about twenty minutes.
Todd: And that's it. It's done.
Alan: And then you pull it out of the oven and it's done. Fresh baked bread.
Depending on how much you want to make, first of all, you
throw in the flour into a big mixing bowl.
Used like this, 'throw in' is an informal way to say add. We would usually use it like this when the amount of something that we want to add isn't specific. Notice the following:
- Can you wait just a few minutes? I need to throw in some
laundry to be washed.
- The cake is even better if you throw in a handful of
When yeast gets in direct contact with salt, it will not
make the bread rise.
'Yeast' is actually a live fungus that is used in baking or making beer. It has a very distinct smell that is noticeable in fresh baked bread. It is used to make the bread big and full of air. Notice the following:
- He works in a bakery so his clothes always smell like
- After the jar of yeast is open you have to keep it in
dissolve or break up
Break up the yeast into the water or dissolve it in water
and pour it in the flour mixture.
When a solid 'substance' dissolves it changes from its solid form to combine with with a liquid. For example, when you put sugar in hot coffee or tea it dissolves and mixes with the liquid when you stir it. When you 'break something up' it is solid and you separate it into smaller pieces. If you want to put ice in a class, but the ice piece is too big you need to break it up to put it in the glass. Notice the following:
- The water needs to be really hot or the sugar won't
- You have to break up the chocolate bar into little
pieces and cover the top of the cake with them.
Mix everything until you get the consistency that you want.
When you are talking about cooking, 'consistency' refers to how liquid or solid something is. It is a where the substance is compared to a complete liquid or a complete solid. Notice the following:
- The dough should have the consistency of oatmeal.
- The consistency of this pudding is really strange.
dough or glob
Mix them until the dough is developed and it's a glob and
then you pull it off the bowl.
'Dough' is the combination of all of the ingredients in bread or cookies before you cook it. You can use the word 'glob' to refer to a ball or lump of a substance that you can make into different forms, like clay. Notice the following:
- Is this how the dough is supposed to look?
- That spaghetti looks terrible. It's just a big glob of
let it sit
Pull the dough off the bowl and let it sit on the bench for
about five minutes.
When you 'let something sit' you leave it in one particular place for a period of time without touching it. Notice the following:
- Put the bread in a warm spot and let it sit for a few
- After you take the cookies out of the oven you should
let them siit for 2 minutes before taking them off the