All About Bread
What is Bread?
Bread is a basic food prepared by cooking water and dough of flour and potentially other ingredients. Doughs are generally baked in the Western world and several other countries. In other cuisines, bread is fried, steamed or baked on a hot skillet. It can be unleavened or leavened too.
Salt, leavening agents and fat like baking soda and yeast are basic ingredients. Bread may also have other ingredients like egg, sugar, milk, spice, fruit like raisins, nuts like walnuts, vegetables like onion and seeds like poppy seeds. Bread is among the oldest prepared foods in the world, dating back hundreds of years. Leavened bread can also be traced back to prehistoric periods.
More About Bread
Fresh bread is acquired for its quality, aroma, taste and texture. It is important to maintain its freshness to keep the food appetizing. Bread that has dried or stiffened past its ideal state is known to be stale. Recent bread is usually wrapped in plastic or paper film. It may also be stored in a container like a breadbox to keep it from drying. Bread kept in moist and warm environments is prone to mold growth. Bread that is kept at low temperatures like being placed inside a refrigerator can grow molds slower compared to bread kept at room temperature. This will turn stale immediately because of retrogradation.
The crumb is described by culinary experts and bakers as the soft inside part of the bread. This should not be mistaken with small pieces of bread that usually fall off called crumbs. The outside hard part of the bread is known as the crust.
Bread can be served regardless of temperature. As soon as it is baked, it can eventually be toasted. Bread is usually eaten using your hands or a knife and fork. It can be eaten independently or together with other food and sauces like gravy, olive oil and sardines. It is also best served as a sandwich with cheese, vegetables or meat contained in between.
About the Crust
The crust of the bread is created from exposed dough during the cooking procedure. It is browned and hardened from caramelization of the proteins and sugars using the intense heat at the surface of the bread. The nature of the bread crust is different, based on the kind of bread and the manner of baking. Commercial bread is baked using jets the steam towards the bread directly to make a nice crust. Some bread crusts are unpalatable, especially among children. Crusts always have a different color compared to the rest of the bread.
By Robert Perkis
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