If you are interested in learning more about the chemistry and craft of making bread, you might want to check out Bread Science by Emily Buehler. This book is a comprehensive guide to bread making that covers the entire process in detail, from the ingredients to the oven. It also explains the science behind bread making, such as fermentation reactions, yeast behavior, gluten structure, gas retention, and more.
Bread Science is not a traditional cookbook with recipes, but rather a manual that teaches you how to create your own recipes based on the principles of bread making. It contains basic recipes for straight doughs, poolishes, sponges, and starters, as well as tips on how to use preferments to increase the flavor of your bread, create and maintain your own sourdough starter, mix a well-balanced dough and knead it to perfection, shape smooth, symmetric loaves, modify your oven to make it better for baking bread, and more.
The book is written in a clear and understandable language, with over 250 photos and illustrations that make bread making approachable and fun. It also includes a glossary of terms, a bibliography of sources, and a data sheet for recording your bread production. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, you will find something new and useful in Bread Science.
You can find Bread Science on Google Books[^1^], Amazon[^3^], or on the author's website[^2^], where you can also download a PDF excerpt of the book. If you love bread and want to understand why things happen in bread making, Bread Science is for you.
In this section, I will highlight some of the key points from each chapter of Bread Science.
Chapter 1: Bread-Making Basics. This chapter introduces the basic bread recipe and the four main ingredients: flour, yeast, water, and salt. It also explains how to measure ingredients by weight or volume, how to use baker's percent to calculate ingredient ratios, and how to evaluate the four characteristics of dough: consistency, elasticity, extensibility, and strength. It also gives an overview of the bread-making process and how to get ready to make bread.
Chapter 2: Bread Science Basics. This chapter covers the science behind bread making, from the starch and sugar in flour, to the yeast and bacteria that ferment the dough, to the flavor and color that develop during baking. It also discusses the role of water and protein in forming gluten, the network of strands that gives bread its structure and texture. It also explains how gluten structure is affected by kneading, folding, shaping, and baking, and how gas retention is influenced by gluten strength, proteases, salt, and other factors.
Chapter 3: Preferments. This chapter explains what preferments are and why they are used to enhance the flavor and texture of bread. It also describes the different types of preferments, such as poolishes, sponges, and starters, and how to mix them, use them, and maintain them. It also gives tips on how to create and feed a sourdough starter, and how to work with starter using volume measurements.
Chapter 4: Mixing the Dough. This chapter covers the process of mixing the dough by hand or by machine. It also explains how to tell when dough is done by using various tests, such as the windowpane test, the poke test, and the temperature test. It also gives advice on how to add special ingredients to your dough, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, herbs, spices, cheese, etc. It also provides a bread production data sheet for recording your bread making experiments.
Chapter 5: Fermentation. This chapter covers the process of fermentation, which is the rise of the dough due to the activity of yeast and bacteria. It also explains how to control fermentation by adjusting the temperature, time, and amount of yeast in your dough. It also discusses the benefits of punching and folding dough during fermentation, which are techniques that give your dough additional strength and flavor. aa16f39245