baking bread

It's one of our favorite foods. Why not knead and bake yourself?

Healthy bread enjoyment: the longer the bread dough matures, the better the loaf. A little tip: Whole grain bread is particularly healthy

© Getty Images / sigridgombert

You only need four ingredients to bake bread: flour, water, yeast and a pinch of salt. However, many commercially available loaves contain additives. Guar or locust bean gum keep bread fresh longer. Emulsifiers make the dough rise better. Enzymes make it machine-compatible. All of these extras are approved by food law and are considered to be harmless to health.

But what makes a really good product? "If you want healthy bread that provides many valuable ingredients, you should pay attention to the designation" wholemeal bread ", advises the nutritionist Stefanie Wetzel from the Federation of German Consumer Organizations. It must contain 90 percent whole wheat flour. Such bread is rich in fiber and micronutrients anyway.

Take one's time

If you want to do without additives and want to know exactly what's in the loaf, it's best to bake it yourself. The most important ingredient: time.

"During the multi-stage dough fermentation, the dough matures. Fermentation creates natural aromas and gas bubbles that allow the bread to grow and loosen the crumb," says Bernd Kütscher, master baker and head of the German Bread Institute.

Commercially available breads with shortened dough fermentation can cause digestive problems in some people. About ten percent of the population are affected by the unpleasant symptoms.

A tip from Dr. Jürgen Hollmann, biochemist and grain researcher at the Max Rubner Institute in Detmold: "The content of indigestible substances that are naturally contained in grain flours is significantly lower if the bread is prepared with sourdough and the dough is allowed to rise for a long time."

Baking bread yourself: this is how it works

Overnight in the refrigerator

Dough that should rise at room temperature (20 to 24 degrees) matures overnight in the refrigerator (4 to 8 degrees) with at least as good results.

A lid for the dough

Cover the bread dough to prevent it from drying out. Store in the refrigerator in a bowl with a lid - this also keeps foreign flavors away. Allow to reach room temperature at least one hour before further processing.

Knead vigorously

Knead the wheat dough extensively (5 to 10 minutes) - with a food processor or by hand.
Rye dough does not have to be kneaded as intensively.

let off some steam

So that steam can escape from the bread when baking and the crust does not tear open, cut into the top of the loaf.

This is how the crispy crust succeeds

For a nice and yielding crust, moisture is required in the first baking phase. To do this, spray water into the preheated oven with an atomizer. However, the effect of steam clouds in a professional bread oven cannot be achieved.

Extras for baking professionals

Instead of a baking tray, you can bake the bread on a preheated fireclay brick in the oven. The floor also becomes pleasantly crispy. Baking baskets made of rattan are a helpful accessory for the kitchen: They stabilize the dough when it rises.

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