Bread Glossary

A

All-purpose flour: AP flour has 9 to 11 percent gluten protein and is ideal for quick breads, pancakes, muffins, etc.

Aspect: Refers to the overall quality of a loaf, considering crust, crumb, aroma, and flavor.

Autolyse: The rest period between mix stages that allows the flour to fully hydrate. This rest improves gluten development and allows for less flour usage overall, and the dough needs much less kneading time resulting in better crust and crumb.

B

Baguette: A long, thin, cylindrical-shaped loaf of bread. Originally used for French bread, the shape now transcends region and is used on many types of dough.

Baker’s Percentage: A standard convention in which the ingredients are expressed as a percentage of the total amount of flour in the dough. This allows bakers internationally to speak the same language, and allows for more accurately scaled recipes. This is a rather complex concept even if the math is not very hard, read more here.

Banneton: A round or oblong woven basket and is used to hold a shaped loaf while it proofs. The basket is lined with canvas, or a linen fabric, to prevent the dough from sticking and ultimately, it will provide a distinctive shape to the baked loaf.

Batard: An oval bread shape with tapered ends that can be made from many types of dough.

Bench: A baker’s work surface.

Benching: Refers to letting fermented dough rest on the bench before shaping to allow gluten to relax, making the dough easier to shape.

Biga: A type of preferment used in Italian baking, such as in ciabatta. It is usually made with commercial yeast, but it can be made with strains of yeast available in the kitchen, such as those that occur on a cabbage leaf. As with any preferment, a biga adds complexity to the flavor of a bread.

Bloom: Refers to the external appearance of a loaf, including crust coloration and flowering at the scores.

Boule: French for “ball.” A boule is a round-shaped loaf that can be made from many types of dough, and is shaped in a Brotform or Banneton for its final proof.

Bran: The exterior of the wheat berry or other grain.

Bread flour: This flour has an 11.5 to 13 percent gluten protein and is ideal for hearth breads and rolls. Higher protein flour provides structure and tenderness of crumb at the same time.

Brotform: a coiled cane basket used to hold a shaped loaf while it is proofing.

Build: The process of making bread dough with a starter, possibly with intermediate steps of fermentation, that ends with the finished loaf.

C

Couche: A length of linen fabric that provides a non-stick, lint-free resting place for shaped loaves while they proof. The couche is lightly floured and pleats are formed around each loaf to separate it from the next.

Crumb: Interior of loaf referring to the pattern of holes in its structure.

D

Deck: The shelf of an oven, which could be stone or brick.

More coming soon!