Artisan Breads 1..2..3..      
                Techniques and Tips for your Easy Artisan Loaves


Unbleached All-Purpose Flour:  The recipes in this website that call for all-purpose
flour were made with Gold Medal, Pilsbury, or equivalent store brand flours that are
widely available.  These have uniform levels of protein and trace nutrients and in my
experience the quality has always been acceptable.  Since baking bread on a weekly or
daily basis uses a lot of flour, I don’t consider it practical to use a more expensive
premium flour.   When buying a new brand of flour, always check the label to see that
the protein level matches your old brand.  Some all-purpose flours, particularly in the
southern USA run a lower protein level and may need a bit of added gluten (1 Tbsp/loaf)
at times to produce nice loaves.

Bread Flour:  Made with a higher gluten/protein content than all-purpose flour, bread
flour tends to be a bit easier to shape and will help to add gluten in whole grain recipes.  
Because higher gluten flours absorb more water, loaves made with bread flour will
typically require a bit more water than other loaves.   Loaves made with bread flour
typically have a crust and crumb that are a bit more chewy, which is a good thing in
many breads.  Sometimes a bread flour can hold hold disparate ingredients together
better than an all-purpose flour.  The chocolate and peanut butter breads in this book, for
example, tend to fall apart when made with all-purpose flour, but hold together nicely
when made with bread flour.   The recipes in this book were made with Gold Medal and
Pilsbury bread flours, which contain about   ___ protein.  Some brands of bread flour,
such as King Arthur will run higher levels of gluten/protein and may need a bit of extra
water (1-2 Tbsp/loaf) when used in the recipes included in this book, since higher
protein flours will absorb more water.

Bleached All-Purpose Flour:  Peroxides, bromates or chlorine are used to oxidate
flour, allowing the gluten to form stronger connections.  In addition to being whiter,
bleached flour can rise higher and have a finer grain.  Also, bleached flours don’t absorb
butter as well, which aids flakiness in products such as pie dough.  The EU and Australia
don’t allow chemical bleaching; in these countries whitening and gluten improving is
accomplished by adding some fava bean or soy flour to the wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Flour (or whole meal flour):  Whole wheat flour is made by grinding the
entire hard red spring wheat berry into flour, including the seed embryo (the germ) and
the outer hull (the bran).  A number of nutritional benefits stem from milling the entire
wheat berry in to flour.  The germ is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals and the
bran contains significant amounts of dietary fiber.  Eating whole grains has been linked
to lower rates of obesity, cancer and diabetes, among other things.  In most recipes 1/3-
1/2 of all-purpose flour can be replaced by whole wheat flour and results will be
acceptable.  When substituting whole wheat 1 for 1 for all-purpose flour replace every
cup of all-purpose flour with 7/8 cup of whole wheat flour (or keep the amount of flour
the same and add 1-2 Tbsp more water per cup of whole wheat flour).  Of course,
whole wheat is more flavorful then all-purpose or bread flour, but some individuals
dislike whole wheat because they feel the flavor is slightly bitter.

White Whole Wheat Flour:  This flour is relatively new to North America and is
produced from soft white wheat rather than the predominant hard red wheat varieties of
North America.  It is relatively low in gluten and lacks the tannins and phenolic acid
contained in red wheat, making for a lighter, sweeter wheat while retaining most of the
nutritional benefits of regular whole wheat.   It can be substituted for regular whole
wheat in any recipe calling for whole wheat.    By using white whole wheat in place of
all-purpose flour, the nutritional benefits of whole wheat can be incorporated into breads
without the whole wheat appearance and flavor.

Durum Patent Flour: Durum wheat is a high-protein,  high-gluten, hard northern wheat
from which semolina and durum patent flour are made.  Semolina is a coarser grind used
in pasta products and durum patent is a finer grind with a lower ash level more suited to
yeast baking.   Although semolina is much easier to find than durum patent flour,
substituting the coarser ground semolina for durum patent in bread recipes will lead to
poor results.  Patent durum is essential for making authentic European semolina and
durum loaves but I don’t use patent durum a lot otherwise because the loaves made
predominantly with patent durum just don’t seem to keep as well as loaves made with
other flours.

Rye Flour:  Rye is a short season grain similar to wheat that does particularly well in
cooler climates.  It figures strongly into the bread making traditions of central and
eastern Europe and can be baked alone or in combination with wheat or white flours.  
Rye flour is typically made from grinding the whole grain and thus the nutritional benefits
are likely similar to those of whole wheat.  Compared to wheat flours, rye has a
pleasantly sour flavor.  Rye flour is not naturally very dark when baked and any dark rye
loaf in the bakery or store has a coloring agent added.  So many people think that the
flavor of caraway is the flavor of rye that I would recommend leaving caraway out of
your rye recipes  when you first start baking rye.  Once you get a good taste of what
unflavored rye is like, the caraway may be added back in.  

Light rye can be made from grinding rye berries from which the bran is removed.  White
rye is rye ground with both the bran and germ removed.  

Pumpernickel flour is whole rye flour that is very coarsely ground. I love adding
pumpernickel flour to almost any recipe that has whole grains as it helps provide a rustic
look and crunchy texture.

The whole grain, medium ground rye flour found on supermarket shelves in North
America is packed with health benefits.  Just one cup of rye flour has a whole day’s
value of dietary fiber.  Increased rye intake has been associated with weight loss,
gallstone and diabetes prevention, cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Compared to wheat breads, rye breads tend to peak in flavor on their second day and
keep better.  Breads with 50% or more rye will however, be quite dense and lack large
irregular holes.  I use a medium grind of rye for the recipes in this book, one that is
widely available in grocery stores.  Rye also ferments very easily and thus is good for
starting a sourdough culture and baking sourdough loaves.

Spelt (dinkel or farro):  Spelt is an ancient cereal grain whose characteristics lend itself
well to artisan baking.   Spelt has nutritional advantages similar to other whole grains but
with a flavor that is a bit more naturally sweet and nutty.  Spelt protein levels (range of
15%) run higher than wheat but at the same time the type of gluten in spelt is a bit more
fragile.  I especially love spelt for pastries as the dough always stays tender and the
flavor of spelt blends well with almonds, chocolate or fruit.  Spelt is more water soluble
than wheat flour meaning that when substituting spelt for wheat flour in a recipe you
should usually reduce the amount of water by a bit.   Spelt is particularly well suited to
the no-knead baking techniques of this book as the gluten and carbohydrates of spelt
benefit from a long cool rise.  Many experts recommend storing spelt flour in the
refrigerator, although storage at room temperature is certainly acceptable if the spelt is
used within a few months.  People with celiac disease or wheat allergies may have
problems with spelt also.

Buckwheat Flour: Buckwheat is a temperate leafy plant distantly related to rhubarb and
sorrel.  Buckwheat flour is made from grinding the hard seed of the buckwheat plant
along with its hull, making it a whole grain flour.  The flavor of buckwheat is most
commonly described as “earthy”,  whatever that is.   In breadmaking, I use it similar to
rye, though more sparingly.  Like rye, its flavor goes well with caraway, anise or fennel
and sweetens well with molasses.  Dehulled, unroasted buckwheat seed is called groat.  
Roasted buckwheat seed is called kasha.  Both can be cooked like rice or potatoes or
used in breakfast cereals.  Buckwheat has no gluten and is typically mixed with wheat
flours when used in baking.  Buckwheat is well tolerated by individuals with celiac
disease so long as the buckwheat was not contaminated with wheat flour in processing.

Cornmeal is coarsely ground field corn used to add flavor and texture to breads as well
as to help keep dough from sticking to surfaces.  Most cornmeal sold in the United
States is ground by steel rollers that remove most of the hull and germ.  Stone ground
cornmeal typically retains more of the hull and germ which results in poor keeping
qualities but better nutritional value.  Corn flour is corn ground more finely to a flour-like
consistency.  Italians use a very coarse grind of cornmeal to make polenta.

Wheat Germ: Adding a tablespoon or two of wheat germ to any dough will give it a bit
more flavor and help give it a peasant loaf-like quality.  Wheat germ can also be sprinkled
on top of loaves just prior to baking and can be used to keep dough from sticking to a
peel as one would use cornmeal.  Because of the oils in wheat germ that can become
rancid with time, wheat germ should be stored in the refrigerator once opened.

Gluten (gluten flour): Gluten is the protein that arranges itself to produce the
characteristic textures and shapes of bread.  Made by removing starch and bran from
regular flour, adding gluten in whole wheat and rye recipes is easy and helps produce
full, consistent rises when proofing low gluten doughs.   Gluten can also be added to
high moisture doughs such as ciabatta to allow doughs to better keep a loaf form and
allow for large irregular holes.   Breads too low in gluten will not hold a loaf shape well
and will also be quite dense.  Loaves with excessively high levels of gluten will be very
tough.

Flour and Humidity

Flour gains and looses moisture with varying levels of humidity.  At lower humidity
levels, more water is needed for a given amount of flour and in humid conditions, less
water is needed for a given amount of flour.  In practical terms, this can mean that your
dough could potentially need a few Tbsp more water per loaf in the winter and a few
Tbsp less water in the summer than the recipe calls for.

European Versus North American Flours

Although it is certainly not necessary, baking artisan breads with European style flours
brings the authenticity, flavor, and texture of your baguettes and other European breads
up a notch.  First, let’s review the differences between flours and how they are
classified.

In North America, flours are classified by their protein level, which (in wheat flours)
corresponds to the gluten level.  Thus low gluten flours such as cake flour will have a
low protein level (7-8.5%) listed on the nutrition label, all-purpose flours will run
midrange protein levels (10-11.5%) and bread flowers will have the highest protein levels
(11.5 % or more).  Unfortunately, U.S. nutrition labels list a relatively small serving size
(1/4 cup) for flour which means that the amount of protein in a loaf of bread could
potentially deviate significantly from what one would expect from the label listing.

European flours are classified by their ash content, not by their protein level.  
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that ashes are mixed with the flour.  The ash content is a
measure of the mineral content of the flour, determined by incinerating a given amount
of flour and weighing the remaining ashes (minerals).  Since the minerals in a kernel of
wheat are concentrated in the bran (the outer husk of wheat), a flour with a higher ash
content will include relatively more bran.

European wheat flours tend to run lower protein and gluten levels than North American
flours but tend to have a higher ash level.  Direct comparisons of North American and
European flours based on protein and ash levels require adjustment because statements
of  North American protein levels are based on 14% humidity whereas European protein
and ash levels are calculated as a percentage of dry matter.  To further complicate
matters, ash levels of North American flours are not routinely published and protein
levels of batches of European flours may vary despite having the same ash level.

Most authorities would say that United States all-purpose flour is the closest equivalent to
European style 55/550, while a few such as Bernard Clayton would recommend 3 parts
all-purpose flour to 1 part bread flour as an equivalent.  This still leaves the higher ash
content of European flours undealt with.  Since wheat bran is present in much higher
levels in whole wheat, an easy approach to increase the ash content in US flours and
thus more closely resemble European flours is to mix a small amount of whole wheat
into all-purpose flour when baking European breads.  
 Technique:   To easily
accomplish this, when measuring out flour, I first scoop about 2 tsp of whole flour into
a 1 cup measure (I just eyeball it), then fill the rest of the cup with all-purpose flour,
level and mix.  I repeat this for every cup of flour measured and end up with a flour very
close to that used in European artisan breads.

Another way to increase the ash content of your all-purpose flour would be to buy wheat
bran at your local store, grind it finely, and add a small amount, say 1 tsp/cup to your
flour.  Because of technical limitations with finely grinding bran at home, I would
recommend adding a small amount of whole wheat as described above instead.

Grinding Your Own

For a few hundred bucks you can get into the flour milling business and grind wheat
berries to your heart’s desire.  I’m tempted to dismiss this sarcastically and recommend
that you buy your own tractor and grow your own wheat also.  However, I think the
idea deserves some further exploration so that you can decide which way is best for
you.  On one hand, grinding your own flour ensures that your flour is fresh and
unadulterated, and by varying the type of grind you can create many fine variations in
your loaves.  On the other hand, flour mills do a lot more than just grind the flour.  They
extensively test each lot, enrich the flour with vitamins and trace ingredients, and blend
different types of flour to produce the best possible rise and most consistent results.  
(Some of the flour mill’s advantage can be overcome by adding diastolic malt or dough
enhancer to your home ground flour).  When these issues are considered, I feel that
home grinding is probably best for the baker that really loves to tinker and doesn’t mind
every loaf being an experimental loaf.

On Organic Ingredients

Having grown up on a farm in Iowa, I tend to think that the earth is the source of all
goodness.   It seems to me that the closer to its unadulterated origin in the earth a
particular food is, the better.   I am young enough to believe in the superiority of organic
farming techniques but old enough to look with cynicism at “organic” products at the
supermarket.   While the word “organic” strikes a tender chord in our souls, I would
rather buy a nonorganic product produced with love, efficiency and sustainability than an
organic product produced in a factory  farm  setting 2000 miles away.  We are slowly
moving toward a better understanding of what goes into the making of individual food
items  but until we are much closer to that ideal, I think we should avoid rigid judgments
about which food labels are “best”.  Thus I cannot make a blanket recommendation
about whether you should buy organic products for your breads or not.  Let your taste
buds and your judgment be your guide.

That being said, there is one situation where I always recommend organic flour.  Since
conventionally produced rye flour could contain antifungal compounds that would inhibit
the growth of yeast, and since organic rye flour would likely be fresher, I  always
recommend using organic rye flour for starting a sourdough culture.

Yeast

All the recipes in this book call for regular active dry yeast.  At first glance, one might
think that exact measurement of the amount of yeast in a bread is very important.  The
opposite is true however, and you can usually get away with varying the amount of yeast
by 25-30% without appreciably changing the final results in your bread.  Many of the
recipes in this book call for either 1 ½ Tbsp of active dry yeast (two loaves)  or ¾ Tbsp
(one loaf) of dry yeast.  Since measuring spoons with the ¾ Tbsp measurement do not
exist, I always just use a Tablespoon measure for ¾ Tbsp and estimate when I have ¾
Tbsp in the Tablespoon measure.

Even though yeast measurements don’t need to be exact, you can run into problems
using way too much or little.  An excessive amount of yeast will give a yeasty, off flavor
to breads.  An inadequate amount will result in poor dough rise.

For the frequent baker, buying yeast in a jar is most convenient.  Yeast in a jar is less
expensive, easier to measure and easier to store in the door of your refrigerator than
other forms of yeast.  Regardless of what form of yeast you purchase, don't store
unopened yeast near a heat source, like next to your oven.

Different types of yeast can be substituted for one another and long as one understands
that the activity levels of various types of yeast vary, so adjustment in measuring by
weight or volume need to be made.  Since instant or bread machine yeast has more
active yeast per unit of weight or volume  than active dry yeast , decrease the yeast
volume by 25% if you substitute instant or bread machine yeast for active dry yeast.

1 tsp active dry yeast = ¾ tsp instant yeast

If you are using fresh yeast, which is less dense that active dry yeast, multiply the
volume of yeast called for in these recipes by 1.4.
1 tsp active dry yeast = 1 ½ tsp packed fresh yeast

Yeast Equivalents (Approximate)











I have heard some bakers complain that instant yeast can give a yeasty, off taste to
breads.  My palate is not sophisticated enough to detect this.  For those that prefer,
instant or bread machine yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast in virtually all the
recipes herein, using the table above.

Since a jar of  instant/bread machine yeast is the same price as active dry yeast and it is
more potent, frequent bakers can save money by substituting instant yeast for active dry
yeast.  Because of inertia more than anything, I’m sticking with the active dry yeast that
I started baking with years ago.

Large amounts of sugar in a dough tend to inhibit yeast growth, so some sweet doughs
will need higher amounts of yeast.

Salt

Twenty years ago, this section wouldn’t have had to exist.  Salt was salt, it came in a
blue box, and there was nothing to talk about.  Now, you go into a gourmet food store
and there are more types of salt than salt shakers.   But when I sample the different
types, they all taste, uh.... salty.

Bread dough lacking in salt tends to be stringy, wanting to stay in strands rather than
form a cohesive dough.  Bread lacking in salt will taste flat and flavorless.  Lean breads
(that is breads made only with flour, yeast, salt and water) tend to run about 2% salt by
baker's percentage.

The recipes in this book were all developed with Morton Kosher salt.  Kosher salt has
larger granules which tend to dissolve a bit more slowly in water or a moist dough.  
Also, Kosher salt is non-iodized;  some bakers feel that iodized salt can add a bit of a
subtle off flavor to foods.

Anyway, the important thing to realize when baking is that different forms of salt have
different densities, so if you measure ingredients by volume you’ll need to take this into
account.  Kosher or specialty salts are less dense, so more volume will be required to
yield an equivalent amount of salt in the dough.  Since the recipes in this site are made
with Morton Kosher salt, if you’re using table salt, decrease the volume of salt for a
given recipe by about 25%.

1.2 Tbsp table salt = 1 1/2 Tbsp Morton Kosher salt  = 3.4 Tbsp Diamond Kosher salt

As stated above, breads should contain about 2% salt by weight as a baker’s
percentage.  If I am using other salty ingredients in the dough, or want to encourage a
more active rise, I might cut back on the salt a bit.  Some bakers say that whole grain
breads should have more salt although I haven’t noticed much difference.

Sugars

When added in modest amounts, sugar helps yeast grow faster, adds flavor, helps crust
browning and helps bread stay moist longer.  Large amounts of granulated sugar can
actually inhibit yeast growth however, and some sweet doughs call for larger amounts of
yeast to compensate for this.  Granulated sugar tends to grab lots of water, so using
liquid sugars (honey, molasses, corn syrup) can help push sugar levels higher in doughs
without robbing yeast of moisture and slowing yeast growth.   Especially in commercial
bakeries, honey or corn syrup are often used to push sugar levels into the baker’s
percentage 20-25% range.

Granulated sugar imparts the least flavor to doughs, and other sugars (in order of
increasing flavor) such as brown sugar, honey, maple sugar, molasses, and blackstrap
molasses give the bread a progressively stronger taste.

Currently, high fructose corn syrup (recently renamed “corn sugar” by the corn refiners
association) is the substance most associated with the decline of Western Civilization.  It
has wormed its way into virtually every fast food and junk food and has been blamed for
the current North American epidemic of obesity and diabetes.  The problem though with
corn syrup isn’t that its so bad, its that its so good.  High fructose corn syrup is an
invert sugar (see below) that adds sweetness and taste to foods without altering other
flavors or characteristics of the food and its cost is a fraction of honey’s.  Foods made
with high fructose corn syrup taste sweeter, seem moister, and tend to keep longer than
foods made with common sugar (sucrose).  No wonder the North American food
industry is addicted to it!  High fructose corn syrup is much cheaper than an equivalent
amount of common sugar   This is due to tariffs limiting the import of common sugar
and huge subsidies for corn growers in the U.S.

Invert sugar is a mixture of glucose and fructose, typically made by splitting the sucrose
molecule into these two components.  Breads made with invert sugars tend to taste more
sweet and remain more moist than breads made with an equivalent amount of common
sugar.  The most common naturally occurring invert sugar is honey but the most
commonly used invert sugar is high fructose corn syrup.  Since high fructose corn
syrup costs a fraction of honey, the temptation for commercial bakeries to use it is great.

Corn syrup is used in some recipes in this book to really push the level of sweetness and
richness of particular breads, making it more like the bread from some famous franchise
bakeries.  Unfortunately, this makes the bread bear a strong nutritional semblance to junk
food in the process.   High fructose corn syrup is a major component of corn syrup, so
the health concerns of high fructose corn syrup plague regular corn syrup as well.  
Since my family’s consumption of fast food and junk food is limited, I don’t feel bad
about an occasional loaf of bread make with corn syrup.  If you have concerns about
using corn syrup in your baking, just substitute an equivalent amount of honey.  The
resulting loaves will be quite similar but more expensive.  Better yet, make loaves with
minimal sweetening; they’re still delicious!

When substituting a liquid sweetener (corn syrup, honey or agave) for granulated sugar,
use about ¾ cup of liquid sweetener for every cup of sugar, and reduce the amount of
other liquid by ¼ cup for every cup of liquid sweetener used.

With sweet, rich doughs, people often feel that high levels of sugar provide the
sweetness and richness they taste.  In reality, large amounts of fat combined with a
small amount of sugar are what results in a sweet, rich dough.  If your dough doesn’t
seem sweet enough, try adding more fat rather than more sugar.

Water

Tap water is fine to use for all the doughs described in this book.  Some bakers shy
away from chlorinated water, but I haven’t ever had problems with chlorinated water,
even when starting a sourdough culture.  If however, your tap water smells heavily of
chlorine or sulfur, those smells can make it into a finished bread, so you might want to
use bottled water if this is the case.  Very soft water can make a bread dough very
sticky, and very hard water may toughen the dough and slow down the rise, but if the
water is pleasant tasting, your water should be okay.  

Potato water (the water that potatoes have been boiled in) is the old timer’s secret for
soft, moist bread.  When boiled in water, potatoes release starch and nutrients into the
surrounding water.  Slightly warm potato water is a favorite medium for yeast and the
resulting bread will keep longer than most loaves.  Potato water itself doesn’t keep long,
and should be used within 24 hours of making.

Milk

Milk tends to give a richer flavor and softer texture to breads, but makes the gluten
structure a bit weaker in the process.  It also helps with crust browning and helps loaf
freshness.  Unfortunately milk can sometimes cause problems with yeast growth.  Yeast
doesn’t dissolve well in whole milk (low fat or skim is not a problem), and milk can
contain enzymes that inhibit yeast growth.  Very fresh milk contains more of these
enzymes, so scalding (heating to 180-85 F/82-85C in a heavy pan) is required prior to
using raw and/or very fresh milk.  Since most bakers were farmers, and most farmers
had cows  back in the old days, most old time bread recipes call for scalded milk.  
Grocery store milk has been sitting for awhile and has been pasteurized, both of which
tend to  inactivate the yeast-inhibiting enzymes.  However, if your bread recipe calls for
large amounts of milk (say all milk and no water), some inhibition of yeast growth may
result, even with grocery store milk.

One way to avert problems with milk inhibiting yeast growth is to use dry milk or
evaporated milk in the place of fresh milk.  Use of these products may also help prevent
problems with bacterial overgrowth in the rising dough.  Don’t use so much dry milk
however that you rob the yeast of water.

In addition to creating a softer bread, cultured milk products such as buttermilk, sour
cream and yogurt will result in a dough with more moisture and tang.  Soy milk may be
substituted for cow’s milk in equivalent volumes.

Eggs

The protein in eggs helps add structure and the fats add richness to dough.  A large egg
adds about 3 Tbsp of water to a recipe.  Brushed on top of breads, eggs (or egg whites),
help create pleasant browning.  Egg whites beaten into stiff peaks can be folded into a
batter dough for an extra light crumb.

Fat & Oils

Fats (butter, margarine, lard, shortening) or oils (olive, vegetable, corn, canola oils) help
make a bread more tender and also makes the loaf stay fresh much longer.  Breads made
with lots of fat will not have a crunchy crust and will not have large, irregular holes.  
The more fat, the more cakelike a crumb and crust will be.  When compared to each
other, solid fats tend to add more leavening (rise) and liquid fats tend to add more
tenderness.

Butter is made by churning cream until the semi-solid mixture of water, fat and dairy
solids separate from the remaining liquid (buttermilk).  The uniqueness of butter stems
from its physical characteristics.  At cooler temperatures (65 F and below) butter is a
solid emulsion that traps air bubbles and forms unique globules when laminated with
flour.  At warmer temperatures butter acts more like a (butter flavored) oil.  Butter is
only about 80% fat however, so when replacing butter with oil, use 8 Tbsp of oil for
every 10 Tbsp of butter the recipe calls for.

In Defense of Fat

Americans hate nothing more than fat, particularly when we’re wearing it.  Dave Barry
once joked that “Cigarette sales would drop to zero overnight if the warning said
‘CIGARETTES CONTAIN FAT’”  By replacing fat in our diet with carbohydrates, we
may be doing our bodies a disservice and actually creating more health problems.  The
traditional Greek diet, for example, gets a whopping 40% of its calories from fat, yet
people consuming this diet have 20 times less heart disease and 10% less cancer than
Americans.  Part of the difference here may be the type of fat consumed.  But what
about the Amish?  They are prime examples of what not to eat.  They live on bacon,
eggs, chicken, pork and beef.  They cook with lard and bacon grease.  Yet their rates of
obesity and heart disease are low compared to other Americans.  Are their high levels of
physical activity protective, and/or is the complete lack of processed food somehow
protective?

What all this really means is that the science of nutrition and disease prevention is still in
its infancy.  Twenty years from now our ideas about what constitutes a healthy diet and
lifestyle will differ dramatically from today.  I’m old enough to remember back in the
1970’s when the egg was demonized as one of the worst foods ever.  Now, thirty years
later, the egg is revered as a universal superfood.  

What’s a health conscious baker to do?  Well, for now….
  • Minimize your intake of highly processed foods.  By baking your own bread at
    home, you are taking a big step in that direction.
  • Don’t shy away from butter, other dairy products and eggs, but try to work in
    monosaturated fats also;  in baking, use olive and canola oils (not other vegetable
    oils).  Use plenty of nuts in your baking.
Foodies say that the best dishes are made
from the highest quality ingredients.  While
I don't disagree with this statement I must
point out that with regards to baking
ingredients, it may often be difficult to
discern quality differences among products.
And with regards to flours in particular,
price differences may not always be a
reliable guide to quality differences.
Ingredients
In Context
Active Dry Yeast
Instant Yeast
Fresh Yeast
1 tsp
3/4 tsp
1 1/2 tsp
1/2 Tbsp
1 tsp
3/4 Tbsp
3/4 Tbsp
1/2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
3/4 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
2 Tbsp