Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
There are four basic steps in the making of yeast bread. We mix together the flour, water, yeast, and salt; we knead the mixture to develop the gluten network; we give the yeast time to produce carbon dioxide and fill the dough with gas cells; and we bake the dough to set its structure and generate flavor. In practice, each step involves choices that affect the qualities of the finished loaf. There are many ways to make basic bread! The following paragraphs explain some of the more significant choices and their effects. Breads made with special ingredients or methods—sourdoughs, sweet breads, flatbreads—are described later.