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What Makes Bread so Soft and Tasty

Submitted by Stella Morgan on August 2, 2010

Bread is one of the most commonly consumed foods all over the world and brings with it a whole host of nutrients to the human body. Whole wheat bread is by far the healthiest form of bread and a single serving of about 46 grams contains 128 calories with only 2 grams of saturated fats. The same portion of bread also contains about 3 percent of calcium and 4 percent of iron, all very important players in the upkeep of your health. Some of the other advantages of bread are the high dietary fiber content as well as the high manganese and selenium content. As with any food, some people prefer to bake their own bread to cater to their specific dietary preferences and taste buds.

The ingredients you would need to put together when baking your own bread include 2 cups of water at around 110 degrees, 3 cups of white sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons of dry yeast and 1 ½ tablespoons of salt I addition to 6 cups of bread flour and ¼ cup of vegetable oil. To make the bread even softer, you could also try integrating ¾ cups of milk to the list.

The key to the entire exercise is to make sure that every stage is performed exactly as it ought to be.

This includes the initial kneading which, although quite tiring and mundane, is absolutely essential. Handmade bread is often not as soft as many people tend to overwork the dough. In addition to that, shortening is added to the dough during preparation as this improves the texture of the bread.

In the later stage of the actual baking, when you put the bread into the oven and heat it up, you should also make sure that you cover it with a damp towel for the entire 15 to 20 minute duration. Once this process has been completed, it is extremely important that the bread be allowed to cool down without condensation that is going to rise from the moisture exiting the bread. Place the bread on a raise grid for better results.

Storage of bread is as important in order to enhance as well as maintain its taste and softness. Avoid storing the bread in plastic bags as this tends to prevent the circulation of air and is almost guaranteed to destroy the crust within a short span of time. Refrigerators are another common storage place, but do more harm than good. Refrigerators tend to speed up the crystallization of starch which results in the bread starting to taste stale. If you absolutely have to store bread in the fridge for a couple of months, make sure that you wrap it in some aluminum foil as soon as it is out of the oven.
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