Baking Ingredients

You don’t need to keep too many ingredients on hand to bake at any given time. Since every day is the right day to bake with Fleischmann’s® Yeast, here are a few easy-to-store items to keep in the pantry.

Yeast

Yeast is the heart of the bread-making process. It’s the essential ingredient that makes the dough rise and gives home-baked bread its wonderful taste and aroma. Other ingredients are added to complete the reactions that result in a perfectly baked loaf of hot, crusty homemade bread. In each yeast packet, there are thousands of living plant-like microorganisms. When activated by warm liquid, and fed by sugar or starch, the yeast releases tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. This gas is what makes the dough rise and achieve its light texture after baking.

To learn more about the kind of yeast you should use, click here.

Flour

Wheat is the most common type of flour used in bread baking. It includes all-purpose flour, bread flour and whole wheat flour. Wheat is rich in gluten, a protein that gives dough its elasticity and strength. When yeast and flour are mixed with liquid and then kneaded or beaten, the gluten forms and stretches to create a network that traps the carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the yeast.

Recipes with whole wheat flour have less gluten and make denser loaves. That’s why these recipes generally require some all-purpose flour which increases the gluten and makes lighter, taller loaves.

Liquids

Water

is the most important liquid because it does 2 critical things:

  • It dissolves and activates the yeast.
  • It blends with the flour to create a sticky and elastic dough.

Milk, buttermilk, cream or juice

may be added to enhance the flavor or texture. Only warm liquids should be added to dry ingredients in a recipe because:

  • A too-cool liquid will slow or stop yeast action.
  • A too-hot liquid will destroy the yeast and prevent it from rising.

Ideal temperature ranges are 100°F–110°F, when yeast is dissolved directly in water; 120°F-130°F when undissolved yeast is added to dry ingredients.

Sweetener

Sugar adds flavor and rich brown color to a bread’s crust. Brown sugar, honey, molasses and jams may also be used.

Salt

Salt is an important ingredient in bread baking because it slows rising time allowing the flavor of the dough to develop, and it adds to the flavor of the baked product. For best results, we do not recommend omitting the salt in a yeast recipe.

Eggs

Eggs add food value, color and flavor to breads. They also help make the crumb fine and the crust tender. Eggs add richness and protein. Some recipes call for eggs to be used as a wash, which adds color.

Fat

Butter, margarine, shortening or oil add flavor and make bread tender and moist. Fat slows moisture loss, helping bread stay fresh longer. Fat is heated with liquid when using RapidRise® Yeast. Do not substitute oil for margarine/shortening unless the recipe calls for it.