of a material.
Diastase and protease are the most
important enzymes found in flour. Diastase converts
starch to sugar, and the yeast acts upon the sugar to
produce carbon dioxide and other fermentation
products. Protease softens the gluten and, when this
enzyme is lacking, the dough will not have the desired
Fat. Wheat flour contains approximately
1.5-percent fat. The major portion of the fat of wheat
grain is removed during the milling process. Although
the fat content of flour is very low, this is what causes
flour to become rancid if flour is stored for long periods
under warm and humid conditions.
WATER. In many bakery products, including
bread, the amount of water used is second only to the
amount of flour. Water contains minerals. The amount
and kind of minerals contained in the water vary from
one part of the country to another. These variations
affect the properties of the dough and the finished bread.
Water is necessary to form gluten from the protein
of flour, thereby giving the dough its elasticity and its
gas retaining property. Gluten absorbs twice its own
weight of water. The amount of water used determines
the consistency and the temperature of the dough after
it is mixed. Water dissolves the salt and the sugar, makes
it possible for the enzymes to act, and holds the yeast in
suspension until it is added to the other ingredients and
the fermentation begins.
SALT. Very little salt is used in making bread, but
the amount used is essential, for it performs a very
important function. Without salt, fermentation in dough
is too rapid, and the baked product becomes too coarse.
With too much salt, the fermentation process is slowed,
and the bread becomes soggy. Salt strengthens gluten
and helps it to expand, improves the color of baked
products, and enhances the flavor.
SUGAR. During fermentation, part of the sugar
is converted into a form that can be used as food for the
yeast. Starches are converted into sugar that produces
carbon dioxide gas and alcohol and that causes the
dough to expand, making it softer and more flexible.
This sugar in the bread contributes to the color of
the crust, the taste of the baked loaf, the toasting qualities
of the bread, the texture, the moisture retaining qualities,
and the nutritional value. Sugar is also a tenderizer.
All sugars do not have the same degree of
sweetness, since sweetness
process through which the
sugar, for example, is less
depends upon the refining
sugar has passed. Brown
highly refined than white
sugar and, therefore, is not so sweet. Brown sugar lends
a pleasant taste to cooked or baked products, and syrups
can be used as a substitute for regular sugar. Corn syrup,
honey, or molasses improves the flavor of cookies and
helps retain their moisture.
SHORTENING. Shortening is the animal or
vegetable fat that is used in baking. There are two
general types of shortening-solid and liquid. The
solid-type shortening is recommended for use in bread
dough because it can be more thoroughly distributed
through the dough. The reason for this is that it will not
saturate the flour it touches. Although the liquid-type
shortening can be used effectively, the dough must be
well formed before the oil is added. The liquid-type
shortening is mainly used in recipes that call for melted
shortening, such as some cake and bread recipes.
Shortening compounds are composed of deodorized
animal and vegetable fats mechanically blended to give
a final product of acceptable elasticity and satisfactory
baking quality. There are two types of solid shortening
compounds used in the Navy GMgeneral-purpose
shortening and bakery shortening (emulsifier-type).
General-Purpose Shortening. General-purpose
shortening is a high-grade shortening that has excellent
General-purpose shortening should
not be substituted in recipes that specify bakery-type
Bakery Shortening. Bakery shortening or
emulsifier-type shortening is hydrogenated shortening
to which an emulsifying agent has been added. This
gives the shortening exceptional ability to blend with
SALAD OILS. Salad oils are generally used in
the preparation of salad dressing and in recipes that
Oil should not be substituted for
general-purpose or emulsifier-type shortening in recipes
specifying those types.
BUTTER. Butter is the fatty constituent of milk
that is separated from the other milk constituents by
churning. Butter is used most often as a spread, but it
has many other uses in food preparation. When butter
is substituted for other shortening, you should adjust
your recipe. Butter contains salt, milk, and moisture so
the salt, milk, and liquid in the recipe should be
decreased accordingly. The fat content of butter is less
than that of other shortening; therefore, more butter
should be used in the recipe.
MILK. Milk is almost a complete food. Nonfat
dry milk contains all the food qualities of whole milk