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Baker’s Glossary

Have you ever read The Joy of Cooking glossary tip to tail? We wish we had. But we’re too busy baking! We’ve designed the Bakers’ Glossary with common bread baking terms (and some not-so-common), making it easy for you to jump in and out, complementing your baking projects and baking curiosity. 

The Baker’s Glossary is a work in progress, and we intend to keep it that way. If there’s something you can’t find, or have a different perspective on a glossary term we’ve included, we’d love to hear from you!

Send us a message to hello@challengerbreadware.com —we’re looking forward to the conversation!

A

All flours are not created equal. Every flour absorbs different amounts of water which determines how wet or dry your final dough is. Absorption is the percentage of the flour’s weight that it can absorb in water before becoming saturated and eventually breaking down. It’s very important to remember this when working with durum as it can deteriorate more rapidly than other wheats if it’s been heavily hydrated.

Acetic acid is one of the two principle acids, together with Lactic Acid, produced by the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as a byproduct of their metabolic processes during fermentation. Yeast can also produce acetic acid. When present in large enough concentrations, these two acids provide the tanginess, or sourness, in sourdough bread. Acetic acid is the primary flavor component in vinegar (typically 4% acetic acid).

The concentrations of both acetic and lactic acid increase with time as fermentation progresses in a sourdough culture. Near its peak ripeness (peak volume), the sourdough culture will have a moderate amount of these acids and will taste moderately sour. A younger culture will have less acid and taste very mild, while a culture that has developed beyond its peak can have accumulated significantly more acids and will taste sharply sour.

Active dry yeast is one form of commercial yeast that’s been dried and is basically dormant. It must be rehydrated before use to wake it up. This is the type of commercial yeast that’s normally found in grocery stores. It should be dissolved (See Blooming) in water before using. If a bread recipe calls for fresh yeast then 40% of that weight would be used if you want to substitute it for active dry yeast.

An active starter is one that’s showing good activity, especially bubbles showing on the sides and the top.

This is the name for the holes in the crumb. These are really air pockets that are formed during mixing and they expand during fermentation and baking.

Amylase is an enzyme present in cereal grains that breaks down starches into sugars. You can add amylase or diastatic malt powder to your dough which improves volume, especially in long-fermented doughs.

This is a term applied to different cereal grains that have undergone little change over the years. It usually includes buckwheat, emmer, einkorn, quinoa, and spelt. See also Heirloom Grains, Heritage Grains, and Landrace Grains.

This is an oxidant that’s often added at the mill or by the baker. It increases dough elasticity and volume.

The ash content gives you an indication of the amount of minerals in your flour. Flours with higher ash counts have more bran in the flour. The French use ash count to label their flours. It’s similar to the extraction rate, but it is not synonymous. It’s determined by burning flour and weighing the amount of ashes that remain. Bread flours normally have .55%-.80% ash. Pastry flour is normally around .45% ash.

This is an important step in the process of making bread. In this step, the flour and water (and sometimes the starter or preferment) are mixed together and let rest from 20 minutes to four hours (even overnight if the salt is added). It helps hydrate the flour particles and start the process of creating gluten.

An autolyse (up to 20 minutes) reduces mixing time since the flour becomes almost fully hydrated in those first 20 minutes (according to Professor Andrew Ross). A longer autolyse will have different, and mixed, results when added to the dough, depending on the type of flour, the type of pre-ferment, and the length of fermentation of the dough. Enzymes become active once hydrated, and these can have either beneficial or detrimental effects during an autolyse, depending on numerous factors. We have seen research that shows results in both directions, so it’s best to experiment!

B

A baguette is a long, thin loaf of bread originating in France. This style of loaf has a great crumb to crust ratio.

This is the standard method that baker’s use to describe the recipe (or formula) for a particular bread. The total flour is always considered 100%, and every other ingredient is a percentage based on its weight versus the weight of the total flour.

See Baker’s Math.

This is the container that bakers use for the final proof. It can be many shapes including round for boules and oval for bâtards. It can be made from many materials including cane, wicker, and wood pulp. Some come with linen liners which work very well to keep your dough from sticking.

Bassinage is a French word used by bakers when they hold back some of the water in their recipe to be added later in the process. It is often difficult to mix wetter doughs because gluten develops better in a drier environment. The water can be added back towards the end of mixing or it can be added slowly during bulk fermentation when the baker folds their dough.

A bâtard is an oval-shaped loaf of bread that’s similar in shape to an American football.

This is the flour scattered on a bench or counter during shaping to keep the dough from sticking. More and more bakers use a 50/50 combination of rice flour and bread flour.

bench knife is a handheld tool with a straight metal edge that bakers use to cut and shape dough along with keeping their counter / bench clean. You can find ours here.

This is the time after the dough has been preshaped and before it is shaped. It gives the gluten network time to relax a bit after being handled. It’s normally around 15 minutes, though it can go longer depending on the dough. The dough is normally covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Sometimes the cloth is removed 5 minutes before shaping to let the top of the dough dry out just a bit which helps keep it from sticking.

Biga is a preferment usually made with flour, water, and a small amount of yeast. Since it’s an Italian term for a preferment, it’s often found in recipes for Italian breads. It’s normally a low hydration / stiff dough.

This is a chemical process that bleaches flour white and oxidizes it. Don’t buy bleached flour. Just don’t.

Bakers strive to get blisters on the crust of their breads both for beauty and to know the fermentation was judged well.

This is the process of rehydrating commercial yeast. It’s normally done with water though other liquids can be used.

This is what bakers call it when a loaf of dough is improperly scored (or not scored at all) and an unsightly expansion occurs blowing out through the crust.

A boule is a round-shaped loaf of bread that’s similar in shape to an upside-down bowl.

This is a French term for a loaf that’s shaped like a baguette, but is both shorter and wider than a standard baguette.

The bran is the fibrous outer coating of the kernel that encases the seed. It’s there to protect what’s inside from pests and diseases. It contains most of the fiber and vitamins including B, iron, magnesium, and zinc. In all wheat varieties, the bran is 14% of the kernel. It contributes a tremendous amount of flavor to your flour. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

See Instant Yeast.

Brotform is the German term for banneton.

Bulk fermentation is the fermentation step that begins immediately after mixing. It is also known as the first proof or first fermentation.

C

This is a small compressed block of fresh yeast. It’s kind of like a crumbly, creamy piece of clay. See Fresh Yeast.

As a baker, you have to make a judgment call when your fermentation is done. This applies to both the bulk fermentation and the final proof. In sourdough bread making, it also applies to when the starter is done and at its peak.

The combination of the heat in your oven and the sugars in dough contributes to caramelization, the rich brown set of colors on the crust and ear of a loaf of bread.

This is an autoimmune disease that affects a small percentage of the population. It’s a reaction to the gluten found in barley, rye, and wheat.
In bread making, chef refers to that portion of starter that’s used to propagate the starter and not leaven a loaf of bread.
This is a long, thin loaf of Italian bread that is made with a high hydration dough and has a very open crumb.

Clear flour is milled from the outer periphery of the endosperm producing a white flour with almost no additional flavor.

Cloverleaf rolls are a type of dinner roll made by placing three small dough balls next to each other so that they bake together and look like a cloverleaf when done.

A coil fold is a method used to bring strength and structure to dough during bulk fermentation. Here’s a great video showing how it’s done.

Another term for retarding.

Commercial baker’s yeast is a dried yeast that can be used to leaven dough. There are three types of commercial baker’s yeast: fresh yeast, active dry yeast, and instant yeast.

This is a form of fresh yeast that can be found in grocery stores. It’s a block of yeast. It’s kind of like a crumbly, creamy piece of clay. See Cake Yeast and Fresh Yeast.

A couche is a large piece of linen that bakers used to provide support to fully shaped loaves of dough during the final proof. It also absorbs excess moisture in the dough. They’re often used when making baguettes and demi-baguettes.

This is a French shape for a loaf of bread that’s shaped like a crown.
This is a large loaf of French bread that’s normally made with a sourdough starter.

Crumb is the soft interior of a loaf or slice of bread. In Open Crumb Mastery, author Trevor Wilson describes many desirable styles of crumb that a baker can make depending on what the baker wants to achieve. Open refers to an airy crumb with lots of alveoli and closed refers to a more dense crumb. Neither style of crumb is better than another. It’s a baker’s choice.

D

Desem is a naturally leavened whole wheat bread originating in Belgium.

This is the temperature often specified in a recipe for the dough immediately after mixing. Although fermentation is always hard to judge and takes a lot of practice, bakers use the DDT and monitor the dough temperature throughout the bulk fermentation state to help them determine when to call proof.

This is the weight of a piece of dough after dividing.

Dextrin is one of the complex carbohydrates in flour starch that’s related to glucose. It is produced from the amylase activity on the starch.

Diastatic malt is a type of malt that’s full of active amylase enzymes that are good for bread bakers. It is made from sprouted, heated, and ground wheat or barley kernels. It’s often added to dough to assist in breaking down starches into sugars that are eaten by yeast bacteria. Most flours that you purchase already have malt added to them. This gives yeast more sugars to eat. It can be beneficial to add small amounts of DMPdiastatic malt powder to a dough that will be fermented for a long time in order to ensure that the yeast doesn’t run out of food. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

This is the method of leavening dough solely with commercial yeast and no preferments.

Bread bakers refer to discard as being the excess starter that’s left over after a feeding.

This a style of mixer used for making dough. It has two arms that enter the mixing bowl at an oblique angle and rotate as the mixing bowl spins. It’s prized by some bakers because it best mimics how dough is mixed by hand. It is also called a fork or oblique mixer.

This is a process of creating small holes across a dough’s surface. There are tools for this, and it can also be done with a fork or a skewer.
These are ingredients often added by commercial bakers to improve processing and the quality of the final loaf of bread. It’s always best to become a better baker than to use dough conditioners.

This type of wheat is most often used when making pasta and couscous. It has a rich amber color and imparts color and flavor to your loaf of bread. It has a high level of protein but doesn’t form gluten as well. It breaks down quickly so that it’s not good in high hydration doughs. It’s a hard variety of spring wheat. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

E

This is the little lip of crust that pulls away from the rest of the crust along the score line made by the baker. It is prized in the world of bread baking both in terms of shape, size, and color. There are different ways to score a loaf of bread to create different types of ears.

An egg wash is a mixture of egg or just egg yolks that are mixed with water or milk and brushed onto the surface of the dough just before baking. It gives the bread a glazed, evenly browned appearance.

Einkorn is one of the varieties of wheat that’s known as an ancient grain. It is high in protein but has less gluten protein than normal flour. It’s chewier and has a nutty flavor. The quality of the protein is lower than other wheat varieties which makes it harder to work with in terms of making bread. It is also known as farro or piccolo farro. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

Elasticity is a term used by bread bakers when describing the ability of the dough to spring back after being stretched. Elasticity is a good thing contributing to volume and structure. For bakers, it’s always a balancing act between extensibility and elasticity; this balance comes from the glutenin protein.

This is one of the varieties of wheat that’s known as an ancient grain. It is considered one of the first grains ever cultivated. It’s higher in protein but has a delicate gluten structure. It gives your bread a rich and nutty flavor. It is also sometimes called farro. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

Enriched doughs are doughs that contain enriching ingredients.

These are ingredients that are added to dough to enrich it. These ingredients include fats and sugars (e.g. eggs and butter).

Extensibility is a term used by bread bakers when describing the ability of dough to be extended and stretched without breaking the gluten strands. For bakers, it’s always a balancing act between extensibility and elasticity; this balance comes from the gliadin protein. Some flours have more gliadin proteins and promote better extensibility in bread dough. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

Mills and home millers pass flour through a sieve to remove the bran. Extraction is also known as sifting.

This number refers to the percentage of the bran and germ of flour that’s removed/extracted. White flour is normally around 72% extraction, whereas whole wheat is 100% extraction.

F

This number denotes the degree of amylase activity, and it’s measured on a scale from 0 to 500. A low number denotes reduced milling quality. A grain that was milled young (soon after harvesting) will have lots of activity and a lower falling number. A grain that was milled old (long after harvesting) will have a higher falling number. For making bread, you should look for grains or flours with a falling number around 250 which is ideal for fermenting dough. If you get flour with a falling number above 350, then a baker has to compensate for the reduced amount of enzymatic activity usually by adding sugar, malt syrup, or something to help for the low enzymatic activity. If you get flour with a falling number below 200, then this is going to be a very active flour, and it’ll be difficult to stop from over-fermenting quickly. See also Hagberg Number.

In bread baking, feeding normally refers to the process of adding flour and water to an existing starter to give it more food and encourage it to grow and stay active and healthy.

This is a French type of bread where the dough is rolled flat in the middle making it look like two loaves of bread.

Fermentation is the leavening process that happens  in bread making when your yeast converts sugars into carbon dioxide, alcohol, and other organic acids. There are three main fermentation phases in the making of bread: sourdough starter, bulk fermentation, and the final proof. In yeasted breads, there are only the last two. Some bakers think of the bench rest between preshaping and shaping to be an additional fermentation step.

This is a French bread that’s similar to a baguette but smaller.
The term used for the last fermentation step. Dough is normally baked immediately after this proof.

This is the fermentation step that begins immediately after mixing. It is also known as the first proof or bulk fermentation.

This is the fermentation step that begins immediately after mixing. It is also known as the first fermentation or bulk fermentation.

A fork mixer a style of mixer used for making dough. It has two arms that enter the mixing bowl at an oblique angle and rotate as the mixing bowl spins. It’s prized by some bakers because it best mimics how dough is mixed by hand. It is also called an oblique or diving arm mixer.

Francese is Italy’s version of a high hydration (French) bread.

This is a partially hydrated block of yeast that must be kept refrigerated and lasts only two to three weeks. Fresh yeast is especially hard for home bakers to find though commercial bakeries still use it.

Bakers are always trying to judge the dough temperature at the end of mixing. Dough temperature can be calculated with a formula that contains a friction factor meant to take into account the heat that happens during the mechanical mixing of dough.

G

In bread baking, garnishes are the ingredients that are applied to the outside of the dough. Most garnishes are used as decorative touches though some add flavor, too.

Starch granules gelatinize when heated.

Gliadin is a protein in flour that provides extensibility to dough. When it combines with glutenin, gluten is formed.

Glutelin is another protein found in certain cereal grains like wheat, rye, and barley. It’s also found in corn and rice.

Gluten is the combination of proteins in dough that contribute to dough elasticity, extensibility, and strength. When it’s well developed, it traps the gases that are needed to give your loaf good structure and volume.

Gluten development begins when you add water to flour. Water interacts with glutenin and gliadin in flour creating a viscoelastic network that’s able to trap air bubbles in your bread dough.

This is a term used in food products that do not contain any gluten.
This is the web-like network created as gluten develops. See also Gluten Development.
This is a protein found mainly in wheat flours, but also in smaller percentages in barley and rye. It provides strength and elasticity. When it combines with gliadin, it forms gluten.
This is white flour that hasn’t been aged.
This is the French term for the ear on a loaf of bread. It comes from the verb grigner meaning score. See also Ear.

H

See also Falling Number.
In baking, this refers to old varieties of wheat that are being brought back by farmers. See also Heritage Grains.
In baking, this refers to old varieties of wheat that are being brought back by farmers.
This is a naturally occurring bacteria that’s found in sourdough cultures. This bacteria produces both lactic and acetic acid in your dough. It also produces some carbon dioxide during fermentation which contributes to the rise in your dough. This bacteria enjoys colder temperatures during fermentation.

This refers to dough that has a high percentage of water in relation to the total amount of flour in a recipe. It’s really a loose term since different flours especially fresh milled whole grain flours soak up different amounts of water. It’s more accurate for a baker to refer to dough as being on a scale from dry to wet to really wet.

This is a naturally occurring bacteria that’s found in sourdough cultures. This bacteria produces mainly lactic acid in your dough. This bacteria enjoys warmer temperatures during fermentation.

This is the layer of liquid that can appear on the top of a neglected or refrigerated starter. It does not mean that there’s anything wrong. It can be poured off or stirred right into the starter before feeding it.

In bread baking, this refers to the adding of water to flour and mixing it together until no dry flour can be found.
This is normally mentioned as a percentage of water in relation to the total weight of the flour in your bread formula or recipe. It’s a general number because different flours and other cereals soak up different amounts of water. In bread making, it is best to get a feel for your dough and place it in your mind on a scale of dry dough to wet dough to very wet dough.

Hygroscopic is a chemical term that normally refers to the ability of ingredients like salt and sugar to attract and hold moisture in your dough.

I

In bread recipes, these are ingredients that are added to dough to enhance flavor and texture. These can be many things including cheeses, cured meats, dried fruits, nuts, and various sweet ingredients.

Instant yeast is one form of commercial yeast. It contains far more active yeast cells than active dry yeast. It does not require blooming. If recipe calls for fresh yeast, use 33% of instant yeast. If a recipe calls for active dry yeast, use 75% instant yeast.

Invertase is an enzyme that’s produced by yeast that breaks down sucrose into both glucose and fructose (both digestible sugars).

K

This is one of the varieties of wheat that’s known as an ancient grain. It is the trademarked variety of Khorasan. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

These are organic compounds that are created during the baking of bread that contribute to both the flavor and the aroma of your bread while it’s baking.
This is what labs use to determine the protein level of flour.

This is the process used by bakers to mix ingredients and build strength and structure to their dough.

Kugelhopf is a European enriched bread that’s tall and ring-shaped and baked in an intricate mold. It has many inclusions like lemon, liquor, nuts, and raisins.

L

LAB stands for lactic acid bacteria. See also Lactobacilli.

Lactic Acid is one of the two principle acids, together with Acetic Acid, produced by the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as a byproduct of their metabolic processes during fermentation. When present in large enough concentrations, these two acids provide the tanginess, or sourness, in sourdough bread. Lactic acid is the primary source of the tangy flavor in yogurt or buttermilk (yogurt has typically 0.9% lactic acid, buttermilk has 3%-4%, regular milk has about 0.17%).

The concentrations of both acetic and lactic acid increase with time as fermentation progresses in a sourdough culture. Near its peak ripeness (peak volume), the sourdough culture will have a moderate amount of these acids and will taste moderately sour. A younger culture will have less acid and taste very mild, while a culture that has developed beyond its peak can have accumulated significantly more acids and will taste sharply sour.

This is a strain of bacteria found in bread that produces mostly lactic (and some acetic) acid leading to bread flavor and aroma. It’s also the bacteria that helps ferment things like yogurt and kimchi.

A lame (pronounced LAHM) is a tool used by bakers to score bread. There are many shapes and sizes of lames that hold razor blades straight or with a slight curve. We carry both a straight lame and a curved lame.

When related to bread making, laminating refers to stretching your dough out very thinly on your bench or counter. Care is taken not to cause the gluten to tear. The dough is then folded up evenly creating many layers and good structure. In pastry making, lamination is the process of folding and rolling butter into dough to create alternating layers of dough and butter. Lamination is most often used when making croissants and puff pastry.

A landbrot is a German country round bread normally made with both wheat and rye.

These are ancient pre-hybridized varieties or races of wheat, barley, oats, rye, and other grains that flourished long, long ago in areas or lands throughout the world where they adapted to local environmental conditions. See also Ancient Grains, Heirloom Grains, and Heritage Grains.

A leaven or a leavener is a substance used to make dough rise. See also Sourdough and Commercial Yeast.

This is a French term that’s often used by bakers to refer to the sourdough cultures that are going to be mixed with the dough during the making of bread. It is often used interchangeably with sourdough starter. Some bakers also include some commercial yeast even when making sourdough bread.

M

This is a chemical reaction that happens in the oven during bread baking that creates the browning on your crust. The Maillard reaction gives off the aromas that you smell during baking and creates the flavors you taste while eating.

Maltase is an enzyme that’s produced by yeast to break down maltose into glucose.

Malted barley is a type of barley that has been soaked, sprouted, dried, and then ground into a powder. It can be purchased or made at home. It is high in amylase, and it is added to flour by both mills and home bakers.

This is malted barley that’s been made into a syrup.

Maltose is a type of glucose that yeast devour during fermentation.

Bakers refer to a very large round loaf of bread as a miche. It’s a French term that was originally applied to breads that weighed in excess of ten pounds / 5 kilograms.
This is mainly the bran and germ that’s removed during flour milling.
This is that step in the making of bread that hydrates the flour at the very beginning.

N

This is malt where the amylase enzyme has been removed.

O

An oblique mixer is a style of mixer used for making dough. It has two arms that enter the mixing bowl at an oblique angle and rotate as the mixing bowl spins. It’s prized by some bakers because it best mimics how dough is mixed by hand. It is also called a fork or diving arm mixer.

These are acids produced by bacteria that provide flavor and aroma. These are most often found in doughs that use preferments and sourdough cultures.

Oven spring is a term used by bakers to refer to the amount of expansion in loaf volume that occurs during the very beginning of baking. Good oven spring is prized by all bread bakers.

This is the process of getting oxygen into your dough during mixing. It helps strengthen the gluten. If a baker gets too much oxygen into the dough during mixing, then the dough matures too fast and starts to break down. This can be visually seen if the dough turns whiter than it was when mixing is started.

This normally occurs after milling to interfere with the aggregation of gluten proteins into a strong network. Natural oxidation of flour results from allowing the flour to age after mixing. Flour can be artificially oxidized with chemicals so that the miller does not have to age the flour. Stay away from chemically oxidized flour!

These are dough additives used in the oxidation of flour.

P

This is a French country bread made with a flat disk on top.
This is an Italian sweet bread normally made and eaten during the Christmas holidays.
This is a rich Italian enriched bread that’s traditionally eaten during the Christmas holidays. It normally contains butter, eggs, and dried fruit.
These are bread dinner rolls.

Pâte fermentée (pronounced POT FER-MEN-TAY) is another type of preferment that means old dough. It can be made on its own or taken from dough to use later in another dough.

Patent flour is white flour milled from the heart of the endosperm.

Peels are what bread bakers and pizza makers use to load and unload dough from an oven. There are also smaller peels made specifically for handling baguettes and demi-baguettes.

Pentosan is a gum that’s found in cereals that absorbs lots of water. Large amounts are found in rye. They’re important to understand in order to understand the structure of rye dough.

This is part of the bran layer in a cereal grain.

This is a naturally occurring acid found in wheat bran, and it interferes with our ability as humans to process calcium and iron. Sourdough cultures neutralize phytic acid which is why sourdough bread has a higher nutritional value than other breads.

This type of mixer has an arm that enters the bowl vertically from the top, and the bowl itself can rotate or remain stationary. It’s a popular type of mixer in bakeries because it works well for bread and pastries doughs along with batters and pastry creams.

A poolish is a type of preferment that is made with equal amounts of flour and water (100% hydration) along with a small amount of yeast.

This is a portion of the dough’s overall ingredients that are mixed together and allowed to ferment before being added to the dough. Some types of breads that use a preferment are biga, paté fermentée, poolish, and sourdough levain.

Proofing refers to the fermentation that occurs before or after shaping. Bulk proofing occurs before shaping and final proofing occurs after shaping.

Another term for a banneton.

These protein-digesting enzymes increase dough extensibility.
The amount of protein in different types of wheat range from 8% to 17%. Even within a type of wheat, the protein levels will be different depending on where that particular species of wheat was grown. The actual gluten proteins account for 75%-85% of the flour’s protein percentage. Water causes the gluten proteins to be broken down into glutenins (elasticity) and gliadins (extensibility). It’s the ratio of these two proteins that can help the baker understand how a dough is going to react. Bread bakers tend to stick with flours with 11.5% – 14% protein and even higher nowadays. However, bread making techniques can be used with flours that fall outside this spectrum in order to make a great loaf of bread.

Pugliese is an Italian rustic bread that’s typically made with a high hydration dough.

This is dough baked inside a straight-sided loaf pan or tin. A lid can be used with a pullman loaf to give it an even shape all the way around.

Pumpernickel is a coarse flour ground from a rye berry. The bread made from pumpernickel flour is often referred to as pumpernickel bread. It’s normally baked for a long time at a really low temperature. Beware of store-bought pumpernickel in the US because artificial coloring is often used to give the bread its characteristic dark color instead of baking it low and slow. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

R

See also Instant Yeast.
This refers to the process of refrigerating dough to slow down the fermentation. It can be done during the bulk or final proof.
This is the process that contributes to the staling of bread.

The Rubaud Method for mixing is a pull and release method that helps to thoroughly combine the final dough mix. It is used with high hydration dough, and is an effective way to mix autolyse and starter together to establish the bulk ferment. This method is named for Gerard Rubaud, legendary baker (and skiier!) who was born in France and lived much of his life in Vermont where he operated his bakery, Gerard’s Breads of Tradition. To learn more about the Rubaud Method, see this video.

S

This is the most common strain of yeast that’s found in bread baking.
As a noun, this is the device for weighing ingredients. As a verb, it means to change the total yield of a recipe.

Scoring is the act of cutting the dough’s surface (normally with a lame) before it goes into the oven for baking. Although it is often decorative, it helps the dough expand properly during baking.

This is a coarse ground durum wheat that’s most often used when making pasta. It has a nice yellowish hue and imparts color and flavor to your loaf of bread. It pairs well with Khorasan/Kamut. It’s a hard variety of spring wheat. Semolina is often used for dusting peels and towels that are used to wrap up pasta dough. See also Durum. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

This is the term used to describe dough after the flour and water are mixed together.

Shortening is butter or fat used in making doughs and pastries.

The shortening effect occurs when shortening ingredients are added to dough and increase the volume of the final loaf of dough or pastry.

Mills and home millers pass flour through a sieve to remove the bran. This is also known as extracting.
This is a culture of microorganisms made by mixing flour and water and then fermenting it.

A spiral mixer is a style of mixer that has a curved vertical mixing arm extending into the bowl. The bowl may or may not rotate.

This is another term that refers to a preferment. In this case, it is usually a very wet/well-hydrated preferment.

Spring wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in the summer and fall. It has a milder, somewhat sweeter flavor. Spring wheats generally have a higher protein level than winter wheats and normally fall in the 12%-14% range. The higher protein counts of spring wheats give them greater gluten potential which makes them ideal for breads and pizzas that ferment for a long time; they can also trap lots of air. Learn more about grains in The Ingredient Directory.

These are the carbohydrates found in cereal grains and makeup about 72% of the whole kernel.
When rye bread is baking, the dough structure can break down and is called the starch attack. This can be prevented by making rye bread with a sourdough culture which inhibits the excess amylase activity.

Damaged Starch consists of the tough starch granules that have been fractured during milling, thus making the internal starch molecules accessible to the amylase to breaking down into sugars for use by the yeast and LAB. Amylase cannot access starch inside intact starch granules! Too little starch damage stunts fermentation, since the yeast and LAB have less sugars available.

This is the process that happens to starch when heat and moisture are applied. It causes the starch to swell, gel and set the structure of a loaf of bread.
This refers to the ability of the starch in flour to absorb water without breaking down. Flour with good starch quality is a must when making high hydration breads.

Starch retrogradation is a fancy way to say bread is going stale. This happens when the starch starts giving up moisture and drying out.

This is the common term used to refer to a sourdough culture.
A term used in bread baking to refer to how much a dough sticks to a surface including the baker’s hands.
This is sometimes called the direct method when all the ingredients are mixed together at once with no preferments being used.
This flour milled from the entire endosperm, and it’s not broken down into clear or patent flour.
A set of loaf pans that are strapped together so that more loaves can be loaded into an oven at one time. These are mostly used by commercial bakeries and larger cottage bakers.

This is an action done by bakers to build strength and structure into their dough. It’s done by picking up one edge of the dough, stretching it, and folding it back on top of the rest of the dough. This action is performed on all four sides producing a nice, neat square or rectangular piece of dough.

T

This is a regional French bread that’s shaped to resemble a tobacco pouch.
This is a process where the flour and liquids are heated to a paste and added to the final dough. This method gives a baker a very soft crumb and delays staling.

In baking, this is the weight of everything that you don’t want to weigh. Most scales have a tare button so that you can zero the scale and precisely weigh the ingredient that you’re adding.

The process of removing the edible grain from a harvested plant.