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water in the dough

some baking students regard water in breadmaking as the most unimportant ingredient of all. just because you don't pay for it that much the way you shell out for a tub of butter or a couple of eggs shouldn't diminish the importance of water, which in my view is how most students in breadmaking do. when i was just starting to learn how to make bread, this was how i got the beating. by underestimating the role of water. in cakes and cookies, water or liquid should be very, very exact, no more no less. in breadmaking, the water content is variable. meaning, it could go as high as 65% today, and only 55% the next day. this is why, a breamaking student needs the aid of science to fully understand why and how come? when i try to explain these things to my students, i get many blank faces, whooo, like you have to repeat it over and over, and hope that the next time you see each other he or she has some idea of what you are talking about. i mean, i understand why it is hard, the many variables involved, such as the temperature, humidity, the weather, really, the ingredients you use, the type of flour, and sometimes even the age of the flour, etc.,,,,, hello, i know some of my students want to ask me, are you sure you are teaching the right class? this is not a funky chemistry or biology class is it? but if you ask me, if a student does not get this one right on the money, better switch to brownies or scones. if a students just follows what therecipe says, and worst if it is in cups, eeek, it will be a waste of time. well, i suppose some could get away with it, but why be a mediocre baker when you could be the master baker?

the other day, my brother brought home a bag of rolls since i couldn't bake again. i noticed the tightness of the rolls' grain and the very soft texture despite this. if you are an experienced baker, you will be able toexplain why this is so, and even imitate it if that is what your family wants for this type of bread. breadmaking is a challenging, fun, therapeutic and everything else, i hope you make it your challenge for this year. to make your own bread!!!!


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