How To Create More Flavour In Bread At Home - Advanced Bread Baking Skills
If you're looking to improve the flavour of your bread then there are many ways to do it, I’m going to share with you some simple ways to create extra flavour to your bread without adding any unusual ingredients. This is aimed to improve basic bread makers into making some more intermediate and advanced home baking.
How to add more flavour to bread
Overall it's all about extracting the maximum flavour from the flour. You could get lost in trying to add ingredients like seeds and nuts or even some extrovert ideas like only making sourdough in San Francisco or giving up with making bread in warm climates. It's a fact that these can change the flavour to your bread however you can make amazing bread without these.
This article is going to share how you can extract the maximum flavour from your existing recipes.
Check out these six top tips ->
# Flavour tip number One - Select quality flour
Flour is the key ingredient of bread making. You would think that the quality of flour is important…. it is, but sadly it’s often overlooked by home bakers. I believe most home bakers think their bread can never be as tasty as a pro baker…
But that’s before reading this post!!
Ouch, sorry. That was a bit of a dad joke….
A lot of the bread flour found in supermarkets are poor quality and lacking in flavour. To get bread to have some taste about it, try either a “posh” or organic flour from the supermarket, or check out a proper flour Miller like Wessex Mill or Shipton Mill where you’ll get a high-quality flour at a much lower price than found in the supermarket providing your prepared to buy a large sack of
Good quality flour not only provides more intense aromas but also is more extensible.
For the most flavoursome bread try using flour that is grown in the north of the globe, the higher the better. For less flavour, more sweet and delicate hit up some Italian wheat.
## Flavour tip number Two - Give the dough time
Time allows for more starch to be broken down to gluten. Doing this releases more flavour from the flour.
If you have tasted bread with descriptions like 36 hour fermentation or 3 day baking process it’s the time the dough is allowed to develop that gives the bread its flavour and structure.
The use of a starter dough called a biga or poolish can help here. To make one it’s just a case of adding water, flour and a small amount of yeast to a bowl and giving them a light mix for around 1 minute.
Starters are prepared the day before and then added to the mixer. The benefits of using starters are they take up less space and the flavour. You get a mix of deep aromas and long (sometimes purposely overmixed and therefore broken) strands of gluten combined with the lighter fresher flour.
Allowing the dough to develop naturally
### Flavour tip number Three - Use the fridge
When the dough is fermented in a cool environment two things happen. The first is the yeast side of the fermentation slows down. This means more gluten fermentation can happen to create more structure and in turn release more flavour from the flour.
The second is that complex starches and sugars can ferment. These create maltose and well basically make the bread taste sweeter whilst deepening the aroma.
#### Flavour tip number Four - Avoid using fats
Butter, oil and eggs have a part to play in breadmaking. For sure they are important to create richness when baking silky brioche or sandwich loaves like Pain de mie but they don’t enhance the flavour from the flour.
Fats create a smoother taste and create a softer crumb. They are not used to enhance flavour. Really, fats smoother the strong flavours and cover them with there own rich taste. This makes laminated bread more elegant, which is true to cooking as well.
There are reasons this rule is not a blanket rule. Brioche is a perfect example. When adding butter to brioche the quantities can rise up to 80% of the flour! That’s a lot!
“The more butter the better, the higher quality the butter even more the better!!”
(I’m not sure if this is a real saying, I just made it up as it was the best way I could think of explaining it).
Butter has similar importance in croissant bread.
When making either of croissants or brioche, the baker is likely to use the best quality French butter available to them. The best is usually a Normandy butter and not only tastes amazing but has a higher melting point making it perfect when baking sweetened bread.
##### Flavour tip Number five - Use a Pâte fermentée
As a piece of dough ages, it develops its flavour profile. It will be reacting with the atmosphere, the wild yeasts, the temperature and any new material it can draw food to feed from.
If you were to incorporate a bit of old dough into a bread dough mix it will add its flavour and crumb structure to the bread. And sure if it’s alive enough too, it’ll work as a levain to make bread rise.
Repeat the process of reserving a piece of dough each day to use in tomorrow’s mixes, adding it in the following dough mixes. Sounds good? And then do this for years.
Actually…. Centuries maybe?
And imagine how great your bread would taste then.
I’ve only heard it professionally used for making baguettes in Paris. Outside the bread capital of the world, I’m sure it still must be done. I just don’t know anyone personally who does Pâte fermentée leavened bread.
After writing this article,
I’m so excited about Pâte fermentée, I’ve not done one in ages, I might have to give it a go right now!
Bring it on!!
###### Flavour tip number six - Use a sourdough
It’s pretty common these days for any home baker to create their own sourdough culture. It’s so simple to do and creates outstanding bread. It’s also easy to make if following the Dutch oven craze that’s happening at the moment.
Due to the sourdough starters makeup, you’ll get a smack of acidic sour each time you take a bite.
It’s exciting and very personal, I’ve cultured my sourdough starter to taste just how I like it. This is maybe different from what others like, but I’m not interested... This one is MY SOURDOUGH and it’s not for sharing!!
I wasn’t going to include sourdough in this list. There are so many ways to create deeper flavours and aromas in bread making without using a sourdough. There are so many breads that people love, it’s just that sourdough is the only bread they know is artisan. Many think a good ciabatta is available pre-made from the supermarket and needs reheating for 12-15 minutes on gas mark 6. That’s not artisan!!
But I thought I had to add it to the list, it creates a more flavoursome bread for sure. I’m pretty persuasive to say that it’s not the only way!
Written by Gareth
"I'm looking to share my passion in artisan baking with others"