Making Your Artisan Bread More Special

An Artisan Bread is popular because of its simplicity, composing only of five simple ingredients. These are the flour, salt, yeast, and water. But if you prefer, you can add more ingredients to enhance the flavor. A loaf that is bought in the grocery contains a lot more ingredients that affect color and flavor of the bread. Like those breads, you can make a bread with a variety of flavors.

Each of these new ingredients that you add in your simple bread has an effect to the behavior of the dough. Here I listed some of the most common ingredients added and their effect on the dough as a whole.

Sugar – It does the obvious which is making your dough sweeter. Sugars are food for the yeast so it affects the maturity of it. Sometimes the rise of the bread becomes shorter due to the sugar affecting the yeast. When it comes to color, the bread becomes a rich brown color and it’s because of the sugar that caramelize during baking.

Fats (oil, milk, butter and eggs) – Fats are used to preserve the dough. It makes the bread stay fresh for a longer period of time because fats retain the moisture. Those breads that don’t contain fats go stale and hard to touch after a few hours. Fats not only prolong the shelf life of the bread, it also adds flavor and it softens it.

Other flours and grains – The few most common flours added into the dough for flavor are whole wheat flour, Semolina flour, and rye flour. Each of these flours adds a little spice of flavor into your bread. Rye flour is not only used for this, it’s also added to sourdough starters because it increases the sour flavor.

Extras – Other than the major components of bread, there are also a lot of goodies that you can add in that would greatly affect the flavor. These are herbs, dried fruits, garlic, buts, and cheese. You can put in anything, try to experiment so you will learn more.

If you are getting tired of the same bread that you bake every now and then, why not try some variation to make it more flavorful and exciting? There are diverse ingredients for diverse tastes. Don’t hesitate to experiment and learn from the new ingredients you add because the more complicated your bread becomes, they more you will learn what would work and what will fail. But keep in mind that the best breads are those that are simple yet satisfying.