So I detailed how, from a simple mixture of flour, water, salt and a little yeast or leaven, we obtain this extraordinary food that is bread. It is already something almost magical, but what is the secret of the breads that have taste vs those that are bland?
Curiously enough, the recipe doesn't change much, it's always the same ingredients, in varying proportions, but we always stay with the flour-water-salt-yeast mixture.
But then, what makes the bread taste good?
It's all a question of fermentation time. Its main purpose is always that the yeasts transform part of the starch of the flour and produce CO2 that will form the crumb, but this can be done quickly or not.
And precisely if it is done slowly, or even very slowly, the production of CO2 is still done, but in addition the dough of the future bread develops, very slowly, particular aromas which will be revealed during the cooking.
As a general rule, the longer the fermentation, the better the bread will taste, and this without really changing its appearance. In other words, a bread with a quick fermentation and a bread with a long fermentation will look pretty much the same. If you are not a baker, it will be hard to tell the difference.
And yet this is where the distinction is made:
- On the one hand a baguette kneaded and made in a hurry, in an industrial bakery or at a mediocre baker's, with a lot of yeast, and a fermentation accelerated by a stay in the heat in 1 or 2 hours => A rather bland, neutral baguette.
- On the other hand, a baguette kneaded slowly and fermented slowly in the cold for 24 or 48 hours, sometimes more => A baguette full of taste and aroma, a delight.
You will have guessed it, there is of course an economic aspect to this difference, to make a baguette in long fermentation takes more time and costs more than a baguette "express", but we are really not on the same product, even if they can be similar.
Here is one of the secrets of good bread, it takes time (and love of course), and a good part of this time is dedicated to the fermentation of the dough, it is the magic moment where the savors and aromas are formed.
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