Knowledge of Baking Ingredients

Knowledge of Baking Ingredients

Four Key Ingredients

There are four simple key ingredients to making bread: flour, yeast, salt and water. Fat can also be used to help your bread stay soft and supple for longer. Depending on the type of bread, you can use very soft unsalted butter or olive oil.

Strong White Flour

When making bread, you need strong flour. Strong flour has higher levels of protein than other flours, which gives it a springy and chewy crumb.

Plain and Self-raising Flour

When baking cookies or cakes, you need flours that are lower in protein for a crumbly texture - such as plain or self-raising flour. Self-raising flour is mostly used in pastries; it contains baking powder, so no other baking agent is needed.

Strong Wholemeal Flour

This flour is high in fiber and nutrients. When possible, use wholewheat flour as this retains more nutrients from the grain. Wholewheat flour absorbs more water, so more kneading is required. You could mix wholewheat flour with other flours for a more complex flavor, although you'll need to add some strong white flour for extra flavor. You can also use wholewheat bread flour when baking cookies and muffins, but remember to mix it with regular white flour for a higher protein level.

Malted Bread Flour

Malted bread flour has a nutty flavor and a slightly darker color. It is essentially a white flour with added malt flakes. Make sure to knead an extra 5 minutes when using malted flour because the protein content varies.

Spelt Flour

Although contains some gluten, people who are intolerant to wheat often find that they tolerate the spelt better than other flours. Spelt is actually an ancient grain and ancestor of modern wheat. Because of its low gluten content, it tends to spread outward when fermented and baked, so using a tin when baking with spelt flour at home, as it makes for a more balanced loaf.

Rye Flour

This flour is actually a grass, but it's related to wheat and has some gluten in it. Because of its very low protein content, it does not behave like wheat flour. It creates a heavy and sticky dough that can be difficult to handle and take longer to rise. But it can create delicious taste.


To the first time baker, the idea of yeast may seem scary. However, instant yeast is easy to purchase, store, and use.


Not only does the salt keep the bread from tasting bland, it also strengthens the gluten in the mixture.


Water can affect how much dough will rise and how the crumb will be structured. Regular tap water can be used for baking.

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