Bread is the final result of the fermentation of cereals starches : wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, oat, buckwheat, barley …In wine or beer, the fermentation transforms the sugars into alcohol and carbonic gas. The sugars contained in flours (starches) are carbohydrates; in this case, the fermentation of these starchesgives off organic acids rather than alcoholand are then evaporated during the baking process.
All fermentation require yeast to be started. The yeasts used for bread making are either those formednaturallyin flour (untreated and unbleached only) or obtained by accelerated process on molasses. These yeasts are called bakers yeasts. In the first case you obtain a sourdough bread, in the second case, a yeasted dough method; which is the same micro-organism (saccharomyces servesae) as that of a sour dough method, bakers yeast contains a very high concentration of these micro-organisms in comparison to natural flour, therefore its action is much faster.
Contrary to popular belief, a bread on yeasted dough method (bakers yeasted bread) is not less natural than a sourdough bread. The difference being, sourdough taking a much longer time to develop generates more organic acids which in term produces a more pronounced sour flavor, which amateurs are so fond of.
There are also other ways to make breads which involve the 2 basic technics: bread on sourdough and fresh yeast method, mixed sourdough method or a fermented dough method.
The quality of bread (taste, texture, conservation and digestability) is directly linked to the length of its fermentation: a fast rising fermentation equals large amounts of yeast, making a poor quality and undigestable breadof little conservation. A good loaf is always the result of a long fermentation process, be it a sourdough or a yeast method (small quantity of yeast and plenty of time!)
In general, a bread is caracterized by the type of cereal used in its composition as well as by the type of fermentation method used.Wheat is the only cereal rich in gluten, the protein wich imparts elasticity to the dough as well as a bubbly effect which make breads lighter and can be compared to the bubbles of champagne, a necessity for good bread making. A lack of these bubbles (alveoles in French) in bread make the dough heavy and dense. Each bread has its usage; here are our suggestions in our bread list.