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Ultimate Bread - Glossary

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks


Anise seeds

green-brown, oval seeds with an aromatic licorice flavor. Native to the Middle East, anise seeds are widely available in most supermarkets.


a mixture of flour, liquid, and sometimes leaven that can be thick or thin, but is of spooning or pouring consistency.


Italian for a starter. Traditionally fermented for a minimum of 12 hours, it produces a bread with a lightly fermented taste and an open, porous texture.


French for ball, referring to a round loaf of white bread also called miche.

Bread dough

a mixture of flour, liquid, and often leaven, used to make bread. The required consistency of bread dough varies according to the recipe instructions and the desired texture and appearance of the loaf, but it should generally be stiff enough to work easily with the hands.


traditional French bread dough enriched with butter and eggs. The classic shape, called Brioche à Tête, is round and has a fluted base and a topknot.


the German word for bread.


an ingredient made by adding special bacteria to skim milk, giving it a slightly thick texture and tangy flavor. If unavailable, it can be replaced with the following mixture: 1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar, plus enough skim milk to make up 1 cup (250ml). Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. This will yield 1 cup (250ml).


to shape a risen dough into a round by using your hands to apply a downward pressure to the sides of the dough while rotating it at the base.


the hardened outer layer of, most commonly, a cooked food such as bread.


a stiff but pliable mixture of flour, liquid, and other ingredients. This mixture remains a dough until it has been baked.


a process during which carbohydrates go through a chemical change caused by enzymes produced from bacteria, microorganisms, or yeast.


also known as linseeds, these tiny, oval, shiny brown seeds are rich in nutrients and are available from health-food stores.


a concentrated, clarified butter with a strong, sweet flavor, used as a cooking fat in India and many Middle Eastern countries.


the stretchy elastic strands of protein that form when wheat flour is mixed with water and kneaded. It causes a bread dough to rise by trapping the carbon dioxide given off by the yeast and creates a network of bubbles in the crumb of the baked loaf.


to prepare a bread pan or mold by brushing the inside with oil or butter before adding a dough or batter. This prevents the bread from sticking during baking.

Herbes de Provence

an aromatic blend of dried herbs that grow in the Provence region of France. It usually includes thyme, rosemary, bay, basil, savory, marjoram, lavender, and fennel seeds. It is available in specialty stores and some supermarkets.


a dark green variety of chili that may vary from medium hot to very hot in flavor. It measures about 2in (5cm) long and 1in (2cm) wide, and has a rounded tip.


a term used to describe the final seam produced in a piece of dough once it has been folded and shaped into a loaf.


a clear fruit brandy distilled from whole cherries. Used both as a digestive liqueur and as a flavoring in baking.


to work a dough by rhythmically pushing, stretching, and folding it in order to develop the gluten in the flour.


an agent such as yeast or baking powder that is added to baked goods to lighten the texture and increase the volume.


a word describing baked goods that contain a rising agent.

Nigella seeds

available in Middle Eastern, Indian, and other specialty stores, these tiny black seeds with a nutty flavor are sometimes called black onion seeds.

Orange flower water

distilled from fresh orange blossoms, this perfumed flavoring is available in Middle Eastern, Indian, and other specialty stores.


the French word for bread.


the Spanish word for bread.


the Italian word for bread.


a mixture of flour, liquid, and sometimes leaven that is too stiff to pour, but too moist to work with the hands.


French for a starter. Traditionally fermented for a minimum of 2 hours, it produces a bread with a light, springy texture and a nutty aroma.


also referred to as the final rise, this is the process during which a shaped dough is left to rise just before baking.


also sold under the name Parma ham, this unsmoked Italian ham has been pressed, salt cured, and air dried.

Punch down

to deflate a fully risen dough by pressing down on it and literally forcing the air out before the dough is shaped.


the process during which a dough is aerated by carbon dioxide produced by a leavening agent before and during baking, causing it to grow in volume.


to pass dry ingredients through a fine sieve in order to incorporate air and to make them lighter and more even in texture.


to make incisions in the surface of a risen dough before baking to allow the loaf to rise and expand as it bakes without tearing or cracking the outer crust.

Sourdough, Sourdough bread

a bread with a slightly sour, tangy flavor created by using a sourdough starter as the leaven.

Sourdough starter

a starter that has been left to ferment for at least 48 hours. It produces a bread with a distinctive, slightly sour, tangy flavor.


the process by which a period of fermentation is added during the mixing stage, to produce a bread with a light crumb and a faintly yeasty aroma.

Star anise

available in Asian and specialty stores, this star-shaped spice has a strong, sweet aniseed flavor.


a mixture of flour, yeast, and water left to ferment for 2 hours to 5 days, and up to 2 weeks. It is used as an alternative method for leavening doughs. It is added to the flour at the mixing stage when making a bread dough and affects the taste and the texture of the bread.


a word describing baked foods that contain no rising agent.

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