Saturday, January 7, 2012

But I Just Asked for a Sandwich

bread is a question where one asks
“how did they do that?”
a dear geeky engineering friend
went after the answer
and it is quite a chemistry experiment
the study of yeast itself
could take a life time
then you add the gluten molecules
in wheat flour
how they react with each other
the act of letting the yeast ferment
then stretching the gluten
until it forms long chains
gasses formed during yeast fermentation
make up the little holes in bread
it’s what makes it rise

after researching all this
my friend Phil Pettit
devised the following method
get a mixer that has a dough hook
and is hearty enough
to run for a long time
proof yeast water and sugar
(mix and wait till bubbly)
start mixer
add chosen shortening
liquids and flavoring
put in a cup of flour
go do something else
add another cup of flour
go do something else
this can take all day
the idea is to let the machine
do the work of kneading
the dough for you

this goes for any
yeast wheat flour bread

we could get into flour sifting
but will just leave you
with an old Greek saying
“those who do not sift the flour
must knead the bread for 5 days”

© 2012 Sandy Vrooman

For better chemistry go to


  1. interesting bread dialogue; i am not an yeast bread maker, never captured the art of it; i make baking powder or pan breads; we in T&T call them 'roast bake'cooked on a flat iron

    Best Wishes 2012

  2. Thanks for your comments.
    Gillena nice to know what happens in other parts of the world.

  3. HI Sandy - Love your blog :) Also great to see you today at the meeting.

    I find it funny the greek saying about kneading for 5 days...I recently got into bread baking - Ciabatta is my favorite and easiest to make - although I can definitely agree that a bread machine would be SO helpful! After kneading the dough for Ciabatta my arms would be so tired and I didn't even distribute the yeast around evenly enough (still yum though).

    ANyways, love this! What breads have you made?