Understanding the Chef

Posted on March 3rd, 2011 by Bread making machines in Bread Making Resources

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bread dough - bread making machinesInterested in baking bread but not sure what the chef is. Lets investigate. The chef relates to sourdough bread and is the result of a collection of wild yeast obtained by the setting aside of a flour and a water mixture for fermentation. Your fermented mixture is known as the starter or chef. A part of your chef is used to make bread and a part is fed and kept alive as your starter for next time.

As you know most breads use yeast. As the yeast feeds, it creates carbon dioxide causing the rise in your bread. Although this sounds strange, the chef encourages the growth of bacteria providing sourdough breads with the sour taste that we have all come to know and love.                                                                     Creative Commons License photo credit: timlewisnm

A chef starts out with a mixture of flour and water for the base. Equal amounts of water and flour are added from time to time to feed your chef/starter. Although some chefs prefer organic whole wheat since they tend to hold more wild yeast, you can also encourage a faster fermentation by adding fruit.

Some bakers have been using the same chef for their sourdough bread for years. If you are planning your own chef just remember it has to be fed every 8 to 12 hours.

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Related posts:

  1. Sourdough Bread
  2. Sourdough – San Francisco Style
  3. Creating That Perfect Loaf, Understanding Your Ingredients
  4. Bread Making Basics
  5. Closed Crumb Bread

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