Start with Quality Ingredients

What goes into a loaf of bread or baked product determines the quality of the end product and what inevitably goes into our body to sustain health. Laucke understand the link between good nutrition and good health as we do the link between good grains and great flour.

Laucke source and use only high quality ingredients, we do not use preservatives or animal fats and are all are GMO free. All bread-mix ingredients are plant sourced; are dairy free and sugar free, (except our Gluten Free Easy Bakers range).

Flour

To most Australians "flour" means wheat flour. The flour used influences the manageability, flavour, strength, texture, colour, volume and nutritional value. It is essential to choose the ‘right’ flour for the product. Laucke mill a very wide range of flours, to specification from a selection of individual wheat varieties for a range of end uses. Laucke has done the research into the grains to make the most suitable flour for each of our bread mixes and other products, making the choice and decision easy for consumers.

Of all the cereals milled for flour, wheat is the most versatile; wheat protein is capable of producing a dough that retains gas under pressure. Other cereals are milled and used, but they do not give elastic doughs. They are therefore not suitable for baking risen products such as bread or cake unless combined with wheat flour.

Flour with an appropriate amount of suitable quality protein is required to form, when wet, sufficient gluten to trap the gas formed by the yeast. The assessment of this quality of the gluten is referred to as “strength”. There are “strong” flours available which are too strong for most bread machines to handle, and similarly there are flours that are too “weak”. Laucke have identified flours with the ideal characteristics required to provide the best performance for baking products at home, and utilise these flours to meet the needs of domestic bakers. These flours are quite different from the flours used by professional bakers, who use commercial scale dough mixing and baking machinery with processing characteristics that are very different to the capabilities of what is available to and used by home bakers.

 

Yeast

The primary purpose of yeast is to assist in giving lift or volume to bread. It ferments and grows when given food in the form of flour and/or sugar, and warmed. As the yeasts feed, carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product and becomes trapped in a well developed dough as tiny bubbles which make the bread rise during the baking process, this contributes to the loaf’s texture and flavour.

There are basically two forms of yeast available:

  • Natural yeast has many different names in the baking industry including; culture sourdough culture/starter, leaven, chef, mother. Natural yeast refers to the capture, control and preservation of wild yeast typically in a mix of (purely) flour and water. Natural yeast usually consists, but is not limited to; Lactobacillus (bacteria) and endemic yeasts including (Saccharomyces exiguus).

    Wild yeast is naturally occurring (also known as S. minor) and is found in the air, on plants, fruits and grains.
  • Instant dried and or fresh yeast is commonly referred to as bakers' yeast; it comes from the Saccharomyces Cerevisiae strain of yeast.

Dry yeast, freshly opened, has a mild and pleasant aroma. After opening and storage, yeast will progressively degrade through exposure to oxygen. When yeast does degrade, it develops a strong aroma quite different from normal.

Yeast Quality Test

  1. Quarter fill a cup with warm water approx 38°-40°C (baby bath temp)
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir until dissolved
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast and give quick stir to disperse - not too long or it may upset the yeast
  4. Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes. If the yeast is still active, it will form a foamy layer, this means it is ok to use.

Water

Water combines ingredients and allows the natural gluten in the flour to develop and create a dough that can be baked. The water releases the micro-nutrients, making them a bio-available food source for the body. The 3 important considerations for water used in bread making are:

Water Quality

Laucke recipes have been developed using good quality drinking water, with low levels of dissolved salts.

  • Use of water with high levels of dissolved salts will cause the dough to become more apparently “tight” and tougher than normal, making the dough more difficult to knead in a bread machine. More water must be added to restore the dough softness and stickiness that is required for effective kneading. This may be up to 50mL of extra water.Water that is naturally high in dissolved salts may be subterranean water such as Bore and Spring water, certain River and Treated water, and “mains” water as supplied to homes from community water supply systems through newly installed piping such as in new subdivisions.
  • Use of water with high levels of chlorine will definitely detrimentally affect potential loaf quality. Water high in chlorine must be allowed to stand overnight in an open container, or be effectively filtered using a suitable Activated Carbon filter. If this is ineffective, boil the water before use or utilise another source of water.

The quality of Rain water and Bottled water is generally excellent for bread machine use, so if your bread quality has suddenly declined markedly or is unusually variable in quality, elect to substitute Bottled water for your normally sourced water as an experiment. The results of a trial using bottled water will indicate whether the quality of your normal water is creating problems.

Water Quantity

The correct quantity of water is far more crucial than yeast level to help lift the bread; and that the yeast level can be decreased when the optimum level of water is achieved. Different flours require different quantities over different time spans.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the water is also a vital element in producing a good quality, well developed dough. As a general rule use tepid water, if it is extremely cold and your machine does not have a pre-heat cycle you may make it warmer and when the weather is hot use cooler water… definitely NOT HOT water.

Salt

Salt is essential for making traditional bread as it strengthens the protein, enables the dough to hold the gas necessary for rising, gives extensibility and stability of a dough and controls the rate of fermentation. Bread made without salt is bland in flavour. It also influences the water retention properties of a dough, and the colour and texture of the baked loaf.

Laucke pre-mixes are formulated to use a recipe that is low in salt for better health, but still retain attractive flavour.

Bread improvers

Bread improver is a blend of ingredients that activate the gluten and help produce gas which assists and improves the processes of dough kneading and fermentation. The result is a lighter loaf with better texture and keeping qualities. They are used more often in grain mixes or breads with addition of fruit, seeds or nuts to a loaf to give strength and volume. Laucke include bread improver in our bread mixes, but it can also be purchased separately.

Typically a bread improver contains minute quantities of:

Enzyme (Amylase most commonly used)

An enzyme is a protein that promotes a biochemical reaction, it is naturally found in the germ of wheat or malted wheat flour and is extracted from sprouted barley. It is dried, ground and added to Australian bread making flours. It is naturally present in Australian flour but not at sufficient levels for good bread making.

Amylase enables the yeast to operate effectively, without requiring added sugar. It is a food source to encourage the growth of yeast to increase fermentation.

Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers help condition and strengthen the dough, improve crumb whiteness, retain moisture, soften crumb texture and control fat crystallisation. The improved water retention improves the keeping qualities of a loaf.

481: made from mixing lactic and stearic acid together.
472e : made from mixing glycerol and tartaric acid.
491: Made from Stearic Acid and Sorbitol (derived from glucose – fruit source) a processing ingredient during manufacturing of our yeast.

You can produce bread without bread improver by adding a little sugar and oil in its place. Not as complex as a bread improver. The sugar acts as a food source for the yeast to encourage fermentation, the oil will help to improve loaf volume and keeping qualities. Add 3tsp of sugar per 1kg of flour and 30mL-40mL of vegetable oil (and reduce the water by the same quantity).

Soya Flour

Soya flour is made from roasted and ground soybeans; it is used in a minute amount (approx 1.5g/600g of bread mix) to improve texture, crumb brightness and also to help make the dough more extensible.

Gluten Flour

Gluten Flour is added to some flours and bread mixes, when ‘non-flour’ ingredients such as grains, meals or dried fruit are added. The gluten or gluten flour is extracted from normal wheaten flour.

Added gluten encourages strength and durability, so the dough can stand up to the use of machinery. It increases the gas trapping potential of dough, often allowing a loaf to achieve a greater volume and making it easier to shape and mould by hand and/or machine. The need for added gluten can be eliminated (and is often by Laucke) by carefully selecting the appropriate grains and milling flours specific to their end use.