Yeast Breads - -
mainstay of the bread baker's repetoire

The wide variety of yeast breads from a multitude of cultures is the foundation of most Western bread bakers' recipe files. These breads run the gamut from the simplest of peasant breads to highly complex braided holiday breads. Yeast bread is a staple food that’s made using only flour, yeast and water. Usually, other ingredients are added for taste and texture. Salt is the most frequent additive. Of course, breads used in religious and cultural rituals, specialty and holiday breads may contain milk, eggs, sugar and other sweeteners, fats, spices, fruits and vegetables, nuts and a variety of seeds.

braided bread

The development of leavened bread can probably be traced to prehistoric times. The most common yeast species has been used in baking for thousands of years. Some bakers and bread baking methods use only the natural yeasts found in the air we breathe. Most modern bread bakers find it more convenient to buy instant yeast since using yeast from the air can be a time consuming process. Quick breads which use baking powder and baking soda are discussed in another section.

Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, quality and texture. Retaining its freshness is important to keep it appetizing. Bread may be wrapped in paper or plastic film, or stored in a container, such as a breadbox, to reduce drying. The soft, inner part of bread is known as the crumb, which is not to be confused with small bits of bread that often fall off, called crumbs. The outer hard portion of bread is called the crust.

While we, in Western cultures, bake most of our breads in gas or electric ovens, other cultures steam and fry their breads or use wood burning ovens. Notable among those employing these methods are many Native American Tribes who cook bread by frying in fat and cooking in hornos which use a combination of heat and steam to make their Pueblo Breads.

To get you started, you can try our version of a Jewish Deli Rye or this easy to make Artisan Boule.

EasyBreadBaking expects to have hundreds of recipes in this section and, invites you, our visitors, to contribute your favorites. We also welcome your stories about family traditions that involve special breads or family favorites. Go here to send us your recipes, stories and suggestions.

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Why Bake Bread

No-Knead Bread

Ethnic Breads

Jewish Deli Rye

Artisan Boule

Focaccia Recipe

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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