Bread Bakers Glossary of Terms

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Introduction to the Baking Great Bread at Home Glossary of Terms

Dear bakers,

As we journey through the intricate world of bread making, it’s important to arm ourselves with the right knowledge. The language of baking is as rich and diverse as the loaves we create, filled with terms that evoke both science and artistry.

In a community as vibrant and diverse as Baking Great Bread at Home, we understand that bakers come from all walks of life and levels of expertise. Some of you may be seasoned pros, kneading with the confidence of a master baker, while others may be just starting your adventure into the wonders of homemade bread.

To enhance our collective understanding and enrich our baking journeys, we are thrilled to present this exclusive Glossary of Terms. From “Amylase” to “Zopf,” this glossary serves as your go-to reference for demystifying the jargon and techniques that we often encounter. Whether you’re puzzling over a recipe or engaged in a lively discussion here in our community, this glossary aims to be your yeast – an essential component in your growth and enjoyment of bread making.

May this glossary help us all rise to new heights of understanding and creativity, as we continue to knead, proof, and bake our way into each other’s hearts and ovens.

Yours in the Joy of Baking,

Henry Hunter


Baking Great Bread at Home


– **Amylase**: Enzymes that break down starch into sugar, aiding in fermentation and adding to the flavor and color of the bread.

– **Ancient Grains**: Grains that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds or even thousands of years, e.g., quinoa, spelt, millet.

– **Ash Content**: A measurement of the mineral content in flour; indicates the degree of milling.

– **Autolyse**: A process where flour and water are mixed and rested to aid gluten development and extensibility.


– **Banneton**: A basket used to shape and support bread during proofing.

– **Bassinage**: Technique of gradually adding water to dough during kneading.

– **Batard**: A loaf of bread that is longer than a boule but shorter than a baguette.

– **Bench Rest**: A short rest period for the dough between shaping steps.

– **Biga**: A type of Italian pre-ferment.

– **Bleaching**: The process of treating flour with chemicals to whiten and improve its baking qualities.

– **Blisters**: Small bubbles on the crust of bread, often a sign of long, cool fermentation.

– **Blooming**: The process of hydrating gelatin in cool water before using.

– **Blooming Yeast**: The process of activating dry yeast by dissolving it in warm water.

– **Blowout**: A crack or burst in the crust of bread due to over-proofing or shaping issues.

– **Boule**: A round loaf of bread.

– **Bran**: The outer layer of the grain, rich in nutrients and fiber.

– **Bread Machine Yeast**: A type of yeast formulated for use in bread machines.

– **Brotform**: Another term for Banneton.

– **Bulk Fermentation**: The first rising of the dough, often lasting several hours.

– **Bulk Rise**: Another term for Bulk Fermentation.


– **Coil Fold**: A method of folding dough to build strength during fermentation.

– **Cold Oven Start**: Placing the bread into a cold oven and allowing it to heat gradually.

– **Cold Proof**: Refrigerating dough during the proofing stage to slow fermentation and develop flavor.

– **Commercial Baker’s Yeast**: A cultivated form of yeast used in bread making.

– **Couche, Baker’s**: A heavily floured cloth used to support shaped bread during proofing.

– **Couronne Bordelaise**: A crown-shaped loaf, often used for festive occasions.

– **Crumb**: The interior texture of the bread.

– **Diastatic Malt Powder**: Malted grain powder that contains active enzymes, aiding in yeast fermentation.

– **DDT (Desired Dough Temp)**: The ideal temperature for dough to achieve optimal yeast activity.

– **Discard**: The portion of sourdough starter removed and discarded when feeding the starter.

– **Docking**: The process of piercing dough to allow steam to escape during baking.

– **Dough Conditioners**: Ingredients or additives used to improve dough consistency and bread quality.

– **Durum**: A hard variety of wheat used to make semolina flour.


– **Enriched Dough**: Dough that contains added fats, sugars, and/or eggs to improve flavor and texture.

– **Epi de Blé**: A loaf shaped like a stalk of wheat, often used for special occasions.


– **Fermentation**: The metabolic process by which yeast and bacteria convert sugars into other compounds, producing gas and flavor.

– **Fougasse**: A type of flatbread, often filled with olives, herbs, or other ingredients.


– **Gluten**: A protein complex responsible for the elasticity and structure of dough.

– **Grigne**: The split or burst in the bread’s crust, created by scoring.


– **High-Gluten Flour**: Flour with a high protein content, typically used for chewy breads like bagels.

– **Hydration**: The ratio of water to flour in a dough, expressed as a percentage.


– **Instant Yeast**: A type of dry yeast that can be mixed directly with flour, without needing to be activated first.

– **Interior Crumb**: The inside texture of the bread, distinct from the crust.


– **Lame**: A sharp blade used for scoring bread dough.

– **Leaven**: The ingredient that causes dough to rise, usually yeast or sourdough starter.

– **Levain**: A French term for sourdough starter.


– **Malt**: Sprouted and dried grains, used for flavor and to assist fermentation.

– **Mixing**: The process of combining all ingredients to create a dough or batter.


– **No-Knead**: A method of making bread that eliminates the need for kneading by using a long fermentation period.


– **Oven Spring**: The rapid rise of dough in the oven due to expanding gas.

– **Overnight Proof**: Allowing dough to rise overnight, usually in the refrigerator.


– **Poolish**: A wet pre-ferment used in bread making, typically made of equal parts flour and water by weight, plus yeast.

– **Proofing**: The final rise of shaped bread dough before baking.


– **Retard**: To slow down fermentation, typically by refrigerating dough.

– **Rye**: A type of grain used in bread making, known for its earthy flavor.


– **Scoring**: The act of cutting the surface of the dough to allow it to expand during baking.

– **Sourdough**: Bread made from a fermented mixture of water, flour, and naturally occurring yeast and bacteria.


– **Turn**: A method of folding dough during fermentation to strengthen its structure.

– **Type 55 Flour**: A French classification for flour that is equivalent to all-purpose flour in the U.S.


– **Underproofed**: Dough that has not risen long enough, resulting in denser bread.


– **Vital Wheat Gluten**: A concentrated form of gluten powder used to strengthen dough.


– **Whole Grain**: Grains that include all three parts: bran, germ, and endosperm.

– **Wild Yeast**: Naturally occurring yeast, often used in the cultivation of sourdough starters.


– **Yeast**: A microorganism used in fermentation to produce carbon dioxide, causing dough to rise.

– **Yudane**: A Japanese technique involving boiling water and flour to create a sticky paste, used to improve the texture of bread.


– **Zopf**: A type of Swiss bread traditionally braided and eaten on Sundays.


” Hello bakers, Henry here. As the founder of Baking Great Bread at Home, my commitment to exceptional quality in the world of baking is unwavering. I don’t just endorse Brød & Taylor products because I’m their ambassador; I’m their ambassador because I wholeheartedly believe in their products. Every item I recommend or endorse is something I’ve personally used and put through its paces. Brød & Taylor’s offerings, from their Proofer and Slow Cooker to their Sahara Dehydrator, stands out as some of the finest baking accessories you could have in your kitchen. I’m proud to align with a brand that shares my dedication to excellence in baking.”

~ Henry

Brød & Taylor

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