Yeast — Make a Bread Rise ~ Kwentology

Image of Bread

How to Make a Bread Rise?

"Dough" and "bread" are slang for money. That's not so strange. Bread has been valuable in many centuries. It has even called "the staff of life," meaning it is important part of our diet.

There are two kinds of bread: flat bread and leavened (leh-vend) bread, which is bread that rises. Either type of bread can be used to make everyone's favorite food invention: the sandwich. In 1729, an Englishman, the Earl of Sandwich, had the idea to place food between two slices of bread. Hundreds of years later, his creation really took off when sliced bread was invented.

Today, Americans eat about 45 billion sandwiches every year, and spend more than $100 billion on them. That's a lot of dough!

Image of Yeast Cells

Bread starts out as dough—a mixture of flour and water. To make dough rise, yeast is added. Yeast is a living fungus made of cells so tiny, they can only be seen with microscope. Twenty billion yeast cells weigh only 1/28 of an ounce.

Image of Yeast Mixture

Dry yeast is dormant, or inactive, until it is put in water and sugar. Sugar is yeast's favorite food, and when yeast cells gobble the sweet stuff, they give off carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide make the dough puff up.

Image of Dough

To make it rise even more, the dough is kneaded (need-ed) or mixed. With the flour is a network of stringy proteins called gluten (glue-tin). When the dough is kneaded, the strands of gluten become stronger. The carbon dioxide gas makes the gluten stretch. Since the gas can't escape, it forces the dough to expand.

Image of Dough Set Aside

Dough is often allowed to "rest" after it's kneaded. As the dough relaxes, it may expand many times its original size. When dough is place in a hot oven, the heat makes the yeast go wild. It produces even more carbon dioxide, raising the bread more. Soon the heat kills the yeast cells, and bread stops rising. So when you bite into bread, you aren't eating living fungus—you are swallowing dead yeast cells!

Loafing AroundKwento Quiz

Certain breads are often associated with particular countries. Can you match the bread to the nation it comes from? The answer are hidden below click the "SHOW" button to reveal the items.

1. Soda breadA. Russia
2. Black breadB. Italy
3. BaguetteC. Israel
4. TortillaD. United States
5. Crisp breadE. India
6. Pita breadF. Sweden
7. Bread sticksG. Mexico
8. MatzahH. Lebanon
9. NaanI. France
10. CornbreadJ. Ireland

[spoiler title="Find Out The Answers"]1. J
2. A
3. I
4. G
5. F
6. H
7. B
8. C
9. E
10. D[/spoiler]

Gas Up!

Yeast isn't the only ingredient that makes baked goods rise. Baking soda and baking powder are chemicals that combine with water to give off carbon dioxide gas. Baking soda also needs an acid, such yogurt or chocolate, to work. Baking soda is used to raise cakes, cookies, pancakes, and some breads. Baking powder is used in muffins, cakes, and biscuits.

Cool Facts

Talk about a hero sandwich. The record for the longest loaf of bread is 3,600 feet. Eighteen bakers in Modica, Italy, used 2,500 pounds of flour to bake it.
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