Home > Uncategorized > Culinary Design Associates: Exploring Bread Traditions, Part 1

Culinary Design Associates: Exploring Bread Traditions, Part 1

Baguettes

At Culinary Design Associates, we offer hundreds of menu items to suit any catered event. Our menu includes a wide selection of breads. Breads from different parts of the world are baked to emphasize certain characteristics that are part of a rich local tradition.

The traditional French baguettes, along with many other types of French bread, are designed for maximum crust. The reason baguettes come in a long, thin shape is that it maximizes the surface-to-volume ratio of the loaf. Baked under the right conditions, French bread, whether baguette, boule, or bâtard, should develop a light, crispy crust. This effect stems from the use of steam baking and high temperatures. Modern steam-injection ovens shoot streams of hot vapor into the cooking space, giving French breads their delectable texture. Baking at a high temperature helps to develop the thickness and color of the crust.

In addition, French breads consist of very minimal ingredients. Traditional recipes use only flour, water, salt, and yeast. Allowed to develop slowly over the course of many hours, this approach gives French bread its distinctive flavor. In France, soil and weather conditions also tend toward a wheat with a lower gluten content than American wheat. Diners who prefer chewy baguettes will prefer American wheat; those who enjoy a silkier texture will prefer a French-style flour.

On the opposite end of the baking spectrum, German-style breads often feature whole grains, hearty textures, and bolder flavors than their French parallels. Traditional German “black” bread was baked with whole-wheat flour further supplemented with the addition of excess wheat bran, left over from creating white flour. With their dense, brick-like texture, Westphalian German breads of this type remain popular among diners who prefer a more substantial meal. They pair well with stews, sauerkraut, sausage, and other German staples.

For something in between, diners may prefer a mixed-grain boule or country rye bread. Somewhat heartier than pure white bread, these varieties offer more complex flavors without sacrificing their delicate texture.

Culinary Design Associates: Exploring Bread Traditions, Part 2

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