Not another book on breadmaking! A forgiveable reaction given the length of time over which bread has been made and the number of texts which have been written about the subject. To study breadmaking is to realize that, like many other food processes, it is constantly changing as processing methodologies become increasingly more sophisticated, yet at the same time we realize that we are dealing with a food stuff, the forms of which are very traditional. We can, for example, look at ancient illustrations of breads in manuscripts and paintings and recognize prod ucts which we still make today. This contrast of ancient and modern embodied in a single processed foodstuff is part of what makes bread such a unique subject for study. We cannot, for example, say the same for a can of baked beans! Another aspect of the uniqueness of breadmaking lies in the requirement for a thorough understanding of the link between raw materials and processing meth ods in order to make an edible product. This is mainly true because of the special properties of wheat proteins, aspects of which are explored in most of the chapters of this book. Wheat is a product of the natural environment, and while breeding and farming practices can modify aspects of wheat quality, we millers and bakers still have to respond to the strong influences of the environment.
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