The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


piperniz's picture



Piper, Kira and Emily

White Bread


Intro- In our Biology class, we made bread in order to better understand photosynthesis and cellular respiration. We are novices in the bread making business and we were tasked with figuring out the necessary ingredients and the amount of each ingredient as well as the science behind bread making.



Yeast are actually living organisms! They are eukaryotic, single-celled organisms. Yeast plays a very important role in bread making. Yeast is capable of converting sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. In doing this, it causes the bread to rise. The warm water added to the dough “activates” the yeast. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If the water is not hot enough, the yeast will not wake up.


Cellular Respiration

The process yeast uses to make carbon dioxide and alcohol is called alcoholic fermentation. This process is a variation of cellular respiration, or the process of turning oxygen and sugar into energy, carbon dioxide, and water. Cellular respiration takes place in the mitochondria and it is used by humans and all other organisms to make energy.  The chemical equation for cellular respiration is 6O2+ C6H12O6 → 6H2O+ ATP+ 6O2. There are two types of  respiration: aerobic, which requires oxygen, and anaerobic, which does not. Within anaerobic respiration there is alcoholic fermentation for plants and lactic acid fermentation for animals.



Flour was wheat before it became flour. Wheat is a plant, and like all other plants it goes through photosynthesis. In the process of photosynthesis, glucose and oxygen is made from carbon dioxide and water. Although the flour no longer performs photosynthesis, when it was turned into flour some glucose that was produced was most likely left behind. Since yeast uses glucose to perform alcoholic fermentation and make the bread rise, the flour can be used as its “food” along with sugar. Flour is made up of glutenin and gliadin. When combined with warm water, the glutenin and gliadin turn into gluten. This is important in bread making because it strengthens the bread and provides structure.


Carbon Cycle

Making bread also plays a role in the carbon cycle. Because anaerobic respiration is being performed, carbon dioxide is being produced. Therefore, when bread is made, carbon dioxide is released into the air.


The Science Behind the Ingredients

Originally, our team was given a simplistic recipe for plain, white bread. This recipe involved flour,  120 degree water and yeast. Our job was to add ingredients that would produce better bread and understand the science behind what made those ingredients work well.


Butter- Based off of research, butter makes bread more tender and increases elasticity. It also adds a lot of flavor. However, it can cause the bread to rise slightly slower so we decided to only put ½ Tbsp of butter in our recipe. We figured this way we could still get the flavor without the negative effects on the rising speed.


Salt- Salt is another preference ingredient we chose to add. Like butter, it adds flavor but it also decreases rising time. We added only a pinch of salt to our recipe because we know that a little bit of salt goes a long way in terms of flavor. Also, we didn’t want the decrease the rising speed.


Sugar- Sugar, or glucose, is food for the yeast. Therefore, adding sugar will increase rising time. In our research we found that you should not add more that 2 teaspoons per cup of flour. Based off of that proportion, we could add up to 1 teaspoon of sugar. We chose to add ¼ teaspoon because we wanted to play it safe, and we didn’t want really sweet bread.


Before we made our final product, we had a day to experiment with and tweak our created recipe. We did not bake our experimental bread, but we monitored its rising time for 30 minutes. There was a control bread that we compared our bread to. The control bread was made with only flour, yeast, and water. We were very happy with the results of the our bread. It rose slightly more than the control bread and when we broke it apart after 30 minutes of rising, it had lots of holes which meant that alcoholic fermentation occurred. We decided not to change our recipe at all because we had good results.


Now that you understand the science behind bread making, here is the procedure we followed:

In a ziploc baggie, mix together ¼ teaspoon yeast and ¼ cup of flour

Heat 4 tablespoons of water to 120 °F - 130 °F (1 minute in the microwave). Then slowly add the 4 tablespoons of heated water to the baggie and stir to combine.


                        Add ¼ teaspoon of sugar

Let mixture sit for 10 minutes in order for the yeast to activate.

Mix another ¼ cup of flour into the baggie

Add ½ Tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt to the baggie

Take the dough out of the baggie and knead it for one minute.

Roll the dough into a ball

Place the dough ball under a heat lamp for 30 minutes.

Place the dough ball in a cupcake pan and bake for 15 minutes in 375 degrees.

Here is our final product!


We were successful in making bread, however it did not turn out how we thought it would. It was very hard, dry and bland. We had the right ingredients but not the right amount. If we were to do this again we would use more butter for flavor, and a little bit more sugar to make the bread rise more. Overall, we consider this bread to be a failure. Although it looked delicious and smelled delicious, it tasted like cardboard. However, we learned a lot in the process. If we were to make bread again, it would turn out a lot better.


kendalm's picture

The couple of weeks I was very successful in over proofing my loaves and so sunk into a self pity mode having pulled out many sad deflated loaves that even though I have frozen am preparing to cast adrift in the sea of failed loaves. Today is a different story - note to self - when in doubt do not wait just bake :)

Szanter5339's picture



                                                     Természetes kovász készítése, Ahogy én csinálom.







nmmBreadLab's picture


-One ziploc bag

-Measuring cup

-Teaspoons and Tablespoons

-Medium sized bowl

-Small pan

-Cookie Sheet







Ingredients and Explanation-

-½ cup flour: Flour is the main ingredient because it contains a large amount of gluten-forming proteins. With gluten and the kneading process, the dough becomes elastic or forms the structure of the dough.

-4 tablespoons of warm water: We included ¼ cup of water so it would not completely liquefy the flour and other ingredients. As well as the balance ration of water and flour. The warm water activates the yeast (living organism) in order for it to undergo alcoholic fermentation. If the water is cold, there is a slow reaction and with burning water, the yeast is killed. With water, gluten is formed (water mixed with flour forms gluten) which allows for the development of the dough.

-½ teaspoon of butter: We added a small amount of butter because with the additional lipid, there is more elasticity which binds the glutenin and gliadin. It also adds more flavor to the overall quality of the bread and aides in the overall structure of the dough.

-⅓ teaspoon yeast: We added this specific amount of yeast because of the working ration balance between flour and yeast. Yeast allows for the dough to rise and makes the bread fluffy when it is done baking. This is caused by the metabolized sugar in the yeast which then releases carbon dioxide.

-1 tablespoon sugar:  We added one tablespoon of sugar because of the ratio: 2tb of sugar to 1c of flour. If more sugar is added than the bread will be considered sweet. If there is not enough sugar available, the dough will rise slowly or not at all. Also, yeast needs sugar to produce carbon dioxide which allows the dough to rise.


-*½ teaspoon of salt: We added salt to the bread because it tightens the gluten structure and strengthens the dough. It also helps the loaf to hold on to the carbon dioxide gas formed after fermentation (adds volume). We specifically added half a teaspoon of salt based on the ratio of salt: 1.5 to 1.6% of the total amount of flour.  



1. In a Ziploc baggie, mix together ⅓ teaspoon yeast and ¼ cup of the flour.

2. Then add in half a teaspoon of salt to the mixture.

3. Heat 4 tablespoons of water to 120 °F - 130 °F (1 minute in the microwave)

4. Slowly add the 4 tablespoons of heated water to the baggie and stir to combine.

5. Let mixture set for 10 minutes, to activate yeast. (Knead substance for a few seconds)

6. Mix in the remaining ¼ cup flour in the baggie. (Knead again, until it becomes dough)

7. Take dough ball out of baggie.

8. Knead dough for 1 minute.

9. Roll dough into a ball and stuff into cupcake liner.

10. Place dough ball under heat lamp and allow it to rise for 30 minutes

11. Then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes

Daily Summary-

Today we learned that over kneading can harm the yeast which in turn causes the bread to not rise. The yeast is dead and cannot metabolize the sugar. When the sugar cannot do this process the carbon dioxide is not released.

Recipe Reflection- 

Though our bread did rise the outcome was not to standards. The bread was tough and hard to chew up. Splitting the bread was an ordeal but it was edible. The taste itself was not bad and it was sweet, however the aftertaste was a little too salty. The dough is sweet because we added in sugar. Overall, I think out recipe was a success, based on the research I understood why certain amounts of flour or sugar would affect the outcome of the bread. Since it was confusing, I was shocked to see that the bread rose properly and met most of the standards. I believe the salt and the ratios between the flour and water helped to stabilize the volume of the dough.  



Cellular Respiration:

The equation for cellular respiration is C6H12O6 + 6O2 →6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP. Cellular Respiration takes place in the mitochondria of a cell. Cellular Respiration is sometimes not important in bread making because certain types of bread do not include yeast in their recipe (yeast uses cellular respiration which allows the bread to rise) which are known as unleavened breads. Also, cellular respiration is not important in bread making because we do not need oxygen to enter the bread. The bread undergoes anaerobic respiration (without oxygen) in order to release carbon dioxide after the yeast metabolizes the sugars. Plants fall into this recipe because wheat (makes up the majority of the bread) used to be a living plant that made it’s own food through photosynthesis; absorbs light, takes in co2, and water to make glucose and releases oxygen.

Anaerobic Respiration vs Aerobic Respiration:

Anaerobic respiration is without oxygen where aerobic respiration works with oxygen. Between yeast and humans, fermentation that occurs in yeast results in alcohol, instead of lactic acid, as a waste product. Scientists say the cells found in yeast are similar to human cells (genes found in the yeast cell). Yeast is important for bread making because it undergoes alcoholic fermentation; process that breaks down glucose (sugars), producing carbon dioxide which causes the bread to rise. Anaerobic respiration is important for bread making because it allows the dough to rise through the process of alcoholic fermentation which releases carbon dioxide

CO2 Cycle:

Bread making falls into the carbon cycle because bread is created with wheat, which is a plant that uses the process of photosynthesis. Thus meaning the wheat contains co2 as well as the yeast releasing co2 through cellular respiration. Humans eat the bread (co2) and then release the co2 back into the air (completing the carbon cycle).                                 Inside the bread, there is a somewhat similar process relating to the carbon cycle: The yeast takes in glucose and releases co2 (cellular respiration/alcoholic fermentation) and that co2  is somewhat absorbed by the water and then forms gluten (similar to photosynthesis) and is then taken in by humans who then release co2 into the air.



dabrownman's picture

Steven Hawking came out this week to say that humanity is doomed.  He says that we will kill ourselves by letting our future robots, that we create, take over the world and kill us off because……. we are too stupid to stop it.  My question is - Where has he been?  People have been predicting this and writing extensively about it for decades – not to mention all the movies made about it.

This morning I was watching a burger flipping robot in Japan on the business channel and a concrete house being 3D printed in 24 hours in Russia.  Just think what jobs those fools in Silicon Valley are working so hard at doing away with next.  I predict that the very first Trans Humans will be found in Silicon Valley.

Oddly, once all the jobs have been replaced by robots and people dwindle away…. there will be no need for the human job doing robots we created – unless the robots think of something else for them to do.  Something nefarious I am sure.  Maybe they will save other worlds from living beings who are destroying their plants too.  Aliens everywhere better watch out for our robots….. who will be searching the galaxy looking for them …….to save their planet from them.  


All I can say is, I can’t wait to see the robot that can handle a 70% rye, 30% sprouted 6 grain dough at 90% hydration – no more Lucy or any other Baking Apprentice 2nd Class needed ever again.  I told Lucy that no people means - no pets.  You can bet that pets are going to be gone long before we are once robots refuse to feed us.  Now I feel a lot better leaving a $20 trillion national debt to my 25 year old daughter with no job to pay it off – Whew!  It was keeping me up at night.  Off to bread baking this week.

With Purim coming up Lucy whipped up a few hamemtashen using an enriched bread dough found here that was retarded for 48 hours.  Inside the Jewish Bakery has a.  We made 3 kinds. Black raspberry, blueberry and ginger, strawberry and banana and finally fig spread.  These are not the pie dough kind of hamentashen.   Using half the dough, we made a fig, pistachio and pepita roll up cocktail loaf that we plan on using for French toast this weekend.

We also made the Westphalian rye bread described above.  It has a bran 6 grain, 2 stage levain made from 10 g of NMNF starter.  The sprouted grains were: red and white wheat, rye, spelt, Kamut and barley.  It also had Black Toad beer, a whole 12 fl oz bottle for most of the dough liquid.  For additional dark color Lucy added some espresso powder, cocoa, molasses and barley malt syrup.  Ahe also put in some walnuts, figs, prunes and caraway seeds.

We autolyzed the dough flour and liquid for 1 hour and then did folding in the bowl and slap and folds on half hour increments to get the add ins mixed in well.  2 ½ hours after mixing by hand we dumped it into an oiled Oriental Pullman pan and let it rest for an hour before putting it into the fridge for an 8 hour cold retard.

When we took it out of the fridge it had not risen one iota since it hit the pan 9 hours before.  We figured it would be a very long day waiting on this bread to rise after being so cold for so long.  Once it was warmer outside than in the kitchen, we took the bread there to warm up faster and finish proofing it was supposed to be over 80 F today.

After 8 hours of warming up and proofing we had to get it in the oven before the wife got home so in it went ready or not.  I estimated it had risen about 80% - not too bad but it wasn’t cracking on the top either.


We decided that we would bake this one a bit different.  We brushed the top with the rehydration liquid to stick some pepita seeds to it, slid the lid on and put it into a cold oven and then turned it on to 450 F.  Instead of steaming for 20 minutes we steamed for 15 minutes after the oven hit temperature.  Then we took the lid off and continued baking 50 minutes at 385 F.  Then we took the bread out of the an and baked it on the rack for another 10 minutes until the temperature read 202 F.

We will have to wait for 24 hours to see what the inside looks like.  This is some kind of yummy rye bread.  Open and moist on the inside and powerfully delicious.  A slight sweetness and subtle caraway aroma and taste.  Tis bread can stand upt to any powerful filling or be perfect toasted with a schmear for breakfast.  It is a meal in itself.

Nothing like a nice grilled shrimp, grilled: red onion, orange and red bell pepper, poblano pepper, crimini and button mushrooms, green bean, broccoli, asparagus, grey squash, sausage, bacon, hot pepper jack, Parmesan and goat cheese fritatta.



SD Levain

100% hydration, fresh milled, 12% sprouted, pre-fermented bran & high extraction, 6 grain flour, 2 stage levain using 10g of NMNF rye starter that was retarded for many weeks


18% sprouted, 6 grain high extraction flour

70% Fresh milled, whole grain rye.

90% Black Toad beer, 1 bottle, and a splash of water to get it to 90%

10% each black mission figs and prunes dry weight -  rehydrated and water squeezed put

10% walnuts

4% caraway seeds

2% each cocoa, espresso, barley malt syrup and molasses

2% Pink Himalayan sea salt.

This bread is 30% sprouted whole grain, 100% whole grain and 76% rye.

Lucy reminds us to have a salad now and again - like every day!

She is a cutie!

yeast's picture


Cellular Respiration

                   Equation-  Oxygen + glucose= Carbon dioxide + water + ATP


                   Why is it important in bread making-Cellular respiration is important in making bread because the yeast does cellular respiration which causes the bread to rise.

                   Where do plants fall into this (wheat in the bread)-Plants are involved because they preform photosynthesis which produced glucose (reactant) for cellular respiration.


Anaerobic Respiration vs Aerobic Respiration

                   Yeast vs Humans-Yeast uses anaerobic respiration to make beer and wine without oxygen, The yeast uses anaerobic respiration which creates carbon dioxide and alcohol, the gas helps to make the bread rise. Humans go through cellular respiration when they breath in oxygen and take in glucose the product is CO2, water, and ATP the ATP is used for energy. Humans go through lactic acid fermentation also when their muscles can't get enough oxygen.

                   Why is this important for bread making? - This is important for bread making because when the yeast runs out of oxygen it starts anaerobic respiration which releases CO2 and causes the bread to rise.


CO2 Cycle

                   How does bread making fall into the carbon cycle- Making bread falls into the carbon cycle because during cellular respiration the yeast releases carbon dioxide back into the air. Plants then use this carbon dioxide and the whole process can start again.


Design rationale for recipe -

We used yeast in the bread to make it rise, we used flour because it contains glucose. Glucose is needed to preform anaerobic respiration its a reactant. We also used warm water to activate the yeast, the water needs to be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the yeast will either die or not work. We also chose this recipe because it looked yummy.


Recipe Reflection

I think that making our bread went very well, we enjoyed working together and thought the whole process was really fun and enjoyable. There were sometimes when we weren't sure if we were making it right and it would look all weird and we thought it was going to completely fail but in the end our bread came out looking and tasting really good. But if we were to do this recipe ever again we would add more banana filling, but we wouldn't change the temperatures or cooking times because the yeast rose well and the bread was full cooked.








Nick and Alex1's picture
Nick and Alex1


What is the best bread you have ever tried? Here we will out taste the best bread you have tried. Have you ever made bread with salt and butter? Here is where you will find out how to use butter and salt in a recipe for bread. We will also show you step by step on how to make it as good as we did so that you can enjoy it at home as much as you did here.

WARNING: Be careful with the amount of sugar and butter added because it could affect the outcome. So could the proper heat of the water. Also measure the salt properly because if you use too much salt, it would cause the bread to rise slower.



  1. In a ziplock baggie add ¼ cup of flour


2. Then add 1 tsp of white sugar

3.Add ¼ teaspoon of yeast. Then let mixture in baggie set for 10 minutes after you have mixed it well to active the yeast.

4.Heat up ¼ cup of water for about 30 seconds.

It should be 120°F - 130°F

5.After the 10 minutes are over add the heated water to the dry mixture and the other ¼ cup of flour to the baggie.

6.Mix dry and wet ingredients in baggie until well mixed

7.Take dough ball out of bag and place on wax paper. Put flour on wax paper and hands to prevent stickiness.

8.Knead dough for 1 minute. Then roll, well mixed dough into a ball.

9. Place dough ball onto wax paper under heated lamp and allow dough to rise for 30  minutes

10. Put in cupcake holder. Set oven for 15 minutes at 375°F




  • ½ cup of all purpose flour

  • ¼ cup of water   120°F - 130°F

  • ¼  Yeast

  • ⅛ tsp of salt

  • 1 tsp of butter softened

  • 1 tsp of white sugar

Explanation: The reason we added the butter to the bread was because it is a fat and it make the bread last longer. And we also added the sugar for flavor and to provide a source of food for the yeast.

Reflection: As we tasted the bread we noticed it tasted like bread! It was a little bit dry on the outside than on the inside. We could have let the bread sit a little bit under the heat and season the top of the bread with melted butter to add some flavoring. We did not add enough water to our dough causing it to come out firm. By the way it smelled like a Bojangles Biscuit.

Created by:

Nick LaCroix


Alex Dorer


Sydney W's picture
Sydney W

As a group project we were told that we had to put what we learned to the test. The directions we were given were very vague. There was plenty of room to be creative and add what we wanted. The number one rule was that we must use our knowledge of cellular respiration, fermentation, and how materials react to one another.

We had a goal, to achieve the best bread recipe. We were given a basic recipe of flour, water and yeast. More goes into making bread than you think. There is a scientific reason for each ingredient. As a group we decided to add butter, sugar, and salt. The research we found showed many different ingredients and reasons for using them. We decided to just do a plain white bread even though other groups were adding flavors. We focused on making our bread rise and be fluffy.






Mix all of your dry ingredients in the bag first. This makes it easier to stir in the wet ingredients without clumps. Add ¼ cup flour, ¼ teaspoon yeast, ⅜ teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of salt.

To activate your yeast you must heat your water to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water is the right temp. pour 4 tablespoons slowly into the bag while mixing. Once mixed thoroughly let sit for 10min.

While waiting for the yeast to activate melt butter enough to be able to pour into the bag. Once your 10min is up, add in ¼ teaspoon butter and ¼ cup flour. Mix until the flour is no longer lumpy.

Lay out some wax paper and put a thin layer of flour on it as well as your hands. Knead the dough on the wax paper for 1min, then roll into a ball.

Next let is sit near heat for 30min to rise. Our bread began to rise at 10min under a heating lamp. It started at 1 ½ in and expanded ¼ in every 5min.

 Our Ingredients:

  1. Butter-  helps inhibit gluten formation, which gives bread the right texture and rise
  2. Sugar- gives the yeast glucose which helps it start cellular respiration

  3. Salt- we added that just for flavor, but it also helps tighten the gluten structure

  4. Water- we added warm water to help activate the dormant yeast

  5. Yeast- the yeast performs cellular respiration which gives off CO₂, making the bread rise

  6. Flour- has the monomers in gluten that, when kneaded, make gluten which gives bread the right texture and rise

The Science Behind The Bread:

The equation for cellular respiration is C6h12O6+6O2 →6H2O6CO2+ATP and cellular respiration is involved in bread making because yeast goes through cellular respiration and releases CO2 to create the air bubbles in the bread. Cellular respiration happens in the mitochondria. During this process it goes through three steps: glycolysis, citric acid cycle and the electron transport system. Glycolysis breaks down glucose and the citric acid cycle releases the stored energy while the electron transport system produces the ATP used for energy. After that, there is aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. For anaerobic respiration, while humans perform lactic acid fermentations plants and yeast proform alcoholic fermentation.


 After having our bread baked at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 15min we were finally done. We got to taste our bread the next day. The bread was firm on the outside, but soft and airy on the inside. It had lots of small bubbles from the co2 released during cellular respiration. If we were to try this project again I think we would add spices and flavor to our bread. If i'm being completely honest our bread had a good texture but it kind of tasted like squishy cardboard.


thesaucers's picture

Bread Blog:


Today while doing this bread recipe, we tried to decipher what ingredients we could add to the existing recipe to make it better. We looked at how the ingredients worked against each other so we could make a bread that rises and also looks like bread. We came up with a recipe that we thought would make a perfect bread recipe.


Final Recipe:


¼ teaspoon of yeast

½ cup of flour

4 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

Final Procedure:

1. In a ziploc baggie mix together ½ cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of yeast

2. Heat 4 tablespoons of water and heat it in the microwave until the water reaches 120-130 degrees fahrenheit. (20 to 30 seconds)

3. Next, slowly add your water to your mixture and stir it to combine your dry and liquid ingredients. Let it sit for 10 minutes.  

4. Take dough out of baggie.

5. Knead dough for 1 minute

6. Roll dough into a ball

7. Place dough ball under heat lamp for 30 minutes

8. Bake for 10 minutes



  • The equation for cellular respiration isC6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + 36 or 38 ATP. Cellular respiration occurs in the Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell therefore that organism has to be eukaryotic because mitochondria is a membrane bound organelle.

  • Cellular Respiration is the process by which the chemical energy molecules is released in the form of energy called ATP. Organic molecules can all be used as fuels in cellular respiration. Therefore in bread making, nothing in the bread is obtaining energy in the form of ATP into mitochondria thus not needing cellular respiration in bread making.

Why We Chose What We Chose:


We decided to add one half teaspoon of salt because salt helps keep in carbon dioxide which puffs the bread up and also for taste!


We decided to add 1 tablespoon of sugar because when the yeast activates it feeds on the sugar which creates carbon dioxide which rises the bread. Plus it makes the bread taste a lot better.


We added more flour at the beginning so the dough wasn’t as dry at the end of the bread ma

king process.


Recipe Reflection
  1. Our recipe was very successful, the outside was crispy and flaky, but when we cracked the bread open it was fluffy and soft with not big but a lot of air holes. The actual dough inside the bread was just the right amount of moist and dry.

  2. We predicted that when we put the water inside the dry ingredients that the water was just a little too cold so the bread did not rise as much as it could have.

  3. Adding salt and sugar hit the nail right on the head the sugar just gave the bread a tad bit of sweetness and the salt gave it that tarty delicious after taste!

  4. I also think the salt trapped most of the air bubbles in that's why there were a lot of air bubbles but not big ones.


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