The Bread Making Quiz

By: Kirsten Nunez
Image: Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The world of bread making is something special. It’s simple, yet complicated. Think about it: Bread is made with some of the most basic ingredients out there. When it comes to ingredients you'll find in everyone's home, bread is considered to be a staple. Yet, the actual process of baking bread is the furthest thing from easy! One might even call it an art form.

This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make bread at home however. With some practice and patience, you can bake delicious loaves of bread in the comfort of your own kitchen. It all comes down to understanding (and remembering) different techniques, tools, and ingredients. For example, do you know the purpose of yeast in bread? Can you explain the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Do you know the point of punching bread dough?

Find out the answers to those questions and more  with this bread making quiz. It’s a great way to test your knowledge and skills, whether you’re a newbie or a pro! These questions will cover everything from special bread making terms to the function of specific ingredients. Who knows, you might even learn some new facts along the way. So go make yourself a sandwich and test how much you know about the bread you're eating by taking this quiz! 

What is the function of yeast in bread making?

Yeast is a fungus. When it consumes sugar, it produces ethanol and carbon dioxide. This chemical reaction makes bread dough rise and increase in size!

To make basic yeast bread, which of the following ingredients is not necessary?

A basic yeast bread needs nothing more than four ingredients: yeast, flour, water and salt. Eggs, however, are useful for adding flavor and texture to a bread recipe.

What is the purpose of kneading?

When you knead dough, you're mixing the ingredients together. It develops the gluten in the flour, which helps the dough rise properly. This gives bread strength and structure.

For a crispier crust, what should you brush on bread dough?

Steam creates a crispy crust. One method is to place a pan of water on the bottom shelf of your oven; the steam will rise as your bread bakes. However, it's much easier to brush the dough with water.

What is the process in which yeast eats sugar and releases ethanol and carbon dioxide?

Yeast gets energy from sugar. As ethanol and carbon dioxide are released, air pockets form in the dough. This process of fermentation helps the dough rise.

Which of the following ingredients is not a leavening agent?

Baking powder and yeast are leavening agents because they release carbon dioxide, which creates air bubbles in the dough. Eggs, when beaten, also add structure and rising power. Sugar adds flavor, color, and moisture, but doesn't leaven dough.

What is gluten, exactly?

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. When bread bakes, gluten traps the carbon dioxide released by the yeast. This gives the bread structure and texture.

Baking powder is made of baking soda and...

Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and acids. The two ingredients don't react until the moisture is added. In baked goods, baking powder is used as a leavening agent.

What tool will give your bread a crisp brown crust, just like wood fired ovens?

Baking stones can be made of stone, ceramic, or cast iron. They work by improving heat retention in the oven. The result is a delicious and crispy brown crust.

What makes fresh yeast different from other types of yeast?

Fresh yeast is also known as cake yeast or block yeast. Compared to other types of yeast, it has more leavening power. However, fresh yeast also has a short shelf life of less than two weeks.

Self-rising flour is made of flour, salt, and...

Self-rising flour already contains salt and baking powder, a leavening agent. You should only use it when the recipes requires it! Otherwise, you might accidentally use too many leavening agents.

What does an egg wash do to bread crust?

To enhance the appearance of your bread, use an egg wash. You can mix the whole egg, yolk, or white with milk or water. It will also add color to your final product!

Which ingredient is added to gluten-free flour to help improve structure?

Xanthan gum adds structure to a flour. This is useful for gluten-free flours, which don't have gluten to give it structure. Many gluten-free flours already contain xanthan gum, but you can also buy it on its own.

Which word describes the size and pattern of holes inside a loaf of bread?

The crumb is the inside of the bread. The holes should be open, airy, and irregular. This is a sign that the dough was properly kneaded and had enough time to rise!

To make buttermilk, you'll need milk and...

Buttermilk is slightly tangy. When used in bread, it improves flavor and texture. You can make it at home by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk.

Which bread is a white yeast bread from Italy?

In Italian, the word "ciabatta" means slipper. This describes the flat oval shape of sliced ciabatta bread. It's often eaten with olive oil or used in sandwiches.

Yeast is alive! What is it, exactly?

Yeast is a single-celled fungus that eats sugar. There's enough sugar in flour to feed the yeast, so it's OK if your recipe doesn't call for added sugar. As the yeast eats, it releases carbon dioxide, which helps the dough rise.

What ingredient can kill active dry yeast?

Cold water won't "wake up" the yeast. On the other hand, if it's too hot, the yeast will die! In order to activate yeast, you should use water that is about 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

When using nonstick pans, what adjustment should you make?

Nonstick pans absorb heat. This causes bread to bake quickly! So, in order to prevent too much browning, you should reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the browning of baked goods called?

The Maillard reaction is a reaction between amino acids (from protein) and sugars. It happens in the presence of heat. The reaction is the reason why breads have crusts!

Yeast will go dormant at what temperature?

Whether you're using active dry yeast or instant yeast, all types of commercial yeast will go dormant at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why you need to "wake up" the yeast with warm water.

Sourdough starter is made of flour and which ingredient?

Sourdough starter is a leavening agent. You can make it by mixing flour and water. When you leave it to ferment, wild yeast in the flour and air will grow in the starter.

What does the windowpane test tell you?

Kneading helps develop gluten in flour, and the windowpane test will tell you if the gluten is well-developed. To do it, use your fingers to stretch the dough into a thin membrane. If it doesn't break, it's ready for the next step.

What is a round bread that looks like a squished ball?

The word "boule" comes from the French word for "ball." The term describes the shape of the bread. Many types of breads can be baked in a boule shape.

To "wake up" active dry yeast with water, how warm should it be?

To reactivate active dry yeast, add warm water that has reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful, though — if the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast and the dough won't rise.

What is a piece of fabric that holds dough as it rises?

In French, the word "couche" means layer. This fabric prevents dough from rising and touching each other. It's best to use a natural fabric, such as linen.

What does it mean to slash the surface of dough just before baking?

Scoring (or slashing) the dough lets you control how the bread expands during baking. Sometimes, people also score bread to add a decorative touch. You can do it with a sharp knife.

Which of the following ingredients is not a fat?

Fats add flavor and moisture to breads. They also improve texture and increase tenderness. Examples of fats include shortening, butter, margarine, and oil.

What is sodium bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda. It reacts with acids like buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice, or yogurt. This reaction produces carbon dioxide bubbles.

Which tool is used for cutting and scraping sticky dough?

A bench knife is also known as a bench scraper, pastry scraper, or dough cutter. It's a flat metal rectangle with a handle on top. You can use it to separate dough, scrape a bowl, or clean your work space.

What are the most common liquids used in bread making?

When it comes to bread, basic ingredients are the way to go! Water and milk are the most common options, but special bread recipes might call for liquids like beer or juice.

What is a French bread that's made with a lot of butter and eggs?

Brioche is a type of French bread that is soft, fluffy, and pale yellow. It also tastes rich and slightly sweet, thanks its high content of eggs and butter.

What is the point of "punching" bread dough after it rises?

After the dough rises, "punching" the dough breaks up the clusters of yeast cells even more. This allows them to get more air and food. Afterward, the dough will rise again, but not as much as the first time.

What is proofing?

After you shape the dough into a loaf, you should leave the dough alone for a final rise. This process is called proofing, but it's sometimes known as the last step of fermentation.

Which term describes how much a loaf puffs up after you place it in the oven?

Within the first 10 to 12 minutes of baking, the dough will puff up and grow in size. This is caused by gases released by yeast and steam released from liquid.

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