When you look at the ingredients list on a loaf of bread in the supermarket you are probably unsure of what most of it is…E481 (sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate), E472e (mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids), E920 (l-cysteine….) It is pumped full of artificial processing aids, artificial additives, flour ‘improvers’, dough conditioners, preservatives and chemical leavening - not to mention lots of sugar.
Technically the only two ingredients essential for making bread are flour and water!
And by bread, we are talking about, sourdough, naan, cottage loaves, chapattis, roti, hard dough, stottie cakes, lavash, ciabatta, tortillas, pita and pida …we could go on. These two talented ingredients do need a little help however, a pinch of salt to ensure we are not making bland bread, and a little yeast. When anything else is added, it is, in fact, unnecessary. Flatbreads don’t even need yeast and pane toscano doesn’t require salt.
Having said all this, variety is the spice of life and we just love bread with natural seeds, nuts, cheese, milk, malt extract, herbs, oils, fats and dried fruits thrown in the mix!