Autolyse - Literally “self-splitting”, the breaking down of a cell’s starch and protein with its own enzymes (for flour: amylase and protease). In bread making this means resting the dough after it has been mixed but before it has been kneaded. It is supposed to help the kneading process.
Banneton - Is a wicker basket for proving sourdough. The basket stops the wet dough from spreading out and gives it the pattern of the wicker work.
Crumb - What bread looks like when you slice it. Not the curmbs! The bubbles and the structure of the cross-section of the bread.
Dutch oven - A cast iron casseroles dish which can be used to bake bread.
Fermentation - The process of converting sugars to acids, gases and alcohol by bacteria and yeast.
Gluten - A mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough through the kneading process and structure and chewiness to bread.
Kahm yeast - A unwelcome but potentially harmless growth of fungus on the top of a ferment, characterized by being white and formed in thin filaments or fine powder.
Kefir - A fermented milk drink made with fermented kefir “grains”
Kimchi - Is a spicy traditional Korean fermented staple made from Chinese leaf cabbage, mooli, spring onions and chili flakes. There are many varieties.
Kneading - Taking dough and stretching and folding it in on itself while applying pressure. The process causes the gluten in the dough to “develop” i.e. amalgamate and hold the dough together.
Kombucha - Fermented black or green tea drink.
LAB - Lactic Acid Bacteria - The main bacteria involved in fermentation.
Lame - A tool for scoring bread made with a razor blade at the end of a stick or specially made implement
Oven spring - The extra rise you get in the oven when you bake your bread.
Proof/Prooving - Letting a bread dough rise.
Rest - aka first prove - the first time you leave the dough to rise
Retard - this is when you prove the bread in the fridge, it slows the fermentation process down and changes the flavours
Saurkraut - Fermented cabbage (usually white).
Scoby - Symbiotic Community Of Bacteria and Yeast - Used to make Kombucha
Sourdough - Bread made using wild yeast and bacteria for the raising process. Sourdough, as the name suggests, tastes sourer than bread made using commercially supplied yeasts.
Starter - A starter is a small amount of active bacteria or yeast, or both, used to initiate fermentation.
Strong flour - Flour that has a high gluten content and is therefore good for making bread.
Yeast - Yeast is a member of the fungus family. There are hundreds of species of yeast. In the fermentation process it converts carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and alcohols.