Other Ingredients

Terminology and definitions for bread types, bread ingredients, bread making and baking.

© 2011 by KV5R — Rev. April 15, 2011.

5. Other Ingredients

Egg Wash

Egg yolk and/or white mixed with a small amount of water or milk and brushed over a bread prior to baking. An egg wash gives color and gloss to the product.


Eggs in yeast breads provide added leavening, color, soft texture and richness.


A chemical that has the ability to bind together two incompatible things, for example water and oil. Eggs contain the emulsifier lecithin. Fleischmann’s Yeast is processed using the emulsifier sorbitan monostearate.


Fats add richness, tenderness, calories and flavor to breads. They can generally be substituted equally when the amount is less than 2 Tbsp per loaf, which is the typical amount. Typical fats used in breads are butter, margarine, and olive oil.


Small seedless whole fruit, such as blueberries; finely diced fruit, such as apple may be added to dough, typically at about ½ cup (or 2½ ounces) per loaf.

Garlic or Cinnamon

These inhibit or kill yeast, and should be used very sparingly in dough. It’s best to use them on slices, after baking, or as top sprinkles, after the final rise.


The ingredient in bread used to dissolve and re-activate dry yeast and mix with flour to form the gluten network. “Liquids” may refer to the total weight of all liquid ingredients used in bread, which is around .65 of the weight of the flour, to make “smooth elastic” dough.


Fresh or roasted unsalted nuts may be finely chopped, crushed, or ground in a rotary blade coffee mill, and are typically added at about ½ cup (or 2½ ounces) per loaf.


Sodium chloride serves as a flavor enhancer and also enhances the ability of the gluten to form a fine textured dough. Salt retards the growth of yeast and must be used sparingly, typically 2 tsp per loaf. Salt should never be added to a preferment, sponge, or sourdough starter, but added to the final dough.

Seeds, Spices, and Herbs

About 2 tsp to 2 Tbsp per loaf of almost any kind of small edible seeds, powdered spices, and dried or fresh cut-n-sifted herbs may be added to dough. Seeds, typically poppy, caraway, and sesame, are usually sprinkled on top of an egg wash, which helps them stick. Spices and herbs should be chosen to complement the type of bread. For example, oregano in an Italian bread, with the fat being olive oil, is excellent.


Any food that adds a sweet flavor to foods. This group includes natural sweeteners such as sugar, syrup, honey, molasses, etc. Yeasts ferment natural sweeteners to raise bread. Artificial sweeteners cannot be fermented by yeast. Sweeteners such as sugar and honey are typically added at about 2 Tbsp per loaf.

Warm water

Water that’s close to body temperature. It’s advisable for water to be at this temperature when baking bread with commercial yeast, because commercial yeast is expected to work quickly, and needs to be activated. An instant-read (dial or digital) thermometer should be used to verify the water is about 95–100°F, and never over 110, else the yeast might be killed.

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