61. OBJECT OF SCORING BREAD.--By the scoring of bread is meant simply the judging of its qualities. Persons who understand what good bread is agree very closely on the qualities that should characterize it, and they make these qualities a standard by which any kind of bread may be scored, or judged. Those who are not proficient in the making of bread, as well as those who have had very little experience, will do well to have their bread judged by experts or to learn how to score it themselves. By following this plan, they will be able to find out the good and bad points of their bread and then, by ascertaining the causes of any poor qualities, will be in a position to make improvements. So that the beginner may learn how to judge the qualities of her bread, she should study carefully the accompanying score card and its explanation.
|Uniformity of Color||2 %|
|Even distribution of gas||10 %|
62. EXPLANATION OF SCORE CARD.--A study of the score card will reveal that a certain number of points are given to a loaf of bread for appearance, both external and internal, for lightness, and for flavor. To determine these qualities best, allow the loaf to cool thoroughly after baking. Then consider the various points, and decide how nearly perfect the loaf is in respect to each one of them. Add the numbers that are determined upon, and the result obtained will show how the bread scores.
63. The shape of the loaf, in order to be perfect and to score 5, should be uniform and symmetrical. Any such shape as that shown in Fig. 15 would fall below perfect.
The size of the loaf, for which a score of 2 is given, is determined from the standpoint of thorough baking. The exact size that a loaf must be is a rather difficult thing to state, because the sizes vary considerably, but a loaf of an ungainly size should be guarded against, for it would not score well. Bread made in pans of the size already mentioned would score high with regard to size.
The crust, whose combined characteristics score 8, should be a golden brown in color in order to receive the score of 2 for its shade. A pale loaf or one baked too brown would not receive full credit. If the required color extends uniformly over the entire loaf, the bottom and the sides, as well as the top, 2 more is added to the score of the crust for uniformity of color. After these points are scored, a slice of bread should be cut from the loaf in order that the remaining points may be scored. As fresh bread does not cut easily, and as a well-cut slice must be had for this purpose, special care must be taken to obtain the slice. Therefore, sharpen a large knife and heat the blade slightly by holding it near a flame; then cut a slice at least 1/2 inch thick from the loaf before the blade has had time to cool. With such a slice cut, the character of the crust, by which is meant its toughness or its tenderness, may be determined. A score of 2 is given if it is of sufficient tenderness or is devoid of toughness. The depth of the crust, which depends on the amount of baking the loaf has had, receives a score of 2 if it is perfect. A deep crust, which is the preferred kind, is produced by long, slow baking; bread that is baked only a short time has a thin crust, which is not so desirable and would not score so high.
64. The lightness of the bread can easily be scored when the bread is cut. It is judged by the size of the holes, and if it is perfect it receives a score of 20. If the bread is not light enough, the holes will be small and the bread will feel solid and unelastic; if it is too light, the holes will be large and coarse.
65. The internal appearance, which is scored next, includes several characteristics. For the even distribution of gas, which is determined by the uniformity of the holes, 10 points are given. If the kneading has been done right and the bread has risen properly, the gas will be distributed evenly through the loaf, with the result that the holes, which make the bread porous, will be practically the same throughout the entire loaf. Such a texture is better than that of a loaf that has some large and some small holes. The moisture in the bread, which receives 5 if it is of the right amount, is tested by pinching a crumb between the fingers. If the crumb feels harsh and dry, the bread is not moist enough, and if it feels doughy, the bread is too moist. The elasticity, for which 5 is given, is determined by pressing the finger gently into a cut place in the loaf. The bread may be considered to be elastic if it springs back after the finger is removed and does not break nor crumble. As compared with cake, bread is always more elastic, a characteristic that is due to the quantity of gluten it contains. Still it should be remembered that the elasticity must not amount to toughness, for if it does the quality of the bread is impaired. To score 15 for color, the inside of the loaf should be of an even, creamy white. A dull white or gray color would indicate that flour of a poor quality had been used, and dark or white streaks in the bread would denote uneven mixing and insufficient kneading.
66. The last thing to be scored, namely, the flavor, merits 30 points. To determine this characteristic, chew a small piece of bread well. If it is not sour nor musty, has a sweet, nutty flavor, and shows that the correct amount of salt and sugar were added in the mixing, it may receive a perfect score.