Gluten!

Gluten! Gluten, the protein structure in wheat flour that makes it possible for a pizzaiolo to toss pizza dough into the air in order to stretch it; the fine balloon-like network of bubbles that makes white wheat bread the bread with the biggest potential air bubbles baked into a finished loaf. Gluten can be developed by working the dough, like by kneading it. But gluten can also be developed by letting dough rest for a long time, like overnight. My standard bread is 100% flour, 75% water, 1.5% salt, .25% yeast. Mix with water the night before, cover, and leave out all night. In the morning, if you reach into the bowel, and lift up, as I have here, you will see the gluten threads, as one does in this photograph.

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