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What makes bread taste good?

Not many ingredients are needed to bake delicious bread, but they need to be of top quality, according to Prof. Michael Kleinert, Head of the Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation at the ZHAW and a passionate bread expert.

What does perfect bread taste like?

Bread is often underestimated because we don’t have the words to describe it. There are perhaps a thousand words to describe wine. And for bread? «It tastes good,» is about all we can say.

At the ZHAW, Professor Michael Kleinert and his team are developing a formula to describe bread. They have recorded over 300 different aromas in the first ever ‘bread aroma wheel’. This is now being used to train ‘bread sommeliers’ in Germany.

As yet, little research has been done into the processes involved in enjoying bread. Now the team at the ZHAW is using state-of-the-art science to test these – measuring the size of air bubbles in the dough, for example. These have an influence on the taste. The researchers are also testing the elasticity of the bread crumb, which affects our experience when we bite into it.

For bread to taste as good as memory tells us it should, the dough has to mature for a long time and the bread must be baked more intensively. If we understand the biochemical processes behind this, our daily bread will be as good as it used to be.

Item in the SRF news programme 10vor10 on 20 December 2018 (in German)

Background information ‘Developing a bread aroma wheel’ (in German)