COMMERCIAL YEAST BAKING
I mainly use all purpose, bread and whole wheat flour. Usually bread flour has more protein than all purpose flour but not always. (I have seen "all purpose flour" that has more protein than regular bread flour! )
I always keep a bag of cake flour too. I usually use it for cake baking but sometimes use it to mix with bread flour to make french bread flour.
I use fine sea salt for bread making. Many professional bakers use special coarse mineral salt but I prefer fine natural sea salt because it dizzolves in no time.
SUGAR (including honey and malt/maple/brown rice syrup)
It is not necessary to use sugar for bread baking but sugar helps yeast to energize. If you want to obtain good crust color, use some sugar so the browning reaction occurs. Honey makes bread's crust color darker than regular sugar. Sugar keeps bread moist and soft longer.
Since I am following Macrobiotics diet, I do not use sugar (particulary refined white sugar) in any cooking. You can use any sugar you like.
There are many different kinds of yeast available at supermarkets and health food stores. I personally prefer this instant dry yeast called Fermipan. It is available at Smart and Final in California. I also use Saf red label. Also available at S &F. You can buy organic or imported instant dry yeast at some markets.
I used to love using fresh yeast (look like small bricks) but it's perishable and hard to find now so I am not using it anymore.
(macrobiotic followers should not eat bread that is made with commercial yeast but since baking is my biggest hobby so I am still using commercial yeast...)
There are some natural yeast (macrobiotic friendly) that you can use like instant dry yeast.
I have "shirakami yeast" from Japan. I get this product from Japan. It's easy and has sweet flavor with a lot of trehaolse (helps keep bread soft longer). This yeast is so special. You can even freeze the dough and unlike commercial yeast, it won't get weaken.
If you live in US, tap water should work with no problem. Purified water tastes better.
Please do not use alkaline water. Bread dough should not be alkaline.
YEAST WATER BAKINGAll of the above and most importantly, 'natural yeast water' that you make.
How to make it? Click here.