Pleasant Hill Grain Baking Glossary
Sauté – This is the method of cooking food quickly by frying slightly over high heat in a little butter or oil using a shallow, open pan. The pan must be large enough for all the food to cover the bottom in a single layer. While sautéing, the food needs to be flipped around in the dish, this can either be done by shaking the pan around by the handle, or using a cooking utensil. Clarified butter or coconut oil works well for sautéing meats and vegetables. (See our.)
Score – The technique of slashing the top of bread loaves with a lame to allow the bread to open up while rising as it bakes. (See our scoring tools in the .)
Sea Salt – Sea salt is evaporated from seawater. Sea salt, in its natural state, has slight shades and flecks of color and taste due to its mineral content (magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine). The mineral content varies depending on where the salt was harvested from. Sea salt naturally clumps together because no anti-caking agent has been added to sea salt—as it has with table salt. 100% natural Redmond RealSalt products aren’t refined or bleached and have had no chemicals or iodine added. Sea salt can be purchased in many different forms from large, coarse grains to a very fine grind. (See our Redmond RealSalt.)
Semolina – Ground middling portion of durum grain. The middling is the hardest part of the grain and can be ground from quite coarse to fine. Semolina is used to make food such as pasta, couscous, and semolina porridge (popular in Northwestern Europe and the US). Semolina from durum wheat is light yellow in color. The middling from other grains may be ground and used in the same way, but when this is done, and referred to as “semolina” the grain used must be specified (e.g., “rice semolina”). Corn semolina is often referred to as “grits.”
Silicone – Silicone is a flexible rubber-like material used to coat cookware, and make kitchen tools such as baking mats, muffin pans, molds and utensils including basting brushes, spatulas, and oven mitts. Cookware pieces made of silicone are heat resistant, synthetically composed, and nonstick. Silicone is non-toxic, and won’t react with food.
Simple Sugars (simple carbohydrates) – (See Carbohydrates.)
Single Phase Power (also 1-Phase, 1-PH) – Single phase is the type of electric power used in U.S. homes as well as commercial sites where usage is mostly for lighting or heating. (Commercial and industrial sites with larger usage, particularly including motors, typically use three phase power). Electric motors are made to operate on either single phase or three phase power (not interchangeably). Household power in the U.S. is supplied at 240 volts which may be used for larger loads, and also divided into 120 volt power for smaller household appliances and lighting. As power travels through a home's wiring (and any extension cords that may be used) the voltage is reduced over distance; many appliances are rated for 115 volts or 110 volts, and therefore can operate at somewhat dropped voltage (as well as at the full 120 volts or a bit more).
Slash – See Score.
Small Red Beans – A low-fat, high-antioxidant bean popular for making soups. Small red beans are actually one of the highest antioxidant foods available—higher even than berries and nuts. Like other beans, these have good amounts of protein, fiber, and iron. For speed in preparing as well as better digestibility, it is best to soak beans before cooking. Throwing out the soaking water will mean throwing out some good nutrients, but it may be worth it when weighed against the unwanted substances in the soaker water. Up to 33% of the raffinose and up to 20% of the stachyose are removed by throwing out the soaking water—both of which cause flatulence. Beans are a nutritious low-glycemic food. (See our non-GMO small red beans.)
Small White Navy Beans – These beans are white in color, and are called “navy” due to their popularity from the United States Navy using them in the early 20th century. Navy beans are a heart healthy food since they’re high in soluble fiber, magnesium, folate, and potassium. Like other beans, these have good amounts of protein, fiber, and iron. For speed in preparing, as well as better digestibility it is best to soak beans before cooking. Throwing out the soaking water will mean throwing out some good nutrients, but it may be worth it when weighed against the unwanted substances in the soaker water. Up to 33% of the raffinose and up to 20% of the stachyose are removed by throwing out the soaking water—both of which cause flatulence. Beans are a nutritious low-glycemic food. (See our non-GMO organic small white navy beans.)
Soaker, Soaking –This is the process of softening grains, beans, nuts, seeds, or flour (usually coarsely ground), as well as initiating enzymatic activity by mixing each of these ingredients with warm liquid, and either an acid or salt. Once all the ingredients are mixed together the soaker is left to sit at room temperature for several hours.
Baking with softened grains produces lighter, better-textured bread than using grains un-soaked and when soaking grain with an acidic catalyst, phytic acid is broken down by the phytase enzyme. Soaking grain also increases the vitamin content and promotes the lactic acid development and lactobacilli, which help break down complex starches and proteins.
Acidic liquid to add to soakers includes cultured buttermilk, coconut milk kefir, dairy milk kefir, water kefir, cultured yogurt, whey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. The most phytic acid breakdown which can be accomplished through soaking is usually achieved within 12-24 hours. This is not the case however, for oats. Oats are so high in phytic acid, and low in phytase, that they need an extra boost of phytase added to their soaking liquid. Rye and buckwheat are great suppliers of the phytase enzyme so are a good choice to mix with soaking oats.
Soft Wheat – Soft wheat has a low protein content (around 7-9%) and a high starch content. Consequently there’s little gluten-development when using soft wheat flour, and the gluten that will develop is of low quality. Because of these characteristics, soft wheat is ideal for quick breads and pastries. Cake flour and pastry flour are generally made of finely ground soft wheat. Soft wheat can be either red or white and it's usually winter wheat. (See our non-GMO organic soft wheat.)
Soluble Fiber – This type of dietary fiber remains undigested as it passes through the body, just as insoluble fiber does. Soluble fiber turns to gel when it comes in contact with excess liquid in the colon. Gelling of the soluble fiber slows down the digestion of nutrients such as sugars and starches, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. The gelling also speeds up the digestion through the gastrointestinal tract, helping cleanse the body. Consuming soluble fiber through food such as oats, flax, barley, citrus fruit, beans and peas makes the stomach feel full more quickly so may help promote healthy body weight.
Sourdough Starter – A type of starter used to catalyze the fermentation process in bread dough. A sourdough starter is a pre-ferment of 60-100% hydration, made by cultivating wild yeast. Unlike some other pre-ferment recipes, sourdough starters do not contain salt. Sourdough starters are kept long-term and fed on a regular basis. Only a portion of the starter is used to build a levain, or to put directly into final sourdough bread dough. Compared to bread made from cultivated yeast, bread made using natural leaven has a slightly tangy taste from the lactic and ascorbic acid formed by the fermentation of lactobacilli. Find helpful tutorials about creating your own sourdough starter at home in the Artisan Breads Every Day Recipe Book and Flour Water Salt Yeast book.
Sourdough Leaven – (See Sourdough Starter.)
Soy – (See Soybeans.)
Soybeans – A high-protein bean native to East Asia. Most of the world’s soybean crop is now grown in the United States, and the U.S. is also the country that consumes the most soybeans. The way soybeans are typically prepared to be eaten in the United States is quite different than the way cooks in Asian countries have prepared their soy food for centuries. In Asian countries soybeans are most often fermented in their whole food form. Most soy products consumed in the U.S. are highly processed and are not in whole form. Soybean oil is the main product made with soybeans in the U.S. Since soybeans contain significantly high amounts of phytic acid, it’s critical to ferment the beans before consumption. Around 90% of soybean crops are genetically modified, so it’s important to purchase non-GMO beans for preparing food at home. (See our non-GMO organic soybeans.)
Sourdough Bread, Leaven Bread – This is a type of bread made from natural leavening agent(s), such as a levain. Compared to bread made from commercially cultivated yeast, bread made using natural leaven has a slightly tangy taste from the lactic acid formed by the fermentation of lactobacilli. See our .
Sorghum – A grain grown for consumption by humans or livestock. Separated sorghum starch may be used, or the grain may be pressed to produce sorghum oil, or fermented to create a gluten-free beer. Sorghum flour is one of the least expensive, and still nutritious, gluten-free flours so it’s a good option for those baking gluten-free food. The flour has a very mild taste, so it's unlikely to interfere with other flavors in the baked/cooked food. Sorghum is grown all over the world, but is especially used in arid regions since it's both heat and drought tolerant. (See our non-GMO sorghum.)
Spelt – An ancient type of wheat hybridized from common wheat. Spelt has been a common crop and food in Europe since the middle ages and is now becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Spelt was first introduced to the U.S. in the 1890s.
Since spelt grain grows with an especially thick husk, fewer (if any) chemicals are used during the growing season to control insects. Because of the ease of growing a good spelt crop, it is often grown organically.
Spelt contains a moderate amount of gluten, since it’s a species of wheat, but many people who are gluten intolerant have a better time digesting spelt than common wheat. It is nutritious with a high protein and soluble fat content, as well as an excellent source of manganese. It’s also a good source of protein, copper, and zinc—better than several other varieties of wheat. The rich nutty flavor of spelt is stronger than that of common wheat. (See our non-GMO organic spelt.)
Spring Wheat – Spring wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in late fall/early winter. White spring wheat is barely different than white winter wheat, but red spring wheat has a little more protein content than red winter wheat (14% to 12% respectively). Spring wheat tends to be softer than winter wheat.
Sponge – A sponge is a type of pre-ferment and it’s part of a two-step dough process. In this process, the sponge is made first and allowed to ferment before it’s added to the rest of the bread ingredients for mixing and kneading. A sponge is made of a portion of the flour and yeast, and some or all of the water from the bread recipe.
Sprouting – Whole grains may be sprouted for consumption. Sprouting is highly nutritious since it activates food enzymes including phytase, increases vitamin content, and reduces anti-nutrient elements (such as bound phytic acid). Sprouted grain can be eaten raw, cooked (though this destroys the grain’s fragile vitamins), or ground into flour for baking.
To sprout, place up to several cups of clean grain in a strainer. As a side note, organic grains sprout better than conventional grain. Rinse grain well. Add grain to a storage unit (ceramic, stainless steel, and glass all work well) and cover with warm filtered water so the water level is a few inches above the grain. Let soak overnight. In the morning pour grain into a mesh strainer again and rinse well. Throughout the day, rinse the grain a few more times, making sure to get all the grain wet. Continue rinsing throughout the next couple days until the sprouting level you desire is achieved. Rinse one last time before draining and storing or using. See ourseed sprouter .
To make sprouted grain flour start with grain that has barely sprouted. A day or two of germination should reach the right level for making flour with sprouted grain—any longer and the sprouts would be too difficult to work with. Spread grain into a thin layer ontrays, or as an alternative the oven or sun will do the same work as a dehydrator will if they’re giving off the right amount of heat. If using the oven or sun, spread grain onto a baking sheet. Dehydrate between 105˚ F and 150˚ F (it’s best to stay under 110˚ F) until grain is thoroughly dry. Once the sprouted grain is dry you’re all set to grind in your , or powerful blender, as you would with un-sprouted whole grain.
Stand Mixer – A kitchen appliance able to stand on its own to be used for mixing batter, dough, egg whites, sauce, etc. with beater paddles, a dough hook, whisks or whips (options depend on mixer). Electric stand mixers come in various sizes from the small 4 quart home use style to the commercial 53 quart sizes and larger. Most stand mixers have several speed settings as well as a pulse option. (See the Bosch Universal Plus, Ankarsrum and Haussler kitchen stand mixers.)
Starch – (See Carbohydrate.)
Starter – (See Pre-ferment.)
Sodium Bicarbonate – (See Baking Soda.)
Starter Culture – A strain of healthy, food-grade bacteria used to begin a starter for fermenting food.
Steaming – In bread baking, steam can be used on bread in the oven to maximize rise and create a crust that's thin and flavorful as well as having both crispy and chewy components. In other words, delicious. To steam, pour 1 cup hot water into a steam tray under or above baking bread and/or spritz water on walls of oven with a plant bottle sprayer. Spray every 2-3 minutes, and only during the first 10 minutes of baking.
Steel Cut Oats – Raw, whole oat groats which have been cut two or three times with sharp steel. Steel cut oats undergo less processing than rolled oats since they aren’t steamed like rolled oats are before they’re rolled. The steaming of rolled oats makes cooking of the oats take less time, but the steaming before storage also eliminates some of the good nutty oat flavor of the grain. Soaking steel cut oats before cooking or baking will aid in digestion by neutralizing the indigestible phytic acid that's prevalent in oats groats, as well as shorten the cooking time.
Stropping – Fine sharpening of a cutting edge, historically using a leather strop. (See our.)
Sucanat – A brand name for a variety of whole cane sugar which, unlike typically more processed white sugar and brown sugar, retains molasses and some vitamins and minerals. Sucanat stands for “sugar cane natural.” (See our organic sucanat.)
Superfoods – Foods recognized as superfoods are exceptionally concentrated with good nutritional qualities, have few negative qualities, and are non-GMO; most are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and low in calories. Categorizing food as a superfood is unscientific and there is no legal definition for the category. Superfoods are known to promote good health, give energy, aid in maintaining a healthy body weight, and help heal the body from infection and disease. Eating superfoods also diminishes negative effects of aging. Including a variety of superfoods in your diet is a wise choice for a strong, healthy body.
Several foods usually considered to belong in the superfood category are: avocados, beans, blueberries, broccoli, chia seeds, goji berries, live-culture dairy products such as yogurt and kefir, oranges, pumpkins, raw cacao, spinach, teas, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and wild salmon fish.
The term “superfood” is sometimes used to promote a product, when it may actually have serious negative effects on the body, so researching food that has been labeled a “superfood” is always a good idea.
Sweet Bread – Yeast bread (often enriched) or a quick bread with a sweetener added. Anything from a sweet potato to fruit, juice, or honey can sweeten dough. The sweetness of this kind bread, as well as the dairy and eggs that usually go along with the sweetener add a deep richness to bread dough. Sweet breads are almost always baked in a pan, instead of as a free-form loaf, and will be baked at lower temperatures than lean doughs so they won’t caramelize too soon in the baking process. As a general rule, the more sugar in a bread loaf, the lower the baking temperature will be.