Inclusions and the Baking of Bread

In the world of bread baking, an inclusion is whatever you include in the basic recipe to enhance or change the recipe.  Sunflower seeds, diced apples, and walnuts are all examples of inclusions.  None of these change the basic recipe.  If you were to add cocoa, you would need to reduce the flour to compensate and since the basic formula was modified, the result would be a recipe modification, not an inclusion.  Today, you’ll learn how to use inclusions with your favorite bread recipes.
The following are inclusions that we use and with which you can make terrific bread.  We have included links to examples.

We suggest starting points for quantities but they will vary according to taste.  If you are adding more than one inclusion, you will use less of each.

Sunflower seeds add a wholesome crunch and a nutty taste to your bread.  Try one-half cup per loaf.  Make sure the seeds are fresh.

Because sun dried tomatoes are packed with flavor, they are a great inclusion for bread.  There are two types of sun dried tomatoes: those that you typically buy in the store and Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato Pieces.  Both will work.  Tuscan sun dried tomatoes are much drier and therefore pack much more flavor.  It takes less to get more flavor.  Try adding basil or oregano to accompany it.

Add sun dried tomatoes late in the kneading cycle if you do not want the color to bleed out into the dough.  If you don’t mind a red-orange tint to your bread, it doesn’t matter.

Dry apples add moistness and flavor.  Try 3/4 cup per loaf.  Usually a good quality cinnamon is added.  Because apples are mild, the flavor can be boosted with apple flavor.

Walnut pieces and pecan pieces add crunch and a healthy fat to bread.  Try adding walnuts to a sourdough bread.  Usually about 2/3 cup is right.

Raisins may be the most popular inclusion.  Again, cinnamon is usually added.  A little orange or lemon zest is a very nice accompaniment.  Try about 3/4 cup.

Dry cranberries are very popular and the tartness of dried cranberries lends a lot of flavor.  Our Fruited Calabria Bread contains a mix of fruit including red angelino plums which are very tart and sweet.

Add dried diced jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers, or ancho peppers carefully.  Start with one tablespoon.  A little makes great bread; too much and you’ll be breathing fire.  An addition of cheese calms the fire a bit.

Everyone likes cheesy bread but if you put too much fresh cheese in your bread, you’ll overwhelm the yeast.  Try no more than one cup grated cheddar per loaf.  Since cheese contains salt, cut back on the salt in your recipe.  If you want more cheese flavor, and you probably do, try our Cheese Booster.

Cinnamon burst bread is one of our most popular breads.  Cinnamon chips give you a burst of sweet cinnamon in every bite and attractive cinnamon ripples in your bread.  Add the cinnamon chips right at the end of the cycle so that they do not dissolve in kneading.


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