Background: In Lesotho, traditional bread covers different types of dumplings prepared with cereal flour, water, salt and sourdough. This study characterized eight steamed breads prepared from wheat, maize and sorghum. Breads were prepared from both commercial and self-milled flours according to the procedures followed in rural and urban areas of Lesotho. Descriptive sensory evaluation was conducted to profile sensory properties of the breads. Flour particle sizes, sourdough properties and bread colour, volume and texture were also characterized.
Results: The type of cereal and milling properties of the flour used had substantial effects on the physical and sensory properties of the bread. Steamed wheat breads had greater volume, softer crumb and more bland flavour compared with sorghum and maize breads. Both sorghum and maize steamed breads prepared according to traditional Basotho procedures were characterized by low loaf volume, denser crumb, more complex and strong flavours and aroma, notably sour, musty, malty, dairy sour and fermented aroma. The texture of the non-wheat bread types was heavy, chewy, dry, fibrous and more brittle and needed a higher compression force to deform.
Conclusion: This study provided insight on the sensory properties of steamed bread as prepared in Lesotho. Further research is needed to optimize sensory properties of the non-wheat steamed breads by controlling the flour particle size, compositing non-wheat flours with different levels of wheat flour, addition of protein sources and gums, altering the amount of water, improving the pre-gelatinization process and optimizing the steaming method of cooking bread.
Keywords: Lesotho; bread; maize; sensory; sorghum; wheat.
© 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.