Baking technology bread

Raw Materials - Processing - Recipes


5.2 Processing

5.2.1 Recipes
Officially a recipe is the amount of ingredients and the processing method. The best method of writing down a recipe is to have the flour at 100%. It means that whatever the amount of dough, the ratio of other ingredients will remain the same.
For example:

Flour 100%  100   %
yeast 1%  1,5%
salt  1% 1,5%
sugar 1%   2  %
fat 1% 2  %
water 60% 56  %

Now both recipes can be easily compared. Recipe B has more yeast(0,5%), more salt(0,5%), more sugar(1 %), more fat(1%) and less water. An experienced baker knows what kind of bread he can expect out of recipe B. The recipes for bread differ all over the world because of the availability , the price and the quality of the ingredients. The amount of salt differs because of the legislative requirements and local taste. The amount of water varies dependant on the quality of the flour and the processing method.

5.2.2  Processing
Dough kneading is the mixing and kneading of the raw materials in a way that a good quality bread can be obtained. The dough kneading:
-          scaling flour and other ingredients
-          sieve the flour to remove impurities
-          activated yeast, dissolve yeast in water and add
-          instant yeast, add dry yeast to the flour
-          add other ingredients like salt, sugar, milk powder, fat etc.
-          avoid direct contact between yeast and salt  and/or sugar
-          switch on the dough kneader
-          mix the ingredients
the kneading can start, the formation of the gluten network which surrounds all other ingredients 

gluten network
starch grains
free water with yeast, salt and sugar

Dough cells


During dough kneading air is incorporated which is the basis for the structure of bread. Although strenuous work dough kneading can be done manually. Dough kneaders can be classified into two different groups:

fast kneader kneading time 2- 12 minutes

medium kneader kneading time 12-20 minutes

During kneading frictional heat causes the rise of the dough temperature. To control the desired dough temperature the water temperature has to be adjusted. When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the gluten network is sufficiently elastic and extensible the dough is ready. When a piece of dough is stretched up to a thin film without breaking it shows that the dough is ready for further.

5.2.3 Breadmaking process
Each method should be able to create a structure of gas bubbles which is capable of expansion,, produce carbondioxide and produce dough which  is able to retain gas and expand. The sponge and dough method and the straight dough method are widely used.

5.2.4 Sponge and dough method
A sponge can be considered as a slack dough. Mixing a proportion of the flour, the yeast, some, or all of the salt, but sometimes none at all and some or all of the water makes it up. The amount of yeast, the amount of salt and the consistency and the temperature of the sponge control the fermentation speed of the sponge. The amount of flour used in the sponge gives its name e.g. a quarter sponge is made with 25% of the flour. It is very important to have a very well fermented sponge otherwise the further fermentation will become very slow.

sponge 50% flour, 1% yeast and 40 to 50% water
sponge fermentation 60 minutes
mixing all remaining ingredients and sponge
final fermentation 60 minutes
baking 20 minutes

-          more tolerance during processing
-          a weaker, cheaper flour can be used
-          less yeast is required
-          long sponge fermentation and short processing time
-          fermentation in a bowl is very easy
-          a well developed gluten
-          a good taste

-          more bowls for the sponges are necessary
-          more space is needed for storage
-          difficult planning

5.2.5 Straight dough method
All ingredients are mixed.

mixing 15 minutes
first bulk fermentation 30 minutes these can be combined into one period of 50 minutes
knocking back other changes can be made as long as the total production time remains the same
second bulk fermentation 20 minutes
scaling and moulding  
intermediate proof 25 minutes
final moulding 20 minutes
baking 20 minutes

-          the process is short
-          good quality bread with a fine structure
-          easy planning
-          less space required
-          less bowls needed

-          labour intensive
-          skilled bakers needed
-          intermediate prover required
-          temperature and humidity control in provers
-          less tolerance

5.2.6 The fermentation speed
Yeast produces carbon dioxide out of the sugars present in the dough. Baking powders also produce carbon dioxide but will not produce the typical bread taste.
Sugar will affect the fermentation speed , the colour and taste. Amounts up to 3% will increase carbon dioxide production. More sugar will reduce the fermentation speed and will give a noticeable sweeter taste.
Salt will slow down the fermentation speed and harden the gluten. In common bread doughs 1-2% salt is added.
Because of the various yeast types always follow the instructions of the manufacturer. More yeast produces more carbondioxide and the dough will be "faster". Less yeast will make the dough slower.
Other ingredients:
Ingredients like fat (breadimprover), milkpowder, malt etc. will require more yeast to maintain the same level of carbondioxide production.

5.2.7 Dough temperature
In general a dough temperature between 25 - 30 Celsius is advisable. A higher dough temperature hardens the gluten and the gluten becomes too tough to process it. A high dough temperature also requires increased processing speed, which is not always possible.

5.2.8 Scaling and weight
The weight of the final bread product is controlled by law(Food and Drugs Act). Sometimes the production date and the weight has to be mentioned on the wrapping paper. When a bread product has to weigh 500 g after baking, 550 g of dough is necessary.

5.2.9 Proofing time and dough handling
During the bread making process the dough is given several fermentation periods interrupted by dough handling, to get a nice bread of a good volume, fine structure, good taste and good digestibility. The effect of the different proofing periods is an increased carbon dioxide development, a better dough development resulting in increased gas retention ability. The following proofing periods can be identified: sponge fermentation, 1st bulk fermentation, 2nd bulk fermentation, intermediate proof, and final proof and oven spring. The effect of all dough handling is to stop temporarily the stretching of the gluten by pressing out the gas, to get an equal distribution of the dough cells throughout the dough and to increase the number of dough cells causing a fine structure. The fermentation time is influenced by the quality of the flour, the dough temperature, the type of product, the bakery temperature and humidity, the stiffness of the dough, the amount of yeast added, the amount of other ingredients in the recipe and the activity of the enzymes.

5.2.10 The final moulding


After the intermediate proof the dough piece is turned upside down, the carbon dioxide removed and the gas bubbles are divided into more by flattening the dough.



The dough piece is stretched, the ends are folded inside and pressed in a way that a trapezoid shape is obtained.



The dough will be rolled up, making thicker ends and putting it with the lock downwards. The thicker ends will give a straight product after baking.



5.2.11 Mistakes in moulding

Too tight.
The gluten will break and sometimes you will get a loose top crust.


Too loosely moulded.
Holes are inside because the layers do not stick together.



Too much dusting flour.
Holes and white lines can be seen after baking



No thick ends.
The loaf is not straight but has sloping sides.



5.2.12 Carbon dioxide and gluten development
The whole process is based on an optimum carbon dioxide and gluten development. The dough temperature, baking temperature and humidity, the amount of sugar and the amount of water affect carbon dioxide production. Gluten development is affected by the flour quality, the kneading time, the stiffness of the dough and the amount and type of bread improver. An optimum carbon dioxide and gluten development results in a good quality great with a high volume and a fine structure. A smooth oven spring proves a good processing of the dough. When the fingers are pressed into the dough feeling very little resistance, the bread is ready for baking.

5.2.13 The baking process
During baking the dough will be changed from a pliable shape into a fixed shape, the taste will be developed and the crust will be formed. When bread is put into the oven, water will evaporate from the crust. The crust formation will start after the loaf has reached its maximum volume. The yeast has died at 50 C and the gelatinization of the starch begins.  At 70 C the protein coagulates releasing water which will be absorbed by the starch. The volume increases, the skin will crack as well as the cell walls. The water starts evaporating, the protein is coagulated, the starch gelatinises, the structure and shape fixed. At 110 C the crust becomes thicker, the temperature increases and colouring starts. During baking the oven temperature and baking time are very important. In general small products have to be baked at a high temperature for a short period, big products have to be baked at a lower temperature for a longer period. The heat is penetrating small products much faster than big products. The type of bread, the addition of other ingredients like sugar and milk powder are other factors influencing the baking temperature and time. The stiffness of the dough, the amount of fat and the filling are just minor factors. During baking steam will be developed by the evaporation of water from the dough and will give bloom to the crust. Some products like crispy bread require the addition of steam before baking to increase the volume and make the crust crispy.

5.2.14 Characteristics of good bread
To define a good loaf, one must have some knowledge of the desirable qualities of a particular type of bread and how these qualities are produced. The desirable features of a good loaf can be listed under two headings, external and internal.

External   Internal
volume colour
symmetry of shape structure
bloom sheen, texture
crust colour flavour and aroma
evenness of bake crumb clarity and elasticity
oven break moistness
cleanliness cleanliness

A good loaf is the result of:

A fair volume with a structure, which is not too open, is required for common bread.

Symmetry of shape
The dictionary defines it as a beauty resulting from right properties, or a harmony between the parts. lt is brought about by correct dough fermentation and moulding.

Natural bloom is the glow that denotes excellent fermentation, the use of good raw materials and fine workmanship.

Crust colour
The right baking temperature, good raw materials and correctly fermented dough will obtain the right colour. Pale dull coloured bread is mainly caused by the absence of sugar. A harsh red-brown colour is caused by an under fermented dough. A dried out skin will give a poor crust colour.

Evenness of bake
Depends on the quality of the oven and the way the oven is operated like loading, heating etc.

Oven break
Properly processed dough will "break'' properly during the first period of the baking process. When an oven break is not required give the dough a longer final proof.

Internal colour
The type of flour used and the structure of the crumb influence the colour. The right fermentation, manipulation and proving and baking conditions cause a fine regular crumb structure.

The structure of an ordinary tin loaf should have round fairly small dough cells and they should be regularly and evenly distributed. First class raw materials and good processing of the dough achieve this.

Sheen and texture
The way a cut surface reflects light will indicate the condition on the structure, which is called sheen. Over fermented dough will give a "woolly" and tight dough will give a "drummy" texture.

Flavour and aroma
The use of yeast, proper processing and baking will give a well-developed flavour and aroma. Longer fermentation processes will give a fuller taste, short processes are characterised by a flat taste.

Crumb clarity and elasticity
The crumb, when pressed, should return when the pressure is raised, this is called elasticity.

The water content, the fermentation, the salt, other ingredient like fat and malt and the baking conditions determine the moistness of a loaf.

5.2.15 Bread faults
Bread faults are not easy to diagnose, because they can arise from so many causes. The causes can be grouped into five main categories:

External bread faults

Possible causes

lack of volume

  • poor flour

  • too much-salt

  • over or under kneading

  • too low a dough temperature cooling down of dough during processing

  • too short a final proof

  • wrong humidity during fermentation and baking

  • too big a tin size

  • too high an oven temperature

excessive loaf volume

  • too little salt

  • too much developed dough over proofing

  • too small a tin

  • low oven temperature

pale crust colour

  • not enough sugar

  • too much fermentation

  • too high a dough temperature

  • dry skin during final proof

  • low oven temperature

  • too short a baking time

dark crust colour

  • too much sugar

  • too short-a-fermentation time high-oven temperature too much top-heat over baking

  • leaking oven


thick crust

  • low sugar content

  • crusting during final proof low oven temperature

  • too long a baking time

shell top (flying top)

  • stiff dough

  • under developed--dough

  • too short a final proof leaking oven

  • skinning during final proof

no oven break

  • poor flour

  • under or over developed dough

  • not enough fermentation

  • high oven temperature

  • dry oven


Internal faults

Possible causes

grey crumb colour

  • too much malt

  • too much fermentation

  • high dough temperature

  • low oven temperature

streaky crumb

  • poor dough kneading

  • excessive dusting flour

  • crusting before final moulding

  • too much divider oil

  • poor moulding

  • old dough pick up during final moulding

  • crusting of sponge

  • too much greasing oil

coarse grain

  • poor flour

  • stiff doughs

  • soft doughs

  • over kneading

  • young doughs

  • poor moulding

  • too little dough for tin size too low an oven temperature

poor texture

  • stiff doughs poor mixing

  • skinning at all stages

  • too high a temperature during intermediate and final proof

  • over fermentation

  • too little dough for tin size

  • too low an oven temperature

poor flavour

  • poor raw materials

  • too low or too high a salt percentage

  • unbalanced recipe

  • poor storage conditions

  • over   fermentation

  • under   fermentation

  • unsanitary plant conditions

  • old pan grease

  • absorption external odours

poor keeping qualities

  • unbalanced recipe

  • low sugar content

  • poor raw materials

  • oven fermentation

  • low baking temperature

  • poor bread cooling

holes in bread 

  • weak flour

  • too short a kneading time

  • stiff doughs

  • too much fermentation

  • poor moulding

  • too much dusting flour

  • too much divider oil

  • too high a fermentation temperature

  • flashy ovens