Wednesday 27 March 2013




Bread of today comes in various shapes & sizes. They are available as round, oval, square, long with a square or crispy crust. Bread has become internationalized. Central Europe is the undisputed heart of bread baking culture. Japan has also recently developed a taste for the baked grain.


Cereals have been part of our diet for over 10,000years. In early times, people still roasted and ate grains, later they began to crush them between stones & mix them together with water to form a paste or dough. This dough was then baked into a flat loaf in the ashes of the fire or on the stones that were heated by the sun. These early dough breads were hard & edible only when fresh. Grain & heat are the fundamental elements in bread making. Strictly speaking, this early bread cannot really be described as bread, since no raising agent was used. The discovery of leavened bread is often attributed to the ancient Egyptians. According to legend, someone once forgot a batch of dough & thus made the surprising discovery of soft open – crumb bread.
The first reliable written source recoding the use of leavened bread is found in the Bible in the book of Exodus, chapter 12, which says that people of Israel already knew how to make bread with leavening at the time of their flight from Egypt (1400 to 1200 BC)


In addition to its importance in the human diet & in society, bread has always had a high symbolic value & is considered by all farmers to be scared. In many different cultures, breads play a role in marriage ceremonies where they symbolize lifelong union & family. High ranking figures such as kings & politicians are honoured with gifts of bread, & everyone recognizes bread & salt as simple symbols of hospitality & good wishes.




·         Turkish flat bread
·         Jewish matzot
·         American bagel
·         Italian ciabatta
·         English tea bread
·         French baguettes
·         German crusty bread
·         Irish soda bread
·         Tuscan white bread
·         Kaviarbrot (German baguette)
·         Swiss baton
·         Pitta bread
·         Focassia
·         Portuguese Country bread


Major ingredients are:
1.      Flour
2.      Yeast
3.      Water
4.      Salt
5.      Sugar
6.      Fat
7.      Milk


1.      FLOUR – It is composed of the following
Starch 71.5 to 74.5%
Moisture 13.5 to 14.0%
Protein (gluten forming) 7.0 to 10.0%
Protein (soluble) 1.0%
Sugar 2.0 to 2.5%
Fat 1.0%
Ash (mineral salts) 0.5%
            When starch is heated to 140°F with about six times of its wt of water, starch cells swell & cell wall bursts. Starch becomes soluble in water & in concentrated form will form a gel. This process is known as gelatinization. In breads, water available to starch is insufficient & inner temperature of bread does not reach gelatinization point until the last stages of baking. Hence bread is only partially gelatinized.
            Flour contains soluble & insoluble proteins. Soluble proteins are useful in providing nourishment to yeast for its growth & reproduction during fermentation process. Two insoluble proteins Gliadin &Glutenin form a rubbery material when water is added to flour & it is mixed.
This rubbery material is known as “Gluten” and is responsible for formation of structure of baked products. Glutenin gives strength to the dough in order to enable it to hold gases during baking operation & Gliadin gives elastic or stretching properties to dough.

2.      YEAST – helps in the process of fermentation. Bread doughs are fermented basically for two reasons
·        Production of CO2 gas which gives volume to the product.
·         For maturing or conditioning the dough (gluten), so that it attains sufficient mellowness to stretch under the pressure of CO2 gas & form the structure of the product.
Yeast contains certain enzymes by of yeast which fermentation activity of yeast is made possible. Zymase is the specific fermenting enzyme in yeast. Thus the function of yeast is to raise & condition the dough so it turns from a heavy mass into a light, porous, elastic products, which when baked, is appetizing, easily digestible & nutrition.
In olden days, most of the bakers used Barm method of bread making. A liquid media was made with hops decoction, boiled potatoes, sugar, flour etc. in which wild yeast was cultured.
These days, bakers use either dry yeast or compressed yeast. Compressed yeast should be used 2 to 2.5 times of dried yeast & should be stored at above 45°F.

3.       WATER – water binds together the insoluble proteins of flour, which form gluten. Any water which is fit to drink can be used for bread making. Water contains minerals. These minerals in limited quantities have a beneficial effect on gas production as the yeast requires minerals for vigorous fermentation. The gas retention of the dough is also improved as minerals have a tightening action on gluten.
Medium hard water is considered to be most suitable for bread production.

4.       SALT –
·         Imparts taste to bread.
·         Has a controlling effect on yeast activity (by virtue of controlling enzyme activity, thus keeps the fermentation speed under check.
·         Has a tightening action on flour proteins thus improving the gas retention power of the dough.
·         Being hygroscopic substance, it helps to keep the bread fresh & moist for longer time.
·         Indirectly responsible for giving crust colour.

5.       SUGAR –
·         Main function of sugar in bread making is to provide food for yeast, which in turn, produces CO2 gas that raises the dough fabric.
·         Helps in enhancing the flavor of bread.
·         Being hygroscopic substance helps in retention of moisture in bread.
·         Contributes to the familiar golden brown crust colour of bread.

6.       FAT – is used in bread dough at the rate of 1 to 2%.
·         Improves the nutritional value of bread.
·         Has lubricating effect on gluten strands enabling the bread to acquire good volume.
·         Helps in retention of moisture in bread & improves its slicebility.

7.       MILK –
·         Improves the nutritional value of bread.
·         Has a tightening effect on flour proteins which improves the gas retention power of dough.
·         Improves the flavor & taste
·         Of bread.
·         Due to lactose sugar, the crust colour & water retention power of bread is improved.
In bakery, it is always advisable to use skimmed milk powder which has a better shelf life.

8.       Egg – (optional)
·         Improves the nutritional value of bread.
·         Softens the gluten strands.


According to the type of bread to be prepared, right selection of raw material should be done. The raw materials are

a.       Refined flour
It is composed of
                                                                                                        I.            Starch
                                                                                                      II.            Moisture
                                                                                                    III.            Protein
                                                                                                    IV.            Protein
                                                                                                      V.            Sugar
                                                                                                    VI.            Fat
                                                                                                  VII.            Ash
b.      Yeast
                                                                                I.            Compressed yeast
                                                                              II.            Dried yeast
c.       Water
d.      Salt
e.      Sugar
f.        Fat
g.       Milk

It involves
a.       Flying ferment
b.      Flour is sifted
c.       Salt & sugar are dissolved in water
d.      Mixing of flour, water with salt & sugar
e.      Mixing by hand or machine
f.        Addition of ferment, dough is developed
g.       Flour picks up all water, known as “pick up”.
h.      Gluten starts forming & takes up water, known as “drying up”.
i.         More mixing leads to dough pulling away from mixing arm / table top. Known as “clean up”.
j.        Melted butter / fat added. Dough absorbs all.

It is a process whereby yeast feeds on sugar & produce CO2 gas and alcohol. CO2 gas raises the dough fabric. Part of alcohol evaporates & part is converted into acetic acid & the remaining contributes to the characteristic flavor of bread.

Sources of sugar in fermenting dough

*      Natural sugar present in the flour
*      Sugar added in the mix
*      Sugar produced from the starch of flour through enzyme action.



Some quantities of glycerin, lactic acid, acetic acid & succinic acid are also produced. These acid & protease enzyme together have a mellowing effect on the gluten. Dough should be fermented in the right environment i.e. 78°F to 80°F with relative humidity 70 to 75%.

  •      KNOCK BACK

After the straight dough is fermented for 2/3 rd of its estimated fermentation time, it is knocked back.
Reasons for knock back
ü  When the dough is fermenting, the temperature of the upper surface is lower than the temperature of the bottom part of the dough. This causes uneven fermentation. By knock back, the temperature of the whole mass of dough gets even & fermentation speed becomes even.
ü  When dough has fermented for some time, the yeast cell is surrounded by gas as a result of which food gets cut off, thus reducing the rate of fermentation. By knockback, gas is expelled & yeast cell is again in position to carry out its
function efficiently.
ü  After the dough has fermented for some time, the gluten is in a stretched condition & if it is allowed to remain so, it will collapse by itself leading to uneven distribution of gas pockets. By knock-back, condition of dough becomes even.

Ø  Gluten becomes pliable & in a fit condition for further processing.


Ø  While dividing, pulling & breaking should be avoided.
Ø  Dividing should be done using a regular dough cutter.
Ø  When dough is cut, the cut surface is exposed while the remaining surface has a stretched gluten film. Cut surface leads to escape of some gas known as bleeding.
Ø  To counteract bleeding, dough piece is rounded to make it uniforms. It is known as handing up also.


Ø  During rounding some gas escapes & some gluten strands collapse.
Ø  If dough is further worked upon, can lead to rough surface affecting texture of bread.
Ø  Resting for 10 to 15 minutes should be done.
Ø  Piece is again filled with gas & gluten comes back to its pliable condition.

Ø  Dough moulded to desired shape.
Ø  Moulding pressure should be even throughout. Uneven pressure leads gas pockets.
Ø  Too loose moulding will open up texture to undesirable extent.
Ø  Too tight moulding may tear off surface.

·         PROOFING

Ø  Done to allow dough to rise again & acquire volume
Ø  Ideal temperature 95°F to 98°F. Humidity 80 – 83%.
·         BAKING

Ø  Oven should be pre-heated 400 – 480°F
Ø  Humidity should be well maintained.
Ø  Due to increase in temperature, yeast starts functioning vigorously producing gas which raises volume of the product known as ‘over spring’.
Ø  Proteins are coagulated at 172°C.
Ø  Enzymes remain active to about 170°F, breaking starch into sugar which will give crust colour.
Ø  Partial gelatinization of starch takes place.

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