Process of Bread Making : (1. Mixing Ingredients (One of the main reasons…
Process of Bread Making :
1. Mixing Ingredients
One of the main reasons for mixing is to evenly combine the ingredients. The science behind it though is that it allows the development of gluten. This makes the dough flexible and elastic.When the water is added to the flour, the gluten molecules link together to form chains of gluten which is the structure of the bread.
Since it is mixing that creates the gluten and the gluten that makes the dough elastic, too much mixing can make it too stretchy. Not enough mixing can leave patches of uncombined ingredients that will not rise in the bread. As a baker, you will know the perfect texture for your bread.
A simple bread recipe calls for flour, yeast, salt and water. The warm water is mixed with the yeast to activate it. Then they are combined to form an elastic dough.
Sometimes baking soda and or baking powder is added into the bread mixture as a substitute for yeast. Some consider it a faster and easier route than using yeast. Both have similar reactions to yeast which is that they create carbon dioxide. But the baking soda may not get broken down during the process and leave a bitter taste that yeast would not leave.
2. Rising/ Fermentation
When the dough is left to rise, you may notice that it doubles in size. This is because the yeast cells are actually growing as they begin the process of breaking down carbohydrates into carbon dioxide. Basically the cells are filling with gas.
The dough becomes smooth and can begin to have gas holding properties.
4. Second Rising
Second rising is your 4th step. Second rising fills the bread with more bubbles of gas. This gives your bread the mushroom top shape.
Some gas holes are formed too large during the rising. Kneading forms an even distribution of these gas bubbles. This helps the bread to rise correctly. It also helps the chains of gluten to become stronger and stiffer. Your bread dough should be firm and hold its shape. Kneading is a very important step in bread making.
If the dough is not kneaded correctly, it will not rise, but flatten out. Kneading makes the bread stronger so it can help raise itself. If not kneaded correctly, the bread can concave on itself.
The baking step is important. The heat causes the gases inside to expand and rapidly makes the dough grow. The carbon dioxide created by the yeast becomes a gas at a certain temperature and fills up existing gas cells. This makes the dough rise more as the cells continue to expand.
Heat changes liquids to gases by the process of evaporation. Thus the alcohol from the yeast evaporates and the carbon dioxide is formed. This is the main reason yeast is needed in dough. The heat will also eventually kill the yeast when it reaches a certain temperature.
The Crumb: At about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the crumb stabilization begins. Basically, the starch cells will burst and form a paste that structures the dough. Then, as heat continues to increase, the gas cells continue to structure the bread. After the yeast dies, the extra sugars are left to sweeten the bread and create the crust color. This process is known as the Maillard Reaction.
Most bread is not completely baked until it reaches 208 degrees Fahrenheit. It depends on the ingredients used in the bread because if they do not reach a certain temperature, there is a risk of bacteria that is not edible.
6. Cooling and Storing
After the bread comes out of the oven, the outer crust layer is very hot and the inner crust layer is also quite hot. It has to cool, by evaporation of water, or else it will fall apart when it is cut open. If bread is made in factories where it is pre-sliced and packaged, it has to reach a certain temperature to prevent the form of mold in the bread. The trapped moisture from the bread creates the mold.
If you plan to save your bread for future use, you should know that the bread of course goes stale. This is caused by the process of crystallization in which the starch is hardening.One thing you should not do is put your bread into a fridge because it speeds up the stale process . Bread can be stored for only about a week before it is still good to eat.