The Baking Process

The changes undergone by a dough or batter as it bakes are basically the same for all baked products, from breads to cookies and cakes. You should know what these changes are so you can learn how to control them.

The stages in the baking process take place as follows.

1. Formation and expansion of gases.

Some gases are already present in the dough, as in proofed bread dough and in sponge cake batters. As they are heated, the gases expand and leaven the product.

Some gases are not formed until heat is applied.Yeast and baking powder form gases rapidly when first placed in the oven. Steam is also formed as the moisture of the dough is heated.

Leavening and leavening agents are discussed in more detail beginning on page 903.

2. Trapping of the gases in air cells.

As the gases form and expand, they are trapped in a stretchable network formed by the proteins in the dough.These proteins are primarily gluten and, sometimes, egg protein.

Without gluten or egg protein, the gases would escape, and the product would not be leavened. Breads without enough gluten are heavy.

3. Coagulation of proteins.

Like all proteins, gluten and egg proteins coagulate or solidify when they reach high enough temperatures.This is the process that gives structure to baked goods.

Correct baking temperature is important. If the temperature is too high, coagulation will start too soon, before the expansion of gases has reached its peak.The product will have poor volume or a split crust. If the temperature is too low, the proteins will not coagulate soon enough, and the product may collapse.

4. Gelatinization of starches.

The starches absorb moisture, expand, and become firmer.

5. Evaporation of some of the water.

This takes place throughout the baking process.

6. Melting of shortenings.

Different shortenings melt—and release trapped gases—at different temperatures, so the proper shortening should be selected for each product.

As the fats melt, they surround the air cells and make the product more tender.

7. Crust formation and browning.

Browning occurs when sugars caramelize and starches and proteins undergo certain changes.This contributes to flavor. Milk, sugar, and egg increase browning. A crust is formed as water evaporates from the surface and leaves it dry.

Continue reading here: Staling

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  • EMMI
    What is the bakery production process?
    7 months ago
  • Teemu Oramo
    Why is it so important to know the changes udergone by a dough or batter as it bakes?
    2 years ago