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12 Steps in Bread Making

Scaling – accurately weighing out your ingredients per the formula you are following

Mixing – each formula uses specific mixing times and speeds to properly mix the dough in order to provide the maximum gluten development

Fermentation (1st proof) – the chemical leavening process where the yeast acts on the flour and generates alcohol and carbon dioxide which in turn causes gluten development and flavors the dough

Punching – after the dough has fermented for the time the formula dictates, the dough is punched down to expel the gasses, redistribute the yeast, relax the gluten, and equalize the heat created by the chemical reaction

Rounding – the dough is rounded into a tight ball to expel most of the gasses

Benching – the dough is allowed to rest

Makeup and Panning – the dough is shaped or placed in the appropriate pan before baking

Proofing – the dough is allowed its 2nd fermentation

Scoring, Wash, and Baking:

Scoring - the dough is scored to help keep its desired shape by allowing an area for excess gasses to escape while it is baking. The cuts, also contributes to the overall appearance of the bread, making it more appealing and distinctive.


Water: primarily used for hard-crusted products, such as French bread. Water keeps the crust from drying too fast and becoming to thick.

Starch Paste: primarily used for Rye breads. Keeps the crust from drying out and adds shine to the crust.

Egg Wash: is used to give a shiny brown golden crust to soft breads, rolls, rich dough, and Danish

Baking - is the process in which the dough undergoes chemical changes when heat is applied.

Oven Spring: is the rapid rise due to the production and expansion of trapped gasses as a result of heat. The yeast is very active at first then is killed when the temperature inside the dough reaches 140ºF (60ºC).

Coagulation of proteins and gelatinization of starches: Coagulation of the proteins in the dough begins at about165º F (74º C). That is why it is critical that the temperature of the oven is set correctly per the formula you are using. If the temperature is off and is too high, the coagulation begins prematurely, resulting in a lack of volume and/or a bad crust formation where the crust splits open. If it’s too low, coagulation doesn’t begin soon enough which affects the structure and the bread fails.

Crust formation: A crust is formed by evaporation. As the moisture is released, the surface of the bread dries out, the sugars begin to caramelize (Maillard reaction) which in turn adds flavor to the bread. Milk, sugar, and eggs increase browning. A rich golden brown crust and a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom is a good sign that the bread is fully baked.

Cooling – the finished bread is allowed to cool.

Storing – proper steps are taken to limit staling times.

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