The Seven Stages in the Baking Process

Formation and expansion of gasses: primarily responsible for leavening bread areaCarbon dioxide — is released by the action of yeast, baking powder, or baking soda when heat is applied.​Air – which is incorporated into the dough or batter during the mixing process.Steam – which is generated by heating the moisture in the dough during baking

  1. Trapping of the gasses in air cells: As gasses are produced they expand and are trapped in an elastic web formed by the proteins in the dough. Without them, the gasses would escape and the product would be poorly leavened. Breads without enough gluten are dense and heavy.

  2. Gelatinization of starches This begins at about 140º F (60º C). The starch in the dough absorbs moisture. As it is heated it expand and firms up contributing to the structure of the bread.

  3. Coagulation of proteins 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. This results 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.

  4. Evaporation of some of the water: ​This takes place throughout the baking process. If a baked product needs to be a specific weight once it has been baked. You must take this into consideration when scaling the dough to compensate for the loss of moisture. Other things to think about is the percentage of surface area to volume, baking time, temperature, and how the product is baked, in a pan or directly on a hearth.

  5. Melting of shortenings: Shortenings melt and release gasses at different temperatures. ​Use the specified shorting the formula calls for or it can affect the outcome of the final product.

  6. Crust formation and browning: 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) this also adds flavor to the bread. Milk, sugar, and eggs increase browning.

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