Bread Preparation Processes

    Generally, there are four primary processes for white pan bread and other yeast-raised bakery foods. The newer process requiring specialized equipment is the continuous mix process. It is considered to be the "computerized" process. The other three, the sponge dough, straight, and brew processes may utilize identical equipment. The sponge dough is used both in the home and commercially. Although the straight dough is used occasionally, it is generally used in the home.

    Bread products are formulated with flour being 100 per cent and the other ingredients being compared to that. That is, milk may be 5% of 100% flour weight.

    Each process requires a fermentation phase, dividing, panning, proofing, baking, cooling, and storage.
    Straight Dough The straight dough process is the most frequently used in the home and for variety breads and rolls. The process consists of mixing all the ingredients at one time. The dough is fully developed during the one mixing cycle and, generally, fermented for 1-3 hours. Once the fermentation products is completed it divided, panned, and baked.
    Sponge Dough This process is the most frequently used process in white bread production. Essentially, the process blends 60-70% of the flour with the yeast, yeast food, and two-thirds of the water. This blend is allowed to ferment for 3-5 hours. The initial temperature of 24C should rise approximately 6C with the yeast activity. Generally, the sponge will expand and actually collapse. If allowed to ferment after the sponge begins to collapse, it will become more flavorful. Following fermentation, the remaining flour, water, salt, and other optional ingredients will be mixed to a soft, pliable mass. At the point of this mixing the temperature is approximately 27C.
    Brew Process This process blends the yeast, a small amount of sugar and 0 to 60% of the total flour with a portion or all the water. It is extremely liquid like and allowed the ferment 1-3 hours. If there is no flour present, fermentation of brew may be only an hour; however, the time required will increase as increasing amount of flour is added to the initial brew time. During the brewing period, temperature will rise 3 to 5 degrees from an original 28 to 30C. Once brewed,
    Continuous Mix This is the brew system which utilizes a continuous mixer for all the ingredients. Essentially, the materials from the brew continue "down the line" of a computerized system.

    The advantages and disadvantages of each method are generalized as follows.

    Mixing Method Advantages Disadvantages
    Straight Dough
  1. little equipment required
  2. minimal space required for fermentation
  3. short production time
  4. less flexibility of time due to total process of material
  5. sensitive to processing delays
  6. shelf life is shorter than other process
  7. Sponge Dough
  8. good flavored, textured product
  9. good shelf life
  10. flexibility in process time and development
  11. process requires a longer time for completion than straight dough
  12. Process requires several mixing time.
  13. Brew Process
  14. this process requires little space for fermentation
  15. this process has considerable process time flexibility
  16. temperature and fermentation time is very sensitivity
  17. refrigerant is needed to keep brew cool
  18. Continuous Mix
  19. uses the brew system and one continuous computerized setup
  20. relatively small amount of equipment
  21. equipment is very expensive
  22. less bread flavor
  23. bread is crumbly and breaks easily

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