Technical Presentation 10: Measuring Dough Characteristics during Fermentation/Proofing

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There is no doubt that dough fermentation is utmost important in bread production effecting processing parameters and the end-product quality.  Fermentation not only aims to produce of carbon dioxide from fermentable sugars to aerate the dough but also assists in the ripening or mellowing of the gluten structure of the dough.  When the loaf is in the oven, the gluten is in such a condition that it lets even expansion and retention of the gases in the dough matrix.   The reactions taking place during the fermentation also contributes to flavor development.

However, optimum fermentation time is a crucial parameter required to be determined to achieve the desired volume and bread structure and to get the whole process under the control.  Although the significance of fermentation time is widely known, it is, nevertheless, mostly determined by experience through subjective observations on dough properties instead of utilizing objective methods or instruments.  On the other hand, there are currently available instruments providing valuable information for the bakers to measure the dough development, gas production, and gas retention to determine optimum fermentation time as well as to monitor effects of different yeast types and improvers.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Measure dough characteristics during fermentation.
  2. Determine the optimum fermentation time.
  3. Monitor effects of different types of yeast and additives as well as formulations on dough development, gas production and retention during fermentation.

Dr. M. Hikmet Boyacioglu
KPM Analytics