Sourdough can be made with variations in the following parameters: flour type—wheat/rye, flour extraction rate, flour/water ratio, temperature, time and amount of starter. Sourdough can also be made in one to three steps. The one-stage process is the basic way to make a sourdough and is widely used. Two- and three-step sourdoughs have traditionally been used in rye bread production in many German bakeries (21). Industrialization in bakeries has also included sourdough production, where the time-consuming multiple-stage processes have changed to the work-saving one-stage process. Traditional rye sourdoughs have often been based on firm sourdoughs, but in automated large-scale bakeries, firm sourdoughs are difficult to handle, and they have been replaced by pumpable semifluid to fluid sourdoughs that are suitable for automated fermentation systems. Today, continuous fermentation plants are used in many bakeries in Europe, and they are described in detail in Chapter 42. The following deals with how sourdough fermentation can be influenced by the flour type, flour extraction rate, fermentation temperature, water content in sourdough, and by the amount of added ripe sourdough.
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