Leavening of doughs

Leavened dough absorbs up to three times more heat than does unleavened dough, with the heat penetrating further. In a conventional dough process (with weak gluten flour), the flour, water, salt and yeast are added simultaneously and fermentation is at 26-32°C for only a few hours or perhaps overnight at 18-20°C using less yeast (up to 0.3%). In a sponge dough process (with strong gluten flour), a proportion of the flour, water and yeast are mixed first. After the yeast has multiplied, the remaining materials are mixed in.

There are now continuous processes, and furthermore dough fermentation and maturing may be accelerated by the use of oxidising and reducing agents, the so-called no time doughs. Perhaps the best known of these is the Chorleywood Bread Process developed in 1961. This involves the substitution of biological maturation of dough with mechanical and chemical treatments. The dough is mixed in at high speed (in a 'Tweedy kneader') for 3-5 min under vacuum and in the presence of 75 ppm ascorbic acid. It is also necessary to add fat with a high melting point (approximately 0.7% of the weight of the flour) and more water (ca. 3.5%) to soften the dough for the high mechanical input as well as extra yeast.

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