Tuesday, February 1, 2011

12 Steps of Baking

Phase 4, Week 2, Day 6

At first, baking seemed fun, and then we reached the 12 steps of baking. Basically, if you mess up on one of the 12 steps you are screwed. What fun is in that!? And the whole proof box thing (see below)- if you don't have one at home your options are limited, again what fun is that? The bread machine, although making an inferior product is sounding better and better to me....

Step 1- Scaling
Accurately scale ingredients and bring to room temperature (80-85 degrees)

Step 2- Mixing
3 main goals to achieve. 1) evenly distribute yeast. 2) properly develop gluten. 3) create a smooth and uniform dough.

Step 3- Fermentation (Bulk Proof)
Yeast + sugar + starch = carbondioxide and alcohol. To occur dough should be held at 80% humidity and between 85-95 degrees. Typically in a proof box, or small warm enclosed area with a pan of water; ie., water heater closet or bathroom after a shower (ew!). Proofing is accomplished when dough is doubled in size or holds and indent.

Step 4- Folding
Press down the dough, folding sides to the center to squeeze the air bubbles out.

Step 5- Portioning
Determine desired finished shape and knife and scale.

Step 6- Pre Shaping and rounding
This seals cut ends and seams and stretches the gluten to create a smooth skin.

Step 7- Benching
Let rest covered for 10-15 minutes. This also relaxes the gluten.

Step 8- Makeup, Shaping, Panning

Step 9- Proofing (Final Fermentation)
Proof until doubles in size, dough will be softer and slightly sticky. Don't move your product around at this point.

Step 10- Baking
Before putting in the oven determine if you will need to wash or score your product. Also upon putting in the oven you will also need to use steam for your lean doughs during the first part of the baking process, this makes a nice crust.

Lean doughs go in at 400-450 and rich doughs at 350-400. During the baking process ovenspring occurs where you will see a rapid expansion of trapped gas. Gelatinazation of starches, coagulation of proteins, melting of fat, and carmelization of sugars also happens.

Bake based on color not on time.

Step 11-Cooling
Cool at room temperature for up to 8 hours

Step 12- Storing
After 8 hours wrap and store in freezer.

Step 13- Eat!!!

Know you know what I mean, pain in the arse, but worth it if you have the right equipment and don't have t use your shower.

Today I attended the night class again and we got called out early due to weather. So we only made our French Bread dough. We didn't have a chance to proof it and  bake it off (Steps 3-10), too bad because it's on our practical later this week. Sabatougie!


  1. totally jealous! i miss baking. we should get together and bake one of these days, i'm thinking challah?

  2. agreed. too much work. I love artisan bread in 5 minutes. as a matter of fact..I am going to go start some now.