These are mixed and the resulting mixture is permitted to ferment and rise. The chemistry of this process, known as fermentation, is a study in itself. When the sponge reaches the proper stage of development, it is returned to the mixing machine and the remainder of the flour, the milk, the sugar, and other ingredients are added and mixed. The resulting dough is then divided or weighed, allowed to sit for a while, put in pans, and permitted to rise in the pans. The dough is then baked in oven, after which it is cooled, sliced, and wrapped. This process is now known as the conventional method in the trade.
By far the most popular bread in America is white pan bread. A significant change in white pan bread is associated with processing the dough. It’s been part of the innovative effort to improve their food service jobs. After much experimentation, a process known as ‘continuous mix’ was introduced. Essentially, this process was a change in equipment rather than changes in the ingredients. As its name implies, continuous mix starts with a “brew” made from the yeast, and the other ingredients are added in stages. The mixture is put through a pre-mixer that produces finished dough which is put into the pans.
There are significant differences between the conventional and continuous mix processes. The continual mix process is more automated and the bread produced is a more even-textured and softer loaf.
Several significant developments in the manufacture of white pan bread occurred during the last several decades. The one that affects the nutritional content of the loaf was the introduction of enrichment to the bread for formula. Enrichment means the addition of vitamins and minerals. This important step was taken in 1941 by agreement between the government and the group of bakers and millers. Most white breads are now labeled “enriched” and the packaging explains which essential vitamins and minerals are contained in a measured weight of the bread. Through enrichment, and other diseases linked to vitamin deficiencies have been minimized.
There are many types of nationality breads, such as Italian, French, and other European varieties which usually included in their dessert delicacies in their catering jobs. Most of these are baked directly on the oven hearth without pans. The loaves must be eaten when fresh, since the keeping quality is not as good as in pan bread. Many other familiar products are made by the baking industry. Some, such as sweet rolls, Danish pastry, and sandwich buns, are made from yeast-fermented dough. Sweet cakes are leavened by baking powder or a combination of acids such as that in buttermilk, to which soda is added. Whereas these products all contain flour, the proportion of flour to the whole is not nearly as great as in bread. Eggs and sugar, shortening and butter, make up the difference. In the production of cake products, for which formulation and mixing are very important, training is essential. The mixing times, the mixing temperatures, and the baking time and temperature impact the eventual quality of the finished product.
Great skills in involved in placing the finishing touches on the icing and frosting of cake products which is done by the baker similar to executive chef jobs. When the art of baking is mentioned, it is here that one frequently finds the inspiration to become a specialist. In this line of bakery products, real artisanship is most important and corner baker and the multi-unit retailers usually excel in it. In this line of bakery products, real artisanship is most important and the corner baker and the multi-unit retailers usually excel in it. With exactly the same ingredients, same formulation, and identical facilities, one baker may produce a distinctive product while the other may turn out a second-rate item. Even in mass production, differences in quality are discernible.
It is said of bread that it is humanity’s cheapest and best food. Its use persists during highs and lows in the economic cycle. The daily demand for bread products assures steady employment for those who enjoy working in the baking industry. Unlike many industries whose production output can be stockpiled, most bakery products are still made fresh daily. Whether a young person decides to work in a corner bakery or chooses to work in a mass-producing type of bakery, career opportunities are many and varied. There are opportunities in all fields of endeavor, including management, administration, marketing in food service job, as well as packaging, sales management, production and public relations.
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