Bread Making Methods

BREAD MAKING METHODS


When I was new  to bread baking, I came across a lot of different methods that got me a little confused. Over time I have tried many and here is the summary of bread making methods compiled from difference sources online for your easy reference.

STRAIGHT DOUGH/DIRECT DOUGH 

This method is the easiest and most basic for making bread. A first time baker should start with this to grasp the process before proceeding to other methods. All the ingredients are directly mixed and kneaded together.  After kneading, the dough is left to proof. First proofing (bulk fermentation) is usually for about 60+- minutes or until doubled in size.  This is followed with shaping and then a second proofing before baking.

PRE-FERMENTED DOUGH/STARTER DOUGH 

This is a dough that mixed separately and left to ferment slowly for a period of time before adding to the bread dough.  The purpose is to get a better flavor and aroma due to a higher production of carbon dioxide, alcohol and enzymes during the slow fermentation.  The dough is more hydrated and mature, hence the bread is softer.

There are few types of pre-ferment dough methods. Eg. Biga, Poolish, Pate Fermentee/Old Dough, Sponge and Madre Bianca.

1.  Biga:

Biga is an Italian traditional method with low hydration or a stiffer dough.  It takes a longer time to finish the fermentation if compared with a poolish dough containing the same percentage of yeast. 

  1. Dough, use 25% - 50% of total flour from the recipe to create Biga.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 100% : 55% 
  3. Dough use 0.25% - 1 % yeast for the total flour of Biga. The longer the time of fermentation, the less yeast is required.
  4. Ferment at room temperature (air-conditioned room in hot climate) for 15-18 hours or retard in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  5. Method often used for Ciabatta, Focaccia and Italian breads.

2.  Poolish:

This technique was developed by Polish baker’s in Vienna, later adopted by French bakers according to some online articles.  But, there is no solid evidence of where the term “poolish” originated.  Poolish’s are a high hydration and wet dough.

  1. Doug,h use 25% - 50% of total flour from the recipe to create Poolish.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 100% : 100%
  3. Dough use 0.25% - 1 % yeast of total flour of Poolish.  The longer time of fermentation, the less yeast is required.
  4. Ferment at room temperature (air-conditioned room in hot climate) for 12 - 18 hours.
  5. Often used for Baguettes, Country Loaves and other crusty breads.

3.  Pate Fermentee/Old Dough:

Pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough".  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion (usually 1/3) of the bread dough and save it overnight for next day’s baking.  If you do not make bread every day, you can still make this old dough from scratch.

  1. Dough, use 25% - 50% of total flour from the recipe to create old dough.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 100% : 60%
  3. Dough use 0.25% - 1 % yeast
  4. Dough use 1 – 2% salt
  5. Dough use 1 - 2% sugar
  6. Ferment at room temperature (air-conditioned room in hot climate) for 12- 16 hours or retard in the fridge for 24 – 36 hours.
  7. Can be used for almost anything.

4.  Sponge Dough:

Sponge dough is popular in Asia, America and Central Europe.  It produces bread with a unique aroma, soft crumb and better shelf-life. 

  1. Dough, use 50% - 80% of total flour from the recipe to create Sponge Dough.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 100% : 60%
  3. Dough use all the yeast of the total flour recipe (1% - 5%)
  4. Ferment at room temperature (air-conditioned room in hot climate) for 2 – 8 hours or use as soon as there are plenty of bubbles on the surface.
  5. Often used for enriched breads/sweet breads or breads that don’t necessarily need more structure.

SCALDED DOUGH METHOD

Yudane vs Tangzhong (Water Rouz) Method:

Both Yudane and Tangzhong uses a method of scalding a small portion of the dough either by cooking or scalding.  Cooking the flour causes the starch to gelatinize. This make the texture of bread soft and fluffy.

According to some bloggers, Yudane was invented by Mr Saito of Japanese flour company.  Whereas Tangzhong (Water Roux) is a Chinese method.

1.  Yudane Method: 

Bread using this method is soft and  stays fresh longer than most other ordinary homemade bread.  It is because of lactobacilli bacteria fermentation (good bacteria fermentation).
  1. Dough uses 20% of total flour in the recipe.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 1:1
  3. Boiling water is used to scald the flour (instead of cooking over the fire).
  4. The scalded dough may only be used 4 hours later (minimum) or overnight in the fridge.

2.  Tangzhong (Water-Roux) 湯種) Method:

  1. Dough uses 7% of total flour in the recipe.
  2. Dough ratio of flour and water = 1:5
  3. Dough is cooked under low fire until it becomes thickened to a glue like texture.
  4. The cooked dough can be used once it’s cooled down or you may also store overnight in the fridge.
Sources:


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