The aim of the bread fermentation is to enable the dough (bread, pizza, cake….) to rise. When the dough is in a hot atmosphere (30-40 ° C), an alcoholic fermentation occurs as yeast or leaven is added and carbon dioxide is released. The CO2 bubbles produced, alter the dough structure (reorganisation of the gluten network). The dough becomes more elastic, the volume increases, the taste changes and the aromas develop. To properly understand proving process, it is important to identify factors affecting the retarded proving process and the 3 different stages of bread fermentation.
- Direct fermentation:
The dough is kneaded, proceeded into a “first fermentation”, weighed, rested, moulded and then fermented very quickly (3-4 hours) and baked immediately.This method produces larger size bread, the crumb is very regular and the crust is thin. However, it has poor shelf life, it dries quickly and tends to soften.
- Indirect Fermentation: delayed pointing also called mass proving:
The dough is mass stored in dough containers or bowls at 6 ° C for a pointing period from 10 to 48 hours (depending on the yeast quantity). The baker can, for example, knead the dough in the afternoon. Fermentation only takes place at night until dawn. The dough pieces will be moulded and baked available in the early morning.
- Indirect Fermentation: the slow proving:
The dough is kneaded, pierced (only for a very short time), weighed and then molded. The dough pieces are stored for several hours at a temperature generally between 8 to 15 ° C. Depending on the dose of yeast used and room temperature, the proving time varies. . The dough should be firm. This method of slow proving, allows some freedom for the baker. He can anticipate or delay baking the dough the moment to bake.
- Indirect Fermentation: frozen controlled proving:
The dough is kneaded, proceeded to first fermentation called “benching” (very short), and divided, formed, rested (short term) and shaped. The dough rising is completely blocked at a low temperature (between +2 to +5 ° C) for 24 to 72 hours. The dough has to be firm. A few hours before baking, the dough must rise in temperature (> 15 ° C). The baker may bake several times during the day.
- Indirect Fermentation: frozen pre-proved:
The dough is kneaded, proceeded to benching or first fermentation, rested and shaped. Unlike the two previous methods, the baker starts proving of the dough at 25 ° c. When ¾ of proving time has been reached, the dough is blocked at 4 ° C for several hours (12-20h). This technique allows the baker to hot offer bread to their customers. Depending on demand in the shop, dough pieces are thawed, scored and then baked about 30 minutes later. This method requires a firm dough, rich in yeast and improving agents.