In italics, I leave the parts already covered, while I use bold for the topics introduced in each new course entry.
Innograin’s blog already contains a considerable amount of material that one might get lost in or not fully utilize. That’s why I’ve decided to organize some of the entries into the form of a course.
My idea is to gradually incorporate some entries into this course each week so that it’s not too heavy or time-consuming. I’ll probably do the updates on Fridays so that some people can use their weekends to catch up. However, the course will remain permanently accessible, so you can read the entries at your own pace. Nevertheless, if anyone wants to search for a specific topic, the blog has a search function on the right side (just enter the search terms). Additionally, there’s a guide on how to navigate the blog as the main entry.
The blog is written in Spanish. Throughout the course I will translate each entry discussed in the course into English. If you are interested in a topic that has not yet been translated, you can use the Google Translate that is to the right of each entry.
Bread is a product made from flour (usually wheat), water, salt, and yeast. So, we’ll start by getting to know these ingredients and the functionality of their components. But most bread also incorporates other products such as enzymes, additives, fats, or other ingredients. Furthermore, these other ingredients are present in the production of other baked goods, such as cakes or cookies, so we’ll also discuss them during the course.
In addition to the ingredients, we should address some aspects of the processing. We already know that making bread requires mixing and kneading the ingredients, shaping the dough, fermenting, and baking. But it’s also possible to incorporate a sourdough starter, for example. And other products, like cakes or cookies, require different processing methods. All of these will be covered in this course. Let’s not forget the various types of bread and baked products made around the world.
So, without further delay, let’s get started.
Before anything else, we need to get to know wheat flour a little better and its functionality in making these types of products since it’s the primary ingredient. But before we talk about flour, we need to discuss its components, starting with protein, which usually receives the most attention.
- Wheat Flour
Wheat protein can form the gluten network, which gives the dough its unique characteristics.
Starch is the predominant component in flour, yet it often receives little attention, despite its significant importance.
Although we usually refer to flour quality in terms of gluten quality or the influence of gluten on dough, there are other important parameters. There are also significant defects that flour can have that are not related to gluten. In the first entry on flour quality, we’ll cover these parameters and defects, which are not always well-known.
This is undoubtedly the most visited entry on the blog.
In a new entry in the course, we’ll delve into the relationship between wheat proteins and flour quality, as well as how they adapt to various processes.
Unfortunately, conventional measurements of proteins used in other ingredients do not provide adequate information about flour’s suitability for different processes, especially in baking or other processes where the gluten network is developed. For this reason, specific analysis equipment has been developed to simulate the processes that occur during baking.
For example, there are machines that simulate kneading:
Others simulate shaping or handling of the dough:
And there are also machines that simulate the fermentation process:
All of these machines can provide valuable information, but they need to be used and understood correctly.
Next week, we will continue expanding.