Pavithra.G 1 andDakshayani.R2

Learn about the key ingredients and their roles in creating delicious baked goods, from bread to pastries. Dive into the baking principle, including temperature control, kneading, fermentation, and proofing, to understand the science behind perfect baked products.

1 III B.Sc (Hons) Agriculture, Anbil Dharmalingam Agriculture College and Research Institute, Dindigul Main Rd, Muthukulam, Navalurkottapattu, Tamil Nadu.

2 Research Scholar (Food Science and Technology), Thanjavur


Baking is an art of science that has become a staple globally. The baked products fetch high market demand and are reported to increase sales of US$ 354.6 billion by 2023. The demand and productivity have increased owing to the development of multiple bakery industries worldwide. The bakery products serve major sources of human nutrition such as carbohydrates, protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants.

In the past decade, the major ingredients for bakery products were flour and water. Now, more ingredients are added to the major ingredients like enrichment materials (fat, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated, honey, malt syrup), fillings (Fruits, jams, frankfurter, ham, bacon, meat, liver, cream, cheese), flavouring agents (spices, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, lemon, anise, ginger, cardamom, cocoa), and food additives. The role of ingredients is shown in table 1. Various bakery products include bread, pastries, cakes, crumbs, and quick-frozen goods.

Table 1 – Art of Bakery Ingredients


Flour Provides structure to the product
Fat It helps in coating gluten and contributes fluffiness to the final product. It also helps in enhancing the flavour of the product and gives a great mouth-feel
Sugar Adds sweetness to the product. It also helps to hold moisture in the finished product
Egg Acts as a leavening agent. It also forms an even and smooth texture of the product as well as contributes to the protein network formation of the baked products.
Water/ Liquid Carries flavour throughout the product. Forms gluten bonds, reacts with starch in protein, and forms a light structure. It also acts as steam during baking, makes it work like a leavening agent and provides the tenderness of the product.
Salt It strengthens gluten and acts as flavour enhancer. It moderates the action of yeast when added to bakery products
Baking soda and baking powder It forms carbon-di-oxide and holds fat pockets, gluten, and starch in the baked products to rise.

Baking Principle

The temperature of raw materials taken for baking is the first step to be under control for preparation. The flour temperature was about 30-32 ºC and the water temperature during mixing was 45 ºC. The water temperature determines the temperature of dough. All the ingredients were weighed, and dry ingredients were sieved before further processing. Kneading is the next process of baking, where the functional ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar, etc.) were mixed to form homogeneous dough. During this process, the gluten network forms and provides a smooth and elastic texture to the dough. Kneading also helps in fermentation and the rise of the dough. The kneading process can be categorized into three major steps, the first stage is pickup, where the dough is cold, lumpy, getting smoother, and absorbing water.  In the second step, the dough reaches the maximum stiffness and changes the colour of the dough. The third and final stage is the formation of gluten, in this stage, the dough is warm, smooth, non-sticky, and elastic. Followed by mixing and kneading, the dough is rested for some time, that is fermentation. During the rest period, the yeast acts on the sugar and starches in the dough, that produces ethanol and carbon dioxide gas. Doubling of the dough is the indication of the fermentation process, where the humidity of dough should be 75% and the temperature should be around 25-30ºC.

The dough is rested for 10 minutes, called intermediate proofing. In this stage, the dough becomes flexible, extensible, and it tears easily. Proofing helps the dough to form a gluten structure and ends the process of fermentation. The volume of dough rises to double to hold the gas produced during fermentation and makes the product retain its shape while baking. The fermented dough takes up the next step, scaling with a baker’s scale. During this process, the dough will be divided into pieces and then passed on for rounding, in which the dough is shaped into round balls and then made into rectangles. Next comes moulding, where the breads are placed in rectangular moulds and placed for baking in a rotary oven. Baking carries forward, as the process of heat and moisture transfers, causing physical, colloidal, microbial, and biochemical changes in the dough. The temperature and time of baking play a major role and the changes that occur during baking are as follows:

  • Dough volume rises rapidly when the gas cell expands.
  • Yeast inactivates at 60ºC
  • Starch gets gelatinized and the protein coagulates at 60-80ºC
  • Crusts are formed that result in caramelization of sugar and Maillard reaction (ie. Browning) occurs at 140-160 ºC.

Once baked, the bread is removed immediately from the oven and placed on cooling racks. Cooling to about 20 ºC and packing will result in the elimination of microbial load. During cooling, the air temperature should be 10-20 ºC with a relative humidity of 70-80% that helps in escaping excess moisture and alcohol created during fermentation (Lawson, 1985).


Bakery products being staple food and popular in various countries has its own place in the market trend. Among bakery products, bread has become popular owing to its use even as food ingredient in many fried products. The art of bread making should be learned in detail to know the faults during bread making and care should be taken while preparing to avoid loss/batch failure/recall by food industry and bakery firms. Small tips in this article could provide eye-opening details to carry forward this art.


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