More Baking Problems Solved edited by Stanley Cauvain and Linda Young

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More Baking Problems Solved
edited by Stanley Cauvain
and Linda Young

The new More Baking Problems Solved is the sequel to Baking Problems solved which has proved to be an excellent and useful handbook for the baking industry.


  • a guide to problem solving that provides answers to further frequently asked questions and baking
  • an essential reference and problem solving manual for professionals and trainees in the industry
  • an ideal companion volume to Baking Problems Solved
  • The companion volume to the popular Baking Problems Solved, More Baking Problems Solved contains an updated guide to problem solving and the answers to further frequently asked questions Once again arranged in a practical question-and-answer format, it will enable busy bakery professionals to understand causes of their problems and implement solutions.



    Problem Solving: A Guide


    • How to problem solve
    • The record
    • The analysis
    • Modelling techniques
    • Matching patterns and visualising changes
    • The information sources
    • New product development
    • Some key ingredient and process factors affecting product quality

    Flours and Grains


    • We have seen references to the ash content with white flours but this is not a figure which appears on the specification from our UK miller - Can you explain what the ash content means and should we ask for it to be determined on our flours?
    • What does the term grade colour figure mean in flour specifications? - How is it measured? - What are the implications for bread quality?
    • Can you explain the functions of the different components in the wheat grain and, after milling, their contributions to the manufacture of baked products? - We understand that millers often use a mixture of different wheats to manufacture the flours that they supply to us - Can you explain why they do this?
    • We have heard several experienced bakers talking about the 'new harvest effect' and the problems that it can cause - Can you explain what is behind this phenomena and how we can mitigate its effects?
    • We have the water absorption capacity of our flour assessed regularly but find that this is different to the actual water level that we use in the bakery - What are the reasons for this difference and is it important for breadmaking?
    • Why is the protein content of wholemeal bread flour typically higher than that of white flours but the bread volume is commonly smaller with the former? - We get a significant variation in the quality of our wholemeal bread and rolls depending on which flour we purchase
    • What characteristics should we look for in a wholemeal flour specification to get more consistent results?
    • Since enzymes such as alpha-amylase are inactivated by heat during baking, is it possible to use heat-treatment of flour to inactivate the enzymes in low Hagberg Falling Number flours before baking?
    • We are considering making traditional German-type rye breads and have researched the recipes and production methods - Do you have any suggestions as to what characteristics we should have in the rye flour?
    • We have changed suppliers of our self-raising flour and find that we are not achieving the same product volume as before - If we adjust the recipe by adding more baking powder we find that the products tend towards collapse - Can you explain why and how do we overcome the problems?
    • We are a bakery working with a local farmer and miller to produce a range of local breads and want to use some different varieties and forms of malted grains that we are producing - Can you advise us on any special issues that we should be aware of?
    • Can we mix oats or oat products with our wheat flours to make bakery products? - If so, are there any special issues that we should be aware of?
    • We wish to add non-wheat fibres to some of our baked products to increase their healthiness - What fibres can we use, in what products and what potential technical problems should we be aware of?
    • What is resistant starch and can it be used in bakery products?

    Other Bakery Ingredients


    • We wish to reduce the level of salt (sodium chloride) that we use in our baked products
    • What do we need to be aware of when making reductions?
    • What alternatives are there to using sodium chloride (common salt) in the manufacture of bread products? - And how can we reduce sodium levels in our other baked products?
    • We have seen references to a 'lag phase' for bakers' yeast; what does this means and what are the implications for baking?
    • Are there any particular precautions that we should take in handling, storing and using bakers' yeast in the compressed form?
    • What different types of bakers' yeast are available?
    • Would there be any particular advantages for us to use an alternative to Saccromyces cerivisii in the manufacture of our fermented products?
    • What effect does vinegar have on bread and why is it added?
    • What ingredients are commonly used as preservatives? - Are there any particular benefits associated with different ones?
    • We have heard that alcohol can be used as a preservative - How is this achieved?
    • What are the possible alternatives to chemically based preservatives?
    • What type of sugar (sucrose) should we use for the different products that we make in our bakery?
    • Can you explain some of the main features of alternative sugars to sucrose and how they might be used in baking?
    • What are the differences between diastatic and non-diastatic malt powders and how can they be used in baking?
    • We read a lot about the different enzymes which are now available and how they might be used in baking - Can you tell us what they are and what functions they have?
    • How do anti-staling enzymes work? - Can they be used in cake as well as in bread and fermented products?
    • Can you explain the different terms used to describe bakery fats?
    • What are the functionalities of the different forms in baking?
    • We want to make a range of bakery products using butter as the main or only fat in the recipe
    • Can you advise us of any special technical issues that we need to take into when using butter?
    • We are using butter in several of our bakery products which comes in chilled at about 4oC (as cartons on pallets) and are encountering problems with variability in its processing
    • We recognize that is likely to be associated with the temperature of the butter when we are using it
    • What is the best way to treat the butter in order to get a more consistent performance?
    • What are the differences between dough conditioners and bread improvers? - What consideration should we take into account when choosing which one to use?
    • What is lecithin and how is it used in baking?
    • What is meant by the term 'double-acting' baking powder and what is the value of using such products?
    • We have been having some problems with the quality of our bread, pastries and biscuits and one solution that has been recommended to us is that we should add a reducing agent to our recipes
    • Can you tell us more about reducing agents and how they function in baked products?

    Bread and Fermented Products


    • What characteristics should we specify for white bread flour and why?
    • We make crusty breads in a retail store and recently we have been having complaints about our products going soft quickly - We have not changed our recipe or process - Can you help us understand what has happened?
    • We are not a large bakery but are planning to part bake and freeze bread products for bake-off at some later time - What points should we be aware of?
    • When we re-heat par-baked products we find that they remain soft for only a short period of time, typically an hour or so, but they quickly go hard and become inedible - If we do not re-heat them we find that par-baked products can stay fresh for several days
    • What causes the change in the rate of firming? - Is it the additional moisture lost on the second bake?
    • We have been freezing some of our bread products in order to have products available in times of peak demand - We notice that there is 'snow' or 'ice' in the bags when we remove them from the freezer - Can you tell us why this happens and how it can be avoided?
    • We are seeking to improve the quality of our bread products and are getting conflicting advice on what the optimum dough temperature ex-mixer should be - Can you advise us as to whether we should increase or decrease our dough temperature?
    • How can I calculate the amount of ice I need to replace some of the added water when my final dough temperature is too warm?
    • We are considering the purchase of a new mixer for the manufacture of our bread using a no-time dough process - There are two types of mixer which seem to be appropriate for our plant production needs, the spiral-type and the CBP-compatible type, but before making our decision we need to understand any issues with respect to dough processing and final bread quality - Can you please advise us?
    • We are looking to buy a new final moulder for our bread bakery - Can you advise us on the key features which should look for and how they might impact on final bread quality?
    • We are having problems keeping a uniform shape with our bloomers - They tend to assume a bent or 'banana' shape - This happens even though we take great care to straighten them when they are placed on the trays - Can you explain why we get this problem?
    • Why is a bread dough piece coiled after sheeting? - Does the number coils achieved have any impact on bread quality?
    • We have been taught to always place the seam of our moulded bloomer dough pieces downwards on the tray before proof but we do not take the same precautions with our pan breads - Can you explain the relevance of placing the bloomer dough piece 'seam down? - Should we also do this with our pan breads?
    • We have been having problems with holes appearing in different places in our pan breads - Can you explain where they come from and how to eliminate them?
    • Is there any relationship between the holes that we see inside dough pieces coming from the divider and the problems that we are experiencing?
    • We are making open-top pan breads and find that the top crust of some of our loaves is being lifted off during the slicing process - Sometimes there is a hole underneath the crust while on other occasions there is not - Do you have an explanation for this problem? - We have tried making the dough stronger by adding more improver but without any reduction in the problem, in fact it may have been slightly worse
    • Can we make bread without using additives? - What will be the key features of the ingredients and process that we should use?
    • We have had bread returned to us by the retail store through which it is sold - They are not satisfied with the quality - We have some pictures of the products concerned - This seems to be a 'one-off' and we are at a loss to understand what has lead to the problem - Can you help us understand where the problem came from?
    • We have noticed that loaves sometimes break only on one side of the pan but that the break is not formed consistently on one side - Can you explain why this is?
    • We are making a range of crusty breads using a small bread plant - We appreciate the value of having an open cell structure to encourage the formation and retention of the crust - However, from time to time we have difficulty in achieving the desired degree of openness in the structure - Can you help us identify why this happens?
    • We make sandwich bread for a large customer and they are concerned about the crumb characteristics of the products - What are the important ones? - How do I measure these? -What steps can I take to control or improve on these?
    • During the manufacture of bread and other fermented products we sometimes have small quantities of 'left-over' dough from a mixing, can we add these back to other mixings or re-use it in other ways?
    • We make bread and rolls using a bulk fermentation process - Can we use ascorbic acid to improve our bread quality?
    • Our total time for bread production from flour to baked loaf is set for about 6 hours - Currently we use a bulk fermentation time of 4h and a final proof time of 90 minutes
    • We find that with increased bread sales that we do not have enough proving capacity - If we were to shorten the final proof time what other changes would we have to make to maintain our current bread quality?
    • In breadmaking what is the difference between a sponge and a ferment and when would they be used?
    • We have also seen references to barms, can you tell us anything about these as well?
    • How would we prepare and use a sponge with the Chorleywood Bread Process?
    • Our bread and buns prove to a satisfactory height in about 50 minutes but we get no additional lift from the products in the oven - We have tried increasing its strength and using more improver but whatever we do we see no oven spring - Do you have any ideas as to why we are getting no oven lift?
    • What is purpose of the 'knocking-back' the dough when using a bulk fermentation process to make bread?
    • We have two bread lines running side-by-side with the same equipment bought at different times
    • We are using the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) and do not quite get the same volume and cell structure when making the same pan bread product - We compensate by adjusting yeast and improver level but do not get the same crumb cell structure - Can you help us understand what is happening?
    • We are experiencing a problem with loaves baked in rack ovens since we bought new pans - As the enclosed photograph shows they are joining together above the pans - The portions of the loaves that touch have no crust formation which makes them weak when they are de-panned and handled - How can we prevent this from happening?
    • We wish to create a bolder shape and more open cell structure with our crusty sticks and have recently increased our dough development by mixing longer - Now we experience problems with the products joining together in the oven - If we under-prove the dough pieces we have problems with ragged bread and poor shapes - Should we reduce our mixing time back to its original level?
    • We are finding that the crumb of our bread is too soft for slicing - We also notice a tendency for the sides of the loaves to slightly collapse inwards - We do not think that conditions in our cooler have changed can you please advise us of what to investigate?
    • We have spiral and twin-arm type mixers and would like to produce a finer cell structure with our sandwich breads - Can you suggest ways in which we might achieve this aim?



    • What characteristics should we specify for cake flour?
    • We are experiencing some variation in cake quality, especially volume
    • How important is it to control the temperature of our cake batters? How do we calculate the likely temperature of our cake batter at the end of mixing and what temperature should we aim for?
    • What do the terms high and low-ratio mean when they are applied to cake making recipes?
    • We are looking to re-balance our cake recipes and have a set of rules that we work with - However it would help us if you could explain the principles behind such rules of recipe balance as applied to cake making?
    • We have been making cake muffins and find that when we cut them open that they have large vertical holes in the crumb - Why is this and how do we eliminate them?
    • Why do some of our cake muffins lean to one side during baking?
    • We have been making a range of different cake sizes using the same plain batter and get varying quality results in terms of their shape and appearance despite having adjusted the baking conditions - Do you have any advice?
    • We would like to change the physical dimensions of some our cake products to make different sizes and shapes Do you have any advice that you can give us as to how to adjust the batter deposit weights for the different pan sizes? - Currently we add alcohol, in the form of spirits or liqueurs, to our celebration cakes after they have been baked and cooled - We leave them for a few days after treating them but this is taking up a lot of space - What advantages/disadvantages would there be if we added the alcohol to the batter before baking?
    • We are baking Genoa-type fruits cakes using sultanas and find that while the centre of the crumb is a nice golden yellow around three sides of the cut face of the cake (the bottom and the two sides) the colour is much browner and darker in color - Can you help us identify the cause of this problem? - We regularly measure the water activity of the individual components in our composite cake products and try to adjust them to reduce the differential between them to reduce moisture migration - Even though we do this we are still having problems keeping the cake moist during shelf-life - Can you give us some advice as to what we may be doing wrong?
    • Why do some traditional cake making methods specify a delay in the addition of the sodium bicarbonate and specify the use of hot water? - Would this approach have any practical applications today? - We have recently changed the acid that we use for our baking powder mix and have adjusted the neutralizing value accordingly - Subsequently we have been having some problems achieving the volume and shape that we want with our small cakes - Can you explain why we are having these problems?
    • What are the factors which control the shape and appearance on the top of a cake?
    • We are seeking to reduce the level of fat that we use in some of our cake recipes but find that simply taking fat out adversely changes our product quality - What are the possibilities of using 'fat replacers' to help us with our strategy?
    • We are using natural colours in our slab cake baking and find that we get variable results, not just from batch to batch but sometimes within a batch - Can you suggest any reasons for this problem?

    Biscuits and Cookies


    • We have been are trying to make soft-eating cookies and are having a degree of success with the recipe that we are using - The products are not expected to have a long shelf-life but we find that they are going hard too quickly - Can you suggest any ways of extending the period of time that the cookies will stay soft-eating?
    • What are Shrewsbury biscuits and how are they made?
    • What characteristics should we specify for our biscuit and cookie flours?
    • What are main issues that we should be aware of in the manufacture of savoury puff biscuits?
    • We assemble a selection pack of biscuits and cookies, one of which is a rectangular product coated on the top with icing - When the pack is opened after some time this coated biscuit has a 'bowed' shape the base is soft eating but the icing remains hard - Can you suggest reasons for these changes?
    • How important are the dough and batter temperatures in biscuit and cookie making?
    • We are experiencing dark brown specks on the surface of our plain sheeted biscuits - We have been using the same recipe for a number of years without a problem - Can you identify the cause of the specks and suggest a remedy?
    • We are having some problems with packing our rotary moulded biscuit lines - When we measure the thickness of the biscuits we have noticed that some are thicker than others - Can you suggest any reasons why we should be getting such variations?
    • We are having intermittent problems with shrinkage of our semi-sweet biscuits after they have been cut out from the dough sheet - How can we stop this from happening?
    • Is it important to use a fermentation period in the manufacture of crackers? - What effects are we likely to see from variations in the fermentation time?
    • We are experiencing blistering on the surface of our semi-sweet biscuits and sometimes see cavities under the top crust and little hollows on the bottom - Can you identify the possible cause of the problem and suggest a solution?
    • We are manufacturing short-dough biscuits using a rotary moulder and have been offered an alternative supply of sugar - We notice that the new sugar is more granular than the material we have been using previously; would this have any effect of biscuit quality? - Is it possible to reduce the level of sugar in our biscuit and cookie recipes without affecting their quality? - What would be the alternatives we could use to sucrose?
    • We would like to reduce the level of fat in our biscuit recipes - How can we do this?
    • We have installed a new cutting and creaming machine for the preparation of our sandwich wafers and re-furbished the production area - We have found that we are now getting intermittent problems with the wafer sheets breaking up on cutting - Can you offer an explanation as to why this might be happening?



    • We have been experiencing considerable variability in processing our short and puff paste products; sometimes we have problems with paste shrinkage and on other occasions we get stickiness - We have checked our weighing systems and can find no problems with ingredients additions - We have no climatic temperature control in the factory or ingredient storage facilities, are these likely to significant contributors to the problems?
    • We are looking to start production of croissant - In my travels I have seen many variations on products which are called croissant - Why are there so many different forms and how are they made? - What is the best way to use pastry trimmings? - At present we are feeding them back into the sheeting stages
    • We are manufacturing savoury short pastry products which are blocked out to shape and lids by sheeting a paste with the same formulation - We wish to increase our production rate and are considering reducing or eliminating the rest periods in the production sequence - Can you advise us on their function and any consequences that we may face if we change them?
    • What method should we use to calculate the water temperature to deliver a consistent final paste temperature at the end of mixing?
    • We are making puff pastry, Danish pastries and croissant using all butter and often have problems with the processing of the pastes and feel that we do not get the best of quality from the final products - What are the best processing temperatures and conditions when using butter with such products?
    • We would like to reduce the level of fat that we use to make our puff pastry but would like to retain pastry lift - Can you provide us with some guidance as to how we might achieve our objectives?
    • Some of the short pastry cases that we make for restaurants to fill and serve have been returned to us as being 'mouldy' on the base - We were surprised as we thought that the water activity of the shells was too low to support mould growth and when we examined the bottom of the pastries we can see that there is a discolouration but we do not think that it is mould - Can you identify what has caused the discolouration and how to eliminate it?
    • We are having problems with the custard tarts that we make - The pastry shell is very pale colored but if we increase the baking time we find that the custard filling is not very stable and shrinks away from the case during storage - If we raise the baking temperature the custard filling boils and breaks down during storage - Can you give us any advice on how to get a better pastry color without causing problems with the filling?
    • We are experiencing distortion of our pastry shapes - We have measured the shrinkage but find that it is not even - We have also noticed that the laminated products are experiencing some variation in product lift - What might be the causes of these problems?
    • We have been receiving complaints from customers that that our short pastry which we use for meat pie products has an unpleasant eating character which they describe as 'waxy' - The comments are most often related to the base pastry in the pies - Why is this?
    • We have been trying to freeze fully-proved croissant for later bake-off - Can you identify the important criteria for their successful production?
    • What characteristics should we specify for the flour that we should use for making savoury and sweet short pastes? - We make both fresh and chilled unbaked paste products - Could you advise why this might be happening?

    Other Bakery Products


    • We are freezing a range of unbaked, chemically aerated products including scones and cake batters and now want to include some variations using fresh fruits - We have carried out a number of trials and have a range of issues which are mostly related to the fragility of the fruit - Can you provide some advice?
    • We have been asked to improve the sensory qualities of our scones and have been able to do this by a number of recipe changes - While these changes have been largely satisfactory for our plain scones the fruited varieties we make still tend to be too dry eating - Do you have any suggestions as to how we can make them more moist eating?
    • We make and bake scones on a daily basis - Recently we placed them unbaked in a refrigerator but the baked quality was poor - We used a retarder instead but we still find that the products were small in volume - Is it possible to retard unbaked scones and still produce an acceptable product?
    • What are Staffordshire oatcakes and how are they made?
    • What are Farls and how are they made?
    • We are producing a variety of finger rolls using white flour - The rolls must be soft eating and retain their softness for several days; to achieve this we are using a roll concentrate - To help us cope with fluctuations in demand we freeze a proportion of our production but find that the defrosted product is very fragile and may even fall apart - Can you help us overcome this problem?
    • We want to add freshly baked deep-pan pizza to the product range that we sell through our bakery shop - We do not want to make small quantities of dough throughout the day for their manufacture but when we try to work with a larger bulk of dough we find that the variation in quality is too great, even when we refrigerate the dough in our retarder - What would be a suitable way for us to make the bases?
    • What are the key characteristics of cake doughnuts and how do they differ from other types of doughnut? - We have been producing a range of cake doughnuts which are iced with various flavoured coatings - In order to cope with peak demands we have taken to freezing a quantity of the products - We have observed that progressively during storage a crystalline growth appears on the products - When they are defrosted the growth disappears - Can you identify why this happens?
    • We have been approached by some of our customers asking if we can make gluten-free breads - How could we do this and can we match the quality of our regular bread products?
    • We are not getting the quality of finish that we would like from the fondant we are using - Often the finished products lack gloss - Can you give us some tips on how to improve our use of the fondant?
    • Can you tell us something about Chinese steamed breads and their production? - We make our standard breads using the Chorleywood Bread Process, would we be able to make these products using this process?
    • What is Cinnamon Twist Bread and how could we make it?
    • We have been experimenting with retarding fruited rolls and buns - We find that the smaller products are quite satisfactory but loaves made using the same formulation and baked in pans have 'stains' around the fruit pieces and a darker crust colour than we would like - Can you please advise us on how to cure these problems?
    • We are retarding rolls in our retarder-prover and find that they lean to one side and lose weight during storage - Can you advise us as to how to cure these problems?
    • We want to extend the mould-free shelf-life of our flour Tortilla but when we try to make the dough more acid we have processing problems - What options could we consider for achieving our aim?
    • In reading about the manufacture of hamburger buns we see references to the pH and TTA of the brew? - What do these terms mean? - When are they used and what is the purpose of controlling them?

    What Is/Are/Why/How?


    • What is meant by the term 'modified atmosphere packaging' and how can we use this approach in the production of baked products?
    • We have seen references to the Milton Keynes Process but can find very little technical information on the process - Can you tell me what it is (was) it and how it is (was) used?
    • Can you explain the principles of vacuum-cooling of baked products and its potential applications?
    • I have heard the terms 'glycaemic index' and 'glycaemic load' used when describing bakery products - What are they and what is the difference?
    • What are pro- and pre-biotics and how can they be used in our bread products?
    • Can you please explain the difference between hydration and hydrolysis? - What is their relevance to the manufacture of baked goods?
    • What is meant by the term 'glass transition temperature' and what is its relevance to baking?
    • What is the Bohn's spot test and what is it used for?
    • What does the term MVTR mean when applied to packaging and what is the relevance to baked products?
    • We have heard people referring to synergy in the use of ingredients in baking processes, what is this process and can you identify any examples?
    • What are polyols and how are they used in baking?
    • What value is there in measuring color of bakery products and how can we carry out the measurements?
    • What is acrylamide? - Where does it come from and how do we limit it?
    • How can we measure the texture of our bread and cakes? - Currently we use a hand squeeze test for bread and apply a 'score' to the results

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