Most of bread dough types goes through 12 stage from beginning to end, some breads have more, other breads have less, this is just a general stage sample.
1. Mise en Place
You have to get all your ingredients ready before you start to bake, if you have to chop ingredients, fry ,etc. During the mixing stage you cant run around looking for ingredients, etc.
By mixing it also include autolyse, you can do hand mixing, machine mixing, etc. By mixing is to develop gluten in the bread dough, some dough’s more then others. After mixing of some doughs we always do the “ window “ test to see if the dough have develop right. If you do soakers or scalding you do it just before mixing.
3. Primary Fermentation
This stage also includes stretch & fold method to make your gluten stronger. In this stage the dough develops flavour, and it’s also called “ bulk “ fermenting stage. You can bulk ferment at room temp or in the fridge, that up to you, the slower bread dough ferments, the more flavour you
Chemical leavening breads doesn’t go through this stage.
4. Punching down ( folding down )
Also called de-gassing, in which the dough begins to enter its secondary fermenting and individuation. The degassing help to get rid og some carbon dioxide that can choke of the yeast. It also relaxes the gluten network. The temp on the outside of the dough is normally cooler than
the inside, so this will distribute the temp evenly. When the dough is degassed, it allows for redistribution of nutrients and will trigger a new feeding cycle.
Not all the breads go through this cycle, just some.
This is where you devide the dough and scale you dough pieces.
The dough pieces that you scaled is give a preliminary shape, the shape help the bread dough to keep shape during the secondary stage of fermenting. It also make a “ spine “ inside the dough that when you proof the dough doesn’t proof out in different angles.
Shaping is a very important step.
This stage depends on the dough you work with. Benching is normally up to 30min, it gives the dough change to relax, other wise when you shape the dough will start to resist and eventually tear. Its very common in rolling baquettes.
8. Shaping and panning
In which the dough is given their final shape just before baking. It also depends on your dough type
9. Secondary fermenting ( proofing )
This is the final rise before baking the bread dough. The most important of this stage is to bring the dough to the actual size you want it, a 80% proof that will give you a 20% oven spring or a 90% proof that will give you a 10% oven spring.
This stage includes any washes, like egg wash before bake, it also include adding seeds, etc. It also includes scoring your dough, and preparation for loading the oven. In this stage you must make sure that the dough was proofed enough, other wise you will have a oven jump that is to high and it will cause a bread tear at the wrong place, that you don’t always
want. In this stage the bread will go through the baking stages, first few min will be proofing on a fast ratio till your yeast dies out. After that the actual baking takes place, from raw to cooked. The last few min is when the maillard reaction takes place, that is very important for the crust to form right and for the flavour. Gelatinizing of the starches will take place, caramelizing of the sugars, coagulating and roasting of
the proteins will take place.
Once you take the bread out of the oven, it still bakes on the inside. Give it enough time to cool
down completely, about two hours is fine.
12. Storing and eating
After the bread cooled down completely, you can eat. Don’t store bread in the fridge, rather freeze
it or the best is to keep it at room temp, airtight covered.