Image 1. Bread slices illustrating the time/temperature S-Curve.

Bread slices illustrating the time/temperature S-Curve.2

There’s a relationship between the time spent in the oven and the moisture of your product. This relationship is best illustrated with what’s known in the industry as thermal profiling, or the S Curve. Here’s the break down:

  • The product goes into the oven.
  • As the oven goes through it’s mechanisms of convection, conduction and radiation, the internal temperature of the product increases.
  • Within the critical change zone, the temperature changes more dramatically, starting with the yeast kill and ending with the crumb set towards the end.

The key with using the S Curve to quantify a quality product is in manipulating the crumb set (or arrival). A faster crumb set may dry out the product, while a delayed crumb set, may be opening the door for microbial spoilage.

The Sweet Spot

A common problem experienced by bakers is over baking. Over baking shortens shelf life and produces a crumbly product. You can prevent over baking by using a thermal profile, and achieving a crumb set of more than 85%.

This can be done by lowering oven temperatures or shortening baking times. If molding is a big issue, use the thermal profile to achieve less than 85% crumb set. This can be achieved by increasing the end zone temperatures or baking time.

Discover how else a thermal profile improves your product!