At BAKERpedia, we hear a lot of questions from bakers. And like most questions, we find that a lot of other people are wondering the same thing. That’s why we spend time each week answering questions on social media and our forum.

A few questions keep coming up. So in this episode, Dr. Lin Carson brings on Richard Charpentier to answer 9 of them.

Since a very young age growing up in France, Richard has had a heart for baking. From an unpaid apprenticeship at 16 in a very tiny bakery to a commercial one, he learned the art of bread and croissant baking. After completing a Master Baker Program, along with a marketing degree, he moved to the Bahamas and fell in love with the science of baking. So, he went to study R&D at Kansas State University. From there, he worked in flour mills, created baked good MRs with a 3 year shelf life for the military, and worked on Twinkies at Hostess.

Now, his company Baking Innovation helps smaller bakeries with R&D consulting so they can get where they need to be, faster.

Richard and Dr. Lin discuss the following baking questions:

  • Should I be using deactivated dry yeast as a natural dough relaxer?
  • What is water activity, and why should I pay attention to it?
  • What should the standard water activity be for cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies
  • Will Carboxymethyl Cellulose help bind water and decrease water activity?
  • What would be a good machine to make 800-1,000 tortillas per hour?
  • What are some shelf life preservatives for gluten-free dry mixes?
  • Can I make a pound cake with a shelf life of 6 months?
  • Do high dough temperatures make products collapse?
  • Does DATEM work for dough that keeps breaking down?

Get your own questions answered! Join the BAKERforum, or work with Richard.