You have probably heard us mention water absorption more than once. That’s because it’s such an important piece in dough production, no matter what you’re baking.
Water absorption influences parameters in baking and bread such as:
- Loaf volume
- Fracture stress of bread crumb
- Bread yield
- Final products attributes
- Shelf life
How does water absorption work?
When flour and water are mixed together, water molecules hydrate the gluten-forming proteins gliadin and glutenin, as well as damaged starch and the other ingredients. The hydration process is achieved when protein and starch molecules create hydrogen bonds and hydrophilic interactions with the water molecules.
Particles hydrate by rubbing against each other and contacting water. Process parameters such as type of mixer, beating arm, water flow and pressure remove the hydrated surface layer and expose a new layer of the particle to the excess water so the water diffusion process can continue.
How do you measure it? Find out!