Proper mixing results in a homogeneous dough product.

Mixing


What is Mixing?

Mixing is one of the most critical and important operations in a bakery. The mixing stage allows “inert” dry and liquid ingredients to create a very reactive and dynamic system that can be then processed and transformed into value-added products.

Foams, cake batter emulsions, colloidal suspensions and doughs have all one thing in common:

  • They are homogeneous mixtures that have a continuous phase and a discontinuous (dispersed) phase.
  • Such systems can only be obtained by mixing and bringing their components together.

How does it work?

Mixing in the baking industry serves many purposes, such as:1,2

  1. Blend and disperse liquid and dry ingredients to form a homogeneous mass with a continuous phase (protein in dough and foams, and water in batters) and a discontinuous phase (fat).
  2. Hydrate flour (starch, gluten-forming proteins and arabinoxylans) and other dry ingredients.
  3. Incorporate and entrap air in the form of discontinuous gas bubbles within the dough or batter to provide gas nuclei for the carbon dioxide generated from yeast fermentation or chemical leavening. This is vital for volume expansion and texture of the finished product.
  4. In bread dough, this process helps develop gluten strands (binding gliadins and glutenins) by kneading for optimum dough cohesiveness and handling properties.
  5. Redistribution, subdivision and size reduction of air cells within the dough or batter.

Application

It is important to note that this serves the same purpose no matter the bakery product to be produced. What changes the mixing conditions and mode of mixing is the type of product being processed. A bread dough cannot be mixed exactly the same way as a cake batter or a pie dough.

The following table summarizes key consideration according to the type of product being processed:1,2

Lean dough (yeast-leavened) Crackers Rich dough, Pastry Chemically-leavened Pastry
Products
  • White pan bread
  • Variety bread
  • Buns (relatively lean)
  • Rolls
  • Artisan
  • Sourdough
  • Soda crackers or saltine-type
  • Water biscuits
  • Cream crackers
  • Snack crackers
  • Croissant
  • Puff pastry
  • Danish pastry
  • Brioche
  • Sweet dough
  • Yeast doughnut
  • Pie dough
  • Batter cake
  • Foam cake
  • Chiffon cake
  • Cookies
Objective Full gluten development for target dough handling properties Partial hydration and gluten development Full gluten development (except...

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