Three main points to control yeast fermentation

yeast fermentation

In fact, which kind of yeast to choose and which brand of yeast are not the decisive factors for success or failure. The key to the finished product is not which brand or type of yeast to use, but whether you use it properly and whether you have control over it. fermentation process. There are three major factors that affect dough fermentation, namely temperature, humidity and time.

① temperature

Controlling the dough temperature and fermentation temperature is the most important part of fermentation. If the temperature is too high, the yeast will ferment in advance before the gluten is formed, and the bread texture will be poor; if the temperature exceeds 60°C, the yeast will have been killed. cannot function.

Best fermentation temperature: The best fermentation temperature for bread is between 25-35°C, the best temperature for the first rise is 25-27°C, and the best temperature for the second rise is 32-35°C. ⚠️Be sure to control the fermentation temperature not to exceed 40 ℃… Yeast can no longer grow at a temperature higher than 45-47 ℃, and it is basically in a state of spike at 55-60 ℃…

② Humidity

The optimum fermentation environment humidity for dough is 70%-85%. During fermentation, it is necessary to maintain the humidity of the dough. If the air is very dry, a layer of “shell” will be formed on the surface of the dough, which will hinder the expansion of the dough, affect the quality of the finished product, and make the dough hard and difficult to chew.

In addition to using a professional fermentation box, in home baking, we also have the following methods to control the humidity of the dough:

A. Use plastic wrap: When fermenting, cover the dough or the container containing the dough with plastic wrap to avoid too much contact with air. (This method is mostly used for dough proofing or primary fermentation)

B. Use the fermentation function of the oven: use the fermentation function of the oven, put the dough in the oven, and put a cup of boiling water next to the dough to increase the humidity. Fermentation can also be done by simply turning on the oven light to raise the temperature. (But generally this method is only recommended for secondary fermentation or one-time fermentation only)

C. Use a microwave oven to form a closed space: first put a cup of hot water, then put the dough, and turn off the microwave to create a humid space. (for primary and secondary fermentation)

D. Use a wet towel: If you are in a relatively dry environment, you can use a clean wet towel instead of a plastic wrap to cover the container containing the fermented dough, or replace a glass of water, which can increase the humidity and reduce the dough. The chance of air contact is also a good way to kill two birds with one stone. (Suitable for primary and secondary fermentation)

③ time

The main purpose of controlling the fermentation time is to avoid under-fermentation or over-fermentation. If under-fermentation, the bread will not expand well and the tissue will be hard; if over-fermentation, the bread will easily collapse and shrink. After controlling the fermentation temperature, if you are not sure about the fermentation time, you can use the finger pressing test method to check the fermentation of the dough every half an hour.

Finger pressing test: Insert a finger in the center of the dough and pull it out. If the dough rebounds quickly, it means under-fermentation; if the dough collapses, it means over-fermentation. When the dough springs back slowly, it is properly fermented.

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