Baking Technical Terms

Baking Technical Terms

Here are a list of baking technical terms used by master bakers during the processing of breads.


  • The coating or spraying of dough pieces with emulsions of high gloss solutions such as egg wash or vegetable based bread glazes.

ASG / Anstellgut / Sourdough Starter

  • Anstellgut is mounted drive capable yeast that is used for attaching a bread leaven. Items to be placed are best kept and cared for in their own container so that they are not completely used up by mistake. Refreshing is done in the following way: 40 g flour and 40 g warm water are mixed thoroughly with 10-15 g of the old setting material and allowed to mature for 4-6 hours at the warmest possible temperature (25-29 ° C). It can then be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Old dough / Pâte fermentée

  • Is mixed from flour, water and 1-2% yeast and 1-2% salt and matures in the refrigerator for 48 hours to 7 days. Gives a particularly ripe bread aroma and improves freshness.

Baking Temperature

  • The temperature to which the oven is heated up for a long enough time before the bread is loaded. 
  • For some breads, to prevent the bread crust from browning too much, the baking temperature is not maintained for the entire baking time, but rather reduced to the baking temperature after 5-10 minutes.


  • It is created by deliberately cutting or scoring the dough with a bread knife or lame causing the cut surface to shred and expand during the baking.

Degree Of Grinding

  • Indicates how much of the peel of the grain is left in the flour. The higher the degree of grinding, the more parts of the grain husk were left in the flour, and thus more minerals and vitamins.


  • A “zero dough”, the flour, water and, if necessary, the liquid pre-dough are mixed and left to swell for 20-60 minutes. Above all, there is a chaining of glue strands and swelling of the starch, the necessary kneading time of the dough is shortened by about 10-15%

Baking Process

  • Baking bread takes place in a hot environment (oven, wood stove, cast iron pot (dutch oven)). The heat causes the bread to rise further, the crust is formed, the starch gelatinizes to form a crumb that can be cut and the formation of flavorings through the Maillard reaction.

Malted Flours

  • Malted flour is made from germinated and dried grain (wheat, barley or rye). It provides malt sugar and enzymes for the mother dough, which helps to accelerate the fermentation process, resulting in a stronger dough with nice crust color and taste with mild malty notes. Malted flour is a natural baking agent and is commonly used by Artisan bakers.
  • Enzyme-active malt: in addition to the malt sugar, it contains amylases, which break down the starch of the flour into sugar (yeast food). Not suitable for long dough runs due to the degradation of the starch.
  •  Enzyme-inactive malt or malt extract: contains mainly malt sugar (yeast food), is suitable for long dough runs.

Baking Loss or Moisture Loss In Baking

  • Decrease in bread weight during baking due to the evaporation of moisture from the dough. Depending on the bread and the baking time, moisture loss in bread can between 10 and 20% of the original wet weight of the dough.


  • A firm pre-dough that is usually made from 100% flour, 50-60% water and 0.1-1% yeast.

Stretching and folding

  • Method of developing and tightening the dough to strengthen it. To do this, the dough is stretched and folded over several times during fermentation..


  • Loading is term used in baking indicating the the proofed dough is ready to be loaded into the oven.

Oven Loader

  • A oven loader can be a manual or automated tool that the bakers uses to load the bread into the oven.

Window Pane Test

  • The window pane is a manual test conducted by the baker to ensure the dough is developed properly right after it’s mixed. A piece of dough is gently stretched thinly to the point of it being almost transparent, the baker then access the dough piece to ensure the dough membrane is in fully developed.

Crust Contraction

  • The formation of shrinkage cracks in the bread crust when the bread cools. 

Finger Test

  • Used to check the state of cooking: nudge the dough piece with the index finger, the slower the dough springs back, the further cooking has progressed.


Proofing is the final stage were the dough is left to rise before being baked.


  • Gluten is a protein present in grains such as wheat, rye and spelt grain. Gluten is the building blocks of the dough, it helps the dough keep it shape and retain the fermentation gases produced by the yeast improving the overall quality of the loaf.  In the case of rye dough, the formation of the adhesive structure is inhibited by the mucilage that is also present.


  • Mixing process carried out by hand or by machine in which the ingredients are mixed homogeneously and – depending on the type of flour used – serves to form the gluten structure.

Crumb Structure

  • The inside of the bread, which is enclosed by the crust.

Crust Structure

  • The well-browned crust of the bread that surrounds the crumb.


  • The elongated shaping of a piece of dough by carefully folding the edges of the dough into the middle.

Maillard reaction

  • The process of browning the crust and developing roasted aromas by caramelizing the sugars in the dough.

Oven Spring

  • Rapid rise of the dough after it has been placed in the oven, before the crust has solidified.


  • Poolish is soft pre-dough made from flour and water in a ratio of 1: 1 and 0.1 – 1% yeast. Leads to a slightly sweet, fruity taste of the bread.


  • Pre-rounding is a process used by the bakers to strengthen the dough before final shaping and forming.


  • A traditional leavening agent for bread dough, which arises from the microorganisms naturally present in the flour.


  • The so-called “pentosans” present in rye flour, which form the dough structure instead of the gluten in rye dough.

Dough Seam

  • The seam is created by the forming of dough pieces at the point where the two edges of the dough are connected together by pressure.

Bulk Liquid

  • The liquid that is made available for dough preparation and, if necessary, tempered.


  • The first process directly after the dough has been kneaded. This is followed by the weighing and molding of the dough pieces.


  • Steam is discharged during the beginning of baking for some bread products. Steam provides a quick and direct transfer of moisture heat to the dough allowing it to expand and build good crust formation. A good steam supply at the right time has a great influence on the appearance of the finished bread.

Dough Yield

  • The ratio of flour and liquid in the dough. The dough yield always relates to the total amount of flour as a 100%. A dough yield of 160 means “100 parts flour and 60 parts liquid”. The higher the dough yield, the more liquid is bound in the dough and the softer the dough is. Knowing the dough yield allows conclusions to be drawn about the consistency of the dough, depending on the type of flour used.

Drop Weight

  • The drop weight describes the raw weight of the dough before it is baked. 


Bassinage is a process used in high hydrated doughs were some of the water or oil is reserved about 10-15%, then slowly added to the dough in small increments during the final mixing phase allowing the dough to retain high amount of water.

Dough Temperature

  • The temperature that is considered optimal for the fermentation processes in dough to take place. Optimal dough temperatures:
  • Bread rolls 22-26 degrees C
  • White bread 24-25 degrees C 
  • Mixed breads 25-27 degrees C
  • Rye bread 27-29 degrees C
  • Wholegrain breads 28-30 degrees C

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