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The Chorleywood Bread Process, or CBP, also no time method was developed in 1961 by the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association at Chorleywoodmarker and is now used to make 80% of the UK’s bread. The process had an important impact in the United Kingdom as at the time few domestic wheat varieties were of sufficient quality to make high quality bread products and it therefore permitted a much greater proportion of low-protein domestic wheat to be used in the grist. Whilst this benefitted UK agriculture in finding new, higher value markets for its products, some authors claim that CBP products have reduced nutritional value.

Worldwide

It is used in over 80 percent of factory-produced bread in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. Even many "specialty" and organic breads are produced this way. The CBP has been used in 28 countries worldwide, and has made inroads in France, Germany and Spain, with plans to introduce the system to China.

The CBP is only minimally used in the United Statesmarker, however, largely due to the high-gluten, "strong" wheats grown in North America that cannot be properly "worked" in a typical high-speed, 2-5 minute mixing cycle. Even when the cycle is increased to seven minutes (technically adequate to "work" the dough according to CBP requirements), the dough structure suffers in the later processing stages.

The process

CBP is able to utilise lower-protein wheats, combined with chemical improvers, and uses intense mechanical working of the dough by high-speed mixers, together with solid vegetable fat, high quantities of yeast and water, which produces a loaf of bread from flour to sliced-and-packaged form in about three and one-half hours. By introducing several minutes of high energy mixing into the baking process, the fermentation period is substantially reduced, which increases the production speed of each loaf. The CBP method of making bread cannot be reproduced in a normal kitchen because of this requirement. Solid fat is necessary to provide structure during baking or the loaf collapses. Higher protein wheats may be used but are more expensive.

Flour, chemical oxidants and "improvers" like water, yeast, fat and salt are mechanically mixed and the dough is violently shaken for about three minutes. The large amount of energy used generates high temperatures to raise the dough with its large dose of yeast, and computer regulated cooling systems modulate the next stages. The air pressure in the mixer headspace is maintained at a partial vacuum to prevent the gas bubbles in the dough from getting too large and creating an unwanted "open" structure in the finished crumb.

The dough is cut into individual pieces and allowed to "recover" for 8 minutes. Each piece of dough is then shaped further, placed four to a tin and moved to the humidity and temperature controlled proofing chamber, where it sits for about an hour. It is now ready to be baked. Baking takes 20 minutes at 400 degrees F and then the loaves go to the cooler, where, about two hours later they are sliced, packaged and ready for dispatch.

Change in wheat

Since the introduction of CBP, many UK domestic wheat varieties have been improved to the extent that they are suitable for high quality pan bread production and thus attract a significant milling premium. The CBP process is, however, able to utilise poorer 'feed' quality wheats which are available for a much lower price, allowing bakers to provide a discount product.

Bleaching

Many flour mills using CBP method bleach their products, using a limited range of products such as chlorine dioxide. Potassium bromate is sometimes used in the USA as a strength improver, but is banned in the EU, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Bread Additives

CBP processes may include the following additives, but these additives are not limited to CBP:

  • Soy or canola (rapeseed) oil and shortening, which gives products larger volume, finer cell structure, tender crust and soft texture.
  • Esters of monoglycerides and diglycerides, which act as emulsifiers and anti-staling agents;
  • Calcium propionate, a mold-inhibitor.
  • Stearoyl-2-lactylate, which increases dough absorption, improves mixing tolerance and machinability of dough, accelerates proof time, improves grain and texture, creates crust tenderness and extends shelf life.
  • Genetically Modified soy flour, creates whiter crumb.
  • Dextrose, an easily fermentable sugar to feed yeast.
  • Diacetyl tartaric acid, a chemical leavening agent.
  • Azodicarbonamide, a flour oxidizer banned in EU, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, but permitted in US.
  • Ammonium chloride, a form of nitrogen used by yeast to build protein.
  • Gluten added for better texture and doughiness.
  • Starch enzymes and protein enzymes to rapidly break down starches to sugars to feed the yeast and to "mellow" the gluten to allow for reduced mechanical mixing times. Enzymes are also engineered to survive baking temperatures and great variations in pH in order to impart anti-staling and softening qualities to the finished products. Enzymes and several of the other "improvers" are not required by law to be listed on ingredient labels, as they are considered to be consumed in the baking process, even though residues have been detected and the express purpose of several is to carry their functions through to the baked product and affect its life on the shelf.


Criticism

In the book Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on Your Plate, Felicity Lawrence observes that the industrial scale of the Chorleywood Bread Process comes at a nutritional cost, requiring larger amounts of salt and yeast than traditional bread recipes. Andrew Whitley in his book Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own criticises the CBP for the inferior flavour and texture of the bread made in this way.

There is a small group of campaigners, under the name Doh Boy, who criticize the Chorleywood bread process. They wish to "raise awareness" of the disadvantages of this method.

Other processes



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