• Raymond Calvel


Bread fermentation is an anaerobic alcoholic fermentation brought about through the action of fermentation agents on the sugars that are present in dough. These fermentation agents may be introduced in the following ways:
  • as a natural sponge, which in bakery practice is the result of a primary culture of those agents (yeasts and bacteria) found in nature and in flour. In this instance, bakers build and cultivate their own fermenting agent. The fermentation obtained in this method is slow and may be lightly or strongly acid, with an especially acetic (vinegar-like) quality.

  • by biologically pure strains of baker’s yeast, which result from industrial cultivation of appropriate cultures from selected stocks that were originally chosen from brewer’s yeasts. In this case, the fermenting agent is a basic material that is not the product of the baker’s work. The fermentation is more active and much less acid.


Alcoholic Fermentation Wild Yeast Flour Weight Poolish Method French Bread 
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  1. 1.
    In a general sense, baking can be thought of as “fermentation management.” Prefermented dough, poolish,and other preferment methods are ways of giving a “head start” to a new dough. This approach permits shorter bulk fermentation times without loss of quality.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Figure 4–2.) Glass mercury or alcohol thermometers should never be used in any food production operation for food safety and liability reasons.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Potassium bromate, azodicarbonomide, and oxidizing additives have much the same effect.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Tweedy also has the advantage of being adaptable to mixing under vacuum, thus helping to avoid the problem of excessive oxidation.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Also known as a biga in Italian or a sour in English.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Research in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Kline and Sugihara brought to light that sourdoughs are generally composed of wild yeasts and heterofermentative lactic bacteria. Warmer temperatures encourage the development of milder lactic flavors, while cooler temperatures promote the growth of more acetic flavors. Refrigeration decimates the wild yeasts, giving more of an acetic acid character to the dough and finished baked loaves.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Below 8°C it is usual for wild yeasts in the culture to be destroyed, while the acetic acid bacteria will continue to thrive. See the research papers by Kline and Sugihara on Lactobacillus sanfrancisco.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Very similar to richer versions of American white pan bread.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Europain: an international trade show and exposition that is now held every 3 years in Paris.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The reader should remember that baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast are both varieties of S. cerevesiae,and that the practice of using beer foam as an aid to bread fermentation has existed since the time of the early Egyptians. Malouin also mentions it in the Art du boulanger (1667).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The original paragraph was in the imperfect tense, which denotes action carried on in the past. However, since Calvel refers in the paragraph immediately preceding to the fact that the same type of bread is still made today, the present tense is more logical in a discussion of the basic methods of production.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Calvel

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