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The taste factor regarding bread

The taste of bread is composed of more than 200 molecules! The taste factor is a major reason for some consumers to buy bread, and to continue buying it. However, if a loaf is purchased again on account of its tasting good, there is still the need to define what “good” actually means to the consumer.

There are two types of fermentation, which create two types of flavour. Yeast-based fermentation: industrially-cultivated yeast is composed of billions of identical cells all from the same yeast strains, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Conducting fermentation with selected species helps to guarantee total reproducibility from one batch of dough to the next. The loaves will therefore display the cereal notes obtained from fermentation.

Sourdough-based fermentation promotes the development of the yeast and bacteria naturally present in flour and in the atmosphere to ensure the dough’s natural fermentation. The resulting bread will be relatively acidic and fruity, since sourdough-based fermentation favours the production of lactic and acetic acids.


Factors influencing the sensory perception of bread

Influence of raw ingredients on the taste of bread

The nature of the raw ingredients used and their respective doses is enough to produce a plethora of recipe variations:

  • flour characteristics,
  • type of yeast,
  • addition of other ingredients: sourdough, sugar, fat, malt, etc.

Nevertheless, not everything is possible. Not every combination is realistic and some combinations are necessary or, at very least, strongly recommended (e.g. increasing salt in a well-hydrated dough to avoid “insipidity”, etc.).

Impact of the process on the taste of bread

The process largely impacts on the taste of the finished product, notably due to the following:

  • the order in which ingredients are added: mixing salt into the process water guarantees even distribution and an inhibiting effect on oxidisation phenomena;
  • mixing, due to the oxidative stress it has on dough: intense mixing helps to produce a white loaf high in volume but low in flavour, whereas slow mixing results in a creamy bread with flavour, but minimal volume;
  • fermentation: fermentation agents (yeast and bacteria) produce not only CO2 and ethanol, which result in increase volume on baking, but also a major amount of aromatic molecules, which develop during baking. Depending on the fermentation factors (type of ferment, duration, temperature), the aromatic profile can vary enormously…;
  • baking: the final stage in the manufacture, helps to finalise the loaf’s aromatic cocktail: the Maillard reactions taking place during crust formation will enhance the “baked/warm” aromas, to the detriment of more volatile aromas, such as buttery or acetic notes…

Lesaffre solutions to improve the taste of bread

Lesaffre ofers various fermenting solutions to cater to bakers’ needs all over the world, from its starters designed to increase fermentation activity in sourdough in a controlled manner, through to its live or devitalised sourdough combined with different microorganism cocktails and different substrates. The group also supplies its customers with a sensory analysis panel, to help them define and provide a framework for the desired aromatic profiles. It also provides the technical support required to help them conduct their fermentation if they are working with starters or live sourdough.

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