Baking: The Final Test of Wheat Quality
Baking tests are the final laboratory testing method in the evaluation of wheat quality. Generally, the amount and type of protein present will determine baking performance, though starch quality can also have an influence.
Technicians evaluate loaves for their volume, or size, and the interior appearance of the loaf such as crumb grain and crumb color. Other performance factors include dough absorption, or bake absorption, and the optimum mixing time of the dough.
- Baking absorption is the amount of water added to achieve properly hydrated dough. It is expressed as a percentage, with higher values being better.
- Crumb grain and texture measures the cell size and shape. It is rated on a scale of one to 10 and higher numbers are preferred.
- Bake mix time represents mixing time when all normal ingredients are added for producing an end product (in addition to water and flour) prior to baking.