Chorleywood bread process
The Chorleywood bread process (CBP) is a process of making dough in bread production. The process was developed in 1961 by the British Baking Industries Research Association based at Chorleywood, and is now used to make 80% of the UK's bread. Compared to the older bulk fermentation process, the CBP is able to use lower protein wheat, and produces bread in a shorter time.
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 lower-protein domestic wheat to be used in the grist.
The Chorleywood bread process allows the use of lower-protein wheats and reduces processing time, the system being able to produce a loaf of bread from flour to sliced and packaged form in about three-and-a-half hours. This is achieved through the addition of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), fat, yeast, and intense mechanical working by high-speed mixers. The last requirement means that it is difficult to reproduce CBP in a small-scale kitchen.
The CBP is only a method of producing quick-ripened bread dough. Large-scale bread-making with automated processes pre-dates the CBP by at least a century.
The high-shear mixing generates high temperatures in the dough, which is cooled in some advanced mixers using a cooling jacket. Chilled water or ice may also be used to counteract the temperature rise during high-speed mixing. Air pressure in the mixer headspace can be controlled to keep gas bubbles at the desired size and number. Typical operating regimes are pressure followed by vacuum, and atmospheric followed by vacuum. The pressure control during mixing affects the fineness of crumb texture in the finished bread.
In typical high-volume bread-production, the dough is cut (divided) into individual pieces and allowed to "recover" for 5–8 minutes (intermediate proofing). Each piece of dough is then shaped (moulded), placed in a baking tin and moved to the humidity- and temperature-controlled proofing chamber, where it sits for about 45–50 minutes. It is now ready to be baked. Baking takes 17–25 minutes at 450 °F (about 230 °C). After baking, the loaves are removed from the baking tin (de-panning) and then go to the cooler, where, about two hours later, they are, where necessary, sliced and packaged and ready for despatch. In UK-standard bread, the dough piece is "cross-panned" at the moulding stage; this involves cutting the dough piece into four and turning each piece by 90° before placing it in the baking tin. Cross-panned bread appears to have a finer and whiter crumb texture than the elliptical shape of the crumb bubble structure is seen from a different orientation. Cross-panned bread is easier to slice.
CBP is used in over 80 percent of factory-produced bread in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. Many smaller bakers also use the CBP to mix their dough which they then process by hand. Many "speciality", "crusty", and organic breads are produced this way.
Since the introduction of the process, many UK domestic wheat varieties have been improved. Flour suitable for traditional high quality pan bread (11.5% - 13.5% protein) can now be sourced in the United Kingdom. Prior to the CBP, UK bread was hugely reliant on imported wheat, particularly from North America.
- Batch mixing bread process, method currently used in US.
- Continuous mixing bread process, popularized with Wonder Bread in the 1970s
- Vienna bread, early innovative European bread process
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