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					                 THE BREAD FAULT FINDER


A bread fault can be defined as any undesirable characteristic found in any
product which the baker wishes to correct.

It must always be remembered that something which might be considered a fault
in one loaf might be highly desirable in another. A good example would be a fault
described as “Open Texture”. Most bakers require a fine, even texture in their
sliced and wrapped pan bread but too fine a texture in crusty bread can look
artificial and is associated with smooth crusts which do not crack and give the
right look to the loaf.

                               MAIN FAULTS

                              Excessive Volume

                              Small Volume

                              Rough Pale Exterior

                              Foxy Dark Crust

                              Open Texture

                              Close Texture

                              Coarse Patches in Crumb

                              Holes in Crumb

                              Poor Crumb Colour

                              Low Water Absorption

                              Poor Keeping Quality

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This fault can be due either simply to excessive proof giving bigger volume than
required or some other serious factors. The lack of oven spring is the indication
that the dough is not over strong.

Possible actions are:

        1.        Reduce yeast level to bring proof height back to normal

        2.        Taste bread to check for lack of salt

        3.        Reduce yeast level at the same time increasing dough strength by
                  using stronger improver combination

        4.        If reduction of yeast does not result in normal oven spring then
                  check work level being used and increase if necessary

        5.       Check dough temperature is not excessive

        6.       Check proof time and temperature are not excessive
        8.       Check that dough temperature ex final prover is 37 degrees C


If bread has excessive volume and has good or even excessive oven spring then
this can generally be taken as a sign that the dough is well developed but may be
rather stronger than required for the product being made.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Reduce the work level used as long as other parameters do not

        2.       Reduce strength of flour/improver combination used ensuring that
                 texture does not suffer

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        3.       Reduce yeast level to reduce volume. This may lead to excessive
                 oven spring/flying tops


If loaf volume is low and this has not resulted in excessive oven spring then it is
likely that proof height was normal but the dough was not strong enough for the
product being made.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Strengthen flour/improver combination used

        2.       Check work level being applied to dough - lower work levels
                 generally mean low development

        3.       Check temperature rise of dough to ensure that watt/hour meter is

        4.       Increase yeast level or final proof time, although this is not likely to

        5.       Mould inhibitors are added separately (vinegar) is correct?

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This fault normally suggests that the dough development may well be alright but
that insufficient final proof has been given.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Increase final proof time

        2.       Increase yeast level

        3.       Taste for excessive salt which will decrease fermentation

        6.       Check dough temperature and increase if necessary

        7.       Mould inhibitor check final temperature when finishing

                           ROUGH PALE EXTERIOR

Whilst a poor crust colour can be simply due to underbaking, should the surface
of the bread also be very rough then there is an indication that the dough was
“spent” or had become over fermented in some way by the time it was processed.
Poor moulding can cause the rough surface part of the fault.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Check that dough temperatures are not excessively high

        2.       Check that hopper times are short

        3.       Check that intermediate proof time is short (if it exists?)

        4.       Check that vacuum figure is correct

        5.       Check for low or no salt in bread by tasting

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        6.       Check that dough surface is not being broken by the sheeting rolls
                 of moulder

        7.       Check that dough is not being screwed up under the moulder
                 pressure board

        8.       Presentation of dough piece to moulder. Is it symmetrical?

        9.       Excessive moulder ware?

                              FOXY DARK CRUST

A dark crust can simply be due to over baking. However, such an effect can also
relate to under fermented or under developed doughs.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Increase yeast level if bread is also small volumed

        2.       Increase work level to give better developed dough

        3.       Check for excessive salt level by tasting

        4.       Excess sugar or sugar by mistake?

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                                  OPEN TEXTURE

Open crumb texture can result for a variety of reasons in the bakery.

The most important point to decide is whether the background crumb of the loaf
is open textured, and therefore the whole of every slice is open textured, or
whether the background texture is fine but there are coarse or open textured
patches in some or most slices. If the latter should be the case then proceed to
“Coarse Patches in Crumb”.

Possible actions are:

        1.       If loaf also looks small and underdeveloped then improve dough
                 strength either by flour/improver change or increasing work level

        2.       Check that the vacuum on the dough mixer is working at the
                 correct level should one be used. Check vacuum delay. Delay
                 should equal 30-50% of mix time.

        3.       Check dough temperature is not too high to ensure that excess
                 fermentation is not taking place before moulding the loaf

        4.       Check hopper time to ensure that excess fermentation is not taking
                       place before moulding the loaf

        5.       Check that yeast level is not excessively high and that doughs are
                 not being proved nearly to the final bread volume. To ensure that
                 textures      are kept close final proof should always be such that
                 there is some oven spring left in the dough

        5.       Check that you have a short intermediate proof time

        6.       Dough re-feed

        7.       Mould inhibitor is present if relevant

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                                CLOSE TEXTURE

Whilst in sliced and wrapped bread a fine close texture is normally deemed
desirable, it is possible to have bread where the texture is undesirably close and
cheesy. There are breads where some openness of texture is required.
Normally if crusty breads have a slightly open texture then this texture extends
into the crust of the loaf and you do not get the smooth leathery crust which does
not crack well.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Increase yeast level

        2.       Increase hopper time

        3.       Increase intermediate proof time

        4.       Taste bread to ensure that it does not have excessive salt

        8.       Reduce work level to produce a slightly underdeveloped dough

        9.       Leave vacuum off if used

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                       COARSE PATCHES IN CRUMB

If bread is open textured generally then it can be assumed that the problem is
related to the production of the dough itself. If the bread has some fine patches
of texture interspersed with coarse texture it can be assumed that the problem is
due to the way the dough is treated from the time it leaves the mixer to the time it
gets into the pan.

The divider always causes some coarseness in some parts of a dough piece, as
does the rounder. Good moulding of a well developed dough can help to cover
up any divider/rounder problems. Poor moulding can compound any problems
because of poor sheeting, poor shaping or poor panning or any combination of
the three.

It is true to say that the stronger doughs are more likely to be able to reduce the
effects of the abuse described above than are weak underdeveloped doughs.

Possible actions are:

        1.       Ensure that dough is well developed

        2.       Check all aspects of moulding (particularly moulder ware)

        3.       Check that panning is correct

        4.       The correct mix size for the machine

        5.       The correct plate if CBP

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                              HOLES IN CRUMB

Holes in bread crumb can be due to either a straight forward technical problem
which can easily be identified and solved or else appear and disappear for no
apparent reason when it can be difficult to discover the exact cause.

The most commonly seen holes are:

1.      Elongated “handbag” holes under the top crust. These can either be
        smooth edged holes or else they can have strands of dough stretching
        from the top to the bottom of the hole. If the hole is smooth sided then it is

        accompanied by good oven spring and is due to excessive oven spring
        upwards so that the dough bursts apart - usually along one of the points of
        which the moulded surfaces come together. If there are strands of dough
        stretching from the top to the bottom of the hole then this is normally due
        to a lack of dough strength. The dough piece sets on the outside in the
        oven but is not strong enough. The unset dough below the crust surface
        is collapsing and pulls away from the set top crust leaving the tell tale
        strands. This fault is particularly noticed when “fat failure” occurs in the
        Chorleywood Bread Process. When this does happen it is normally
        accompanied by bubbling and collapse on the outside of the loaf.


2.      Triangular holes or dense patches just above the bottom crust inside the
        loaf at the point at which the dough pieces join in four piece bread is often
        caused by air trapped in the base of the pan being unable to escape up
        the side of the tin between the dough and the pan as the dough piece
        expands. Consequently the air finds its way into the loaf and gives the
        hole. It is possible to show that air can actually move into other parts of a
        loaf other than just at the base if conditions allow this.

        It is worth noting that morning goods can exhibit holes under the top crust
        due to excessive oven spring or, in exceptional circumstances, due to air
        being trapped in the bottom of the dough piece should it be sticking to the
        trays it is baked on.

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3.      Shiny holes appearing randomly in any part of any loaf are often blamed
        on excessive divider oil being used - particularly to oil the hopper.
        However, it is often difficult to prove this.

     4. Holes appearing at the same point in bread regularly towards the end of
        loaves can be due to poor adjustment of the moulder pressure boards,
        particularly if the pressure board is curved.
     5. Re-feed

                           POOR CRUMB COLOUR

Poor crumb colour can be the result of three different types of problem:

      a.         A white enough flour is not being used to obtain the required
                 product quality.

      b.         The dough is not being bleached in any way resulting in a yellow
                 creamy colour.

      c. Factors are producing poor texture which is ensuring that product
         appears to be of poorer colour.

Possible actions are:

      1.     Use a flour with a better colour grade to obtain the desired affect

      2.     Use a treated rather than an untreated flour

      3.     Add BREDSOY (Enzyme active soya flour) to the dough which will
             bleach the bread enzymatically

      4. Take action to improve the fineness of texture of the crumb so that it
         appears whiter
      5. The direction of plate should be anti-clockwise and also try G.M.S.

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                        LOW WATER ABSORPTION

Low water absorption in baking can only be considered a fault or problem if it is
compared with the standard set at the time. For example annual harvest changes
will produce flour with varying water absorption, depending on the year’s growing
conditions. Resultant inherent water carrying capacities of flours can therefore
be outside anyone’s control.

If big water absorption changes are noted on a day to day basis possible actions

      1.     Ensure correct dough development

      2.     Ensure correct dough temperature

      3.     Check that vacuum on mixer is working correctly

      4.     Check that there is not excessive hopper time

      5.     Check recipe has not changed. BREDSOY (enzyme active soya
             flour) can absorb at least its own weight of water and changes in use
             can lead to perceived water absorption changes

      6. Should problems not appear to come from baking changes talk to flour
         supplier to have water absorption confirmed
      7. Mixer direction and proper plate for chamber


Poor keeping quality normally relates to poorly developed doughs. Correct
development ensures that all aspects of the bread will be right, including the
keeping quality. Should keeping quality need to be increased above that
achievable by correct development then this can be achieved by the use of

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emulsifiers such as GISMO or specialist improvers containing emulsifiers and
other adjuncts.

Staling increases as storage temperature is decreased and all the good work
achieved by getting development right can be destroyed by poor storage

Possible actions are:

      1.     Ensure correct dough development

      2.     Ensure correct bread storage temperature of 75F (24C)


When a baker, who has been producing good quality bread for some time,
suddenly finds his bread quality has changed he seeks to find out why a problem
has occurred and starts to go through troubleshooting procedures.

Depending on what the problem is he will take a view on which area he needs to
address and will see two possible areas:

1.    Ingredient problems

2.    Bakery processing problems

Possible ingredient problems are normally discussed with suppliers and can be
checked out by using a new batch of the ingredient whether it be flour, improver,
yeast, fat or any other ingredient. Should there prove to be no problem detected
with ingredients then he will want to check through his process. He should
decide which areas of the plant and process could be causing the problem and
check them all out

Dough Making Area

      i)     Check that recipe has not changed in any way

      ii)    Check that recipe is tolerant i.e. that recommended flour
             quality/improver type and quantity is being used. An intolerant recipe
             can give sudden day to day variation with no other changes being

      iii)   Check that dough development is correct. In bulk fermented doughs
             check dough time and temperature. In high energy dough check that
             watt/hour meter is working and that correct temperature rise is being
             achieved. A work level of 11 watt/hrs/Kg should give a dough
             temperature rise of approximately 16C
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      iv)    Check that scales are working correctly

      v)     Check vacuum where applicable. Particularly ensure that the vacuum
             registered is being applied to the mixer

                                       Additional Notes

    1. Mixer polarity. If W and P etc arm ball are in harmony i.e. not free

    2. Mix size and robustness of recipe applies to height, speed and spiral

    3. Hot tin faults. Coring at base of loaf and dark patches on side crusts

    4. Tin Grease. Greasless pan gives flinty crust

    5. Autodosing. Where applicable always check

    6. Sticky crumb. Check amylase level. You would usually find this in
       gumbing and tearing at the slices

    7. Operational pressures tend to push through-puts and the problems that
       come with it

    8. Longer tin these days asks for vertical and linear proof weakening fore-
       piece structure

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