The production of bakery products requires processing steps in which humidity and temperature play an important role.
This begins with the preparation of the raw materials. Flour and sugar can contain inconsistent levels of moisture, which can have an adverse effect on the quality of the final products. Monitoring of humidity is particularly important when fixed recipes are used in automated production lines.
After mixing, the dough is divided into parts and allowed to rest for a few minutes so that the gluten network in the dough can relax, thereby simplifying the next step of shaping. If the temperature is too high, the dough will be too sticky. If the dough is too cold, this can result in holes forming in the bread.
If the moisture content is too low before shaping, a skin will form on the surface of the dough, stopping it from rising properly.
Rising is the next important step, in which the dough reaches about 90% of the bread volume before baking. This process takes place in chambers. Optimum conditions for dough growth are guaranteed in them by monitoring of relative humidity and temperature.
Depending on the type of yeast and flour used, temperatures between 38 and 42 °C and humidity between 70 and 80 %RH are ideal.
Use of high-quality ingredients and careful production steps therefore do not automatically result in a quality product. The dough temperature and temperature and humidity in the baking equipment must be controlled carefully. Modern bakeries occasionally also use special ventilation systems that are controlled by humidity and temperature sensors.