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The Science Behind Bread Making

June 30, 2021 at 11:48 AM

Bread making can be a difficult task for many to master but understanding the science behind it can be a hidden advantage. Our Year 11 Science and Biology students spent some time this week looking at how bread is made and what is required to cook it to perfection. 

The students are currently working towards their internal assessments which involve investigating biological ideas relating to the interaction between humans and micro-organisms. As part of this study, they explored micro-organisms and the key role that they play in many of the foods and beverages such as yoghurt, cheese and bread that we consume today. 

The students learned that when it comes to bread making, the yeast (microbe) feeds on the sugar. While the yeast feeds on the sugar, the yeast’s enzymes ferment the sugar, forming carbon dioxide and ethanol. The carbon dioxide then makes the bread rise, while the ethanol evaporates when the bread is baked. 

During this experiment, the students also investigated the effects of different temperatures on yeast activity and discovered that the temperature at which they mixed their dough influenced the flavour of the bread. They also explored the significant role that pH plays. They found that in bread production, pH exerts its principal effects during fermentation, where it controls yeast activity, amylolytic action, gluten characteristics and the survival of rope-producing organisms.

By taking part in this experiment, the students gained a deeper understanding of micro-organisms and how they work. They were also able to test their theories and decide who had the tastiest bread.   

 

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