Mixing of ingredients is a critical factor to the quality of the final product as any other step in the baking process. It can be done manually or with a mixer (Pellegrini, 2012). In mixing, air cells are formed that enables leavening. At the beginning of mixing, air cells are large but as mixing continues, these cells become divided into smaller ones as gluten and other proteins develop and stretch. This entails that the length of mixing is important in achieving a desirable texture for the final product (Gisslen, 2012). Kneading
Kneading is the process of working the dough with hands in a particular way after the ingredients have been mixed. It helps mix the ingredients to be uniformly distributed in the dough. Further, the heat from the baker’s hands, along with the warmth of the ingredients, the equipment and the room, help activate the yeast. Finally, it aids in the gluten development in the dough. During the kneading process, the gluten elongates to create structure within the dough that causes carbon dioxide gas to become trapped within the dough during the fermentation and proofing processes. The structure that gluten has formed together with the air allow the dough to rise (Pellegrini, 2012). Forming
After kneading, the dough will be cut and formed into desired shapes for the final product. It is important to flour the dough and the surface to keep it from sticking when the forming it into the desired shape (Breslauer and Kaletunc, 2003). Cooking in Alkali (Baking Soda) Solution
Dipping the pretzel dough in a solution of a small amount of food grade lye gives it that distinct pretzel flavor. However, food-grade lye is mostly unaivalable in retails stores. An alternative to lye is baking soda which has chemical properties that may behave similarly to lye. Baking soda will give the final pretzel product with a close to dark and burnished crust that lye imparts (Slonecker, 2013). Baking
During the baking process, the oven produces heat...
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