Researchers have claimed that mixing has a much bigger impact on the quality of gluten-free bread than was previously understood and have found variations depending on levels of hydration in the dough.
A study published in the Journal of Food Quality by Gomez et al. said that optimizing the type of mixing arm, the mixing speed and total mixing time could produce higher quality gluten-free bread.
The researchers said their study marked the first time a rheofermentometer, an instrument that analyses bread dough behaviour had been used for gluten-free bread.
Impact of mixing not studied before
“This paper demonstrates the importance of mixing time and the type of mixer device in gluten-free bread making, something not studied so far,” said the researchers.
“Based on the results of this study, the mixing process of the gluten-free elaborations can be optimized, allowing obtaining breads with higher volume and lower hardness, therefore increasing the final quality of the bread, one of the major problems of the gluten-free breads,” they continued.
In wheat breads, gluten is responsible for forming doughs that can retain gas during fermentation. When gluten is removed, quality is seriously affected. Hydrocolloids have been used as gluten substitutes and enzymes added to the formulation in attempts to retain quality.
“However, there has been little research into the influence of other process-related factors, particularly mixing and dough formation,” said the authors of the present study.
Method and results
The researchers studied gluten-free breads with 80 and 110% hydration using rheofermentographic analysis to determine the optimum times and speed of mixing and which of a dough hook, wire whip or flat beater mixing arm produced the best results.
In less-hydrated breads, it made no difference whether a flat beater or dough hook were used. However, longer mixing times helped the bread achieve a higher volume.
In more hydrated breads, the type of mixing arm and speed was found to have a big impact on the volume and texture of the dough. Doughs mixed with the wire whip produced higher volumes and softer breads, but only by using a lower mixing speed and longer mixing time.
“Dough mixing parameters will always need to be optimized for each formulation and system, taking into account the speed and duration of mixing and the type of stand mixer,” concluded the researchers.
Journal of Food Quality
‘Influence of Mixing on Quality of Gluten-Free Bread’
Authors: Manuel Gómez, María Talegón and Esther de la Hera