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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
July 7
photo 168 Weíre getting somewhere now. Today, weíre baking bread at the American Institute for Baking (AIB) in Manhattan, KS, and they are going to bake some bread just for us. Weíre going to see everything that goes on in a commercial bakery. Here Stacey is dumping flour into the mixer, next she will add the water. The yeast is added after the water and the mixer is started. All the ingredients are measured precisely. (Everyone in the bakery must wear a hairnet, including me.)
photo 169 The mixer has been running for about ten minutes and this dough that we see is called a sponge. This is actually a starter dough, because not all the ingredients have been added yet. This procedure thoroughly mixes the yeast with the flour. The flour that is being used is new and we donít know how it will mix and bake. Most commercial bakeries donít use a sponge because it takes too much time. This sponge will be taken out and placed in a large container so it can ferment for two hours.
photo 170 Itís two hours later now, and all the ingredients have been placed into the mixing tube. The sponge is being added back into the mixer.
photo 171 Thatís more dough than Iíve seen in a long time! All the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed and we have dough just about ready to be placed in pans. The dough goes to a machine called a divider that makes dough balls that weigh 1 to 1 Ĺ pounds.
photo 172 This next apparatus is called a sheeter-moulder and it is unique. This first part acts like roller pins to flatten it and the second part rolls it into a loaf. Hereís how it works: about a pound of dough that came from the divider is placed in this machine and it goes comes down through a set of rolling pins. You can see the dough is now flat and round. It is on a conveyor belt that is moving very fast. The conveyor carries it to the moulder, which is the second part of the process.
photo 173 Here are a set of pans with the dough in them and they are ready to go to the proof box. Whatís a proof box, you ask? You need to click here to see it.
photo 174 The dough has been taken out of the proof box and its ready to go to the oven. The dough is going into the oven for 18 to 20 minutes and the oven is set for about 450 F degrees. You can see the racks the pans will be placed on. These racks rotate inside the oven like a Ferris wheel.
photo 175 At last we have some bread. Thereís nothing like fresh bread out of the oven. It makes you hungry, doesnít it? Youíve got a question, donít you? How many loaves of bread will a bushel of wheat make? The answer is about 70 loaves. Have you ever heard of bread in a bag? This is a recipe for children to make bread, click here to see the recipe.

There are all sorts of bread products, such as Kaiser rolls, bagels, and hamburger buns. They all come from wheat flour, but they go through different machines and procedures.

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