The Asian bread market is becoming increasingly lucrative as consumers look more towards convenience foods. North American wheat is dominant, but there are opportunities for Australia to take a bigger slice
Here is some bread dough being tested. Flour is mixed with the usual bread ingredients – namely, water, salt, yeast and bread improver. Sugar and fat are also important ingredients in Asian markets.
There is also another special ingredient! (Can you guess what it is? Hint: it keeps the dough cool as it is vigorously mixed. Listen to the rattle
The flour must have good water absorption to pick up all the water from the ? as it melts. Better water absorption = greater bread yield = higher profit for bakeries.
Ideally, the dough should show some tolerance to “overmixing”. Bakers are busy! They might not always get to the mixer in time to stop the machine. This dough is now well and truly mixed.
As if our poor old dough hasn’t been through enough, it now gets put through a “dough breaker”. This helps develop the gluten protein network to ensure the final product has the fine, uniform white crumb that Asian consumers like.
Many Asian commercial bakeries are set up to use North American wheat. They are open to using other wheats, but changing to another type of wheat means changing their finely-tuned processes.
AEGIC’s Australian Wheat for Asian Baking project set out to develop and demonstrate new commercial bread-baking techniques, geared towards Australian wheat, to help Asian bakers get the most out value of Aussie wheat and increase demand.