World Grain - July 2021 - 26

FEATURE: FRENCH ROLLS POPULAR IN BRAZIL
dard " ABNT NBR 16170 " has specified criteria for
evaluating and classifying French bread. Shape, size,
properties of the crust, color, crumb structure, shred,
odor, flavor... every detail of a perfect pão francês is
described precisely in these guidelines. Although the
standard is not binding, the initiators hope it will help
to ensure that " French rolls " are of uniform, defined
quality in all corners of the country.
A Brazilian product
with a hint of France
No Brazilian consumer expects
a traditional French baguette
when buying pão francês. The
misleading name, which means
" French bread, " is thought to
have originated in the early 20th
century, when the upper classes
of Brazil took pleasure in visiting
far-off destinations in Europe,
especially France. Upon
their return, the travelers gave
their bakers rapturous descriptions
of the delicious bread
they had enjoyed in Paris. The
typical loaves in France at that
time were short and cylindrical,
with a firm crumb and a
golden-brown crust. They were
forerunners of the baguette,
which did not acquire its characteristic
elongated shape until
later. Following these descriptions,
Brazilian bakers tried to
imitate this European speciality.
What emerged was a new bakery
product in its own right; it
was destined to become an unprecedented
bestseller, known
as " pão de sal " (salt bread),
" cacetinho " (stick bread), " pão
careca " (bare bread) or " filão "
(snake bread), according to the
region.
26
Polysorbate as an emulsifier
If the rolls are to be light and fluffy inside and have a
thin, crisp crust, the flour used must guarantee suitable
baking performance. To reconcile quality with economy
in the grinding process, the mills generally combine
cheaper domestic wheat lots with higher-performance
imported wheat. In the past it was the Mercosur countries
Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay that played the
most important role, but countries
like Russia, Ukraine and
other Black Sea countries also
have become established trading
partners.
To standardize flours made
up of very different wheat varieties
and regions of origin, it
is established practice in Brazil
to treat the flour with enzymes
and additives. The products used
include oxidizing agents, amylases,
xylanases, hemicellulases
and emulsifying additives like
DATEM and SSL. A peculiarity
of Brazilian food law is the
approval of polysorbate, a highperformance
emulsifier that has
a particularly strong effect on
the gas retention capacity and
stability of a dough. The additive
azodicarbonamide (ADA)
is also a much-used improver
in Brazil. However, in comparison
with other South American
countries that permit a dosage
of up to 45 ppm, the maximum
quantity allowed in Brazil is
lower, at 40 ppm.
Ensuring firm doughs
Besides a suitable flour, the making-up
process for the dough is an
important factor for the quality of
pão francês. Even at the smallest
artisan bakeries it is usual to have
a special mechanical roll shaper
to replace laborious manual rounding and molding.
After mixing and kneading, the dough is left to ferment
only for a short time before processing continues
mechanically. On a feeder conveyor belt, the dough
pieces are pressed automatically and pass through various
roller systems with decreasing gap widths. This results
in thin, portioned sheets of dough that are rolled
up tightly by several deflectors.
The bakers only have to intervene to give the rolled
dough portions a finishing touch to their appearance.
The loaded proofing trays are then placed in the proofing
chamber at a temperature of about 30°C and a relative
humidity of 80%.
The " French mini-loaves " are baked for about 20
minutes at 200°C to 220°C after being scored lengthwise
to create the split.
Increasing expectations
For many Brazilian consumers, the price and freshness
of the rolls are still the most important criteria for buying.
But generally speaking, the bakeries are noticing
increasing expectations on the part of their customers.
Fewer consumers are willing to tolerate fluctuations
in appearance or taste. On the contrary, there is a demand
for high and consistent product quality. Since it
is sometimes only necessary to make small adjustments
to the recipe or production method to enhance the appearance
and sensory properties of pão francês, here
is an overview of the most common mistakes made in
production, with suggestions for avoiding them:
Problem: Low bread volume.
Possible causes: Fermentation time too short; too
little yeast; unsuitable flour with too little enzymatic
activity.
Solutions: Prolong the fermentation time of the dough;
use more yeast; use suitable flour; increase or adjust flour
treatment (Alphamalt VC 5000, Alphamalt HCC 2).
Problem: Inadequate shred/bloom.
Possible causes: Fermentation time too long; dough
temperature too high; flour too weak; too little enzyme
activity.
Solutions: Shorten the fermentation time; use cold
water; use more steam in the oven; increase humidity
in the fermentation chamber; use more oxidizing agent
(OXEM, Elco P-100); add more enzyme improvers
(Alphamalt EFX Mega, Alphamalt H 19480).
Problem: Dark crust, soft crumb.
Possible causes: Enzymatic activity too high; oven
too hot; baking time too long.
Solutions: Use wheat flour with lower enzymatic activity;
add less alpha-amylase (Alphamalt VC 5000) to
July 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com
http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - July 2021

World Grain - July 2021 - Intro
World Grain - July 2021 - 1
World Grain - July 2021 - 2
World Grain - July 2021 - 3
World Grain - July 2021 - 4
World Grain - July 2021 - 5
World Grain - July 2021 - 6
World Grain - July 2021 - 7
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