Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

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  • These are proteins that are also biocatalysts, meaning they increase the rate of a reaction without undergoing permanent changes to themselves. The rate of reaction is dependent on temperature. At room temperature the rate is slow, at mild heat the rate generally increases, and at high heat the enzymes are deactivated.
  • During fermentation, alpha-amylase breaks down damaged starch into sugar, making food more readily available for the yeast; if there is too much alpha-amylase, the dough will be sticky, with little oven spring.
  • During the early part of the bake, amylases can break down the gelatinized starch before becoming deactivated. In small amounts, this helps crumb formation, but too much breakdown results in a less stable, sticky crumb.