The main ingredients for bread making are flour, yeast, water and salt. In our bakeries we use a method of mixing known as “High Speed” mixing (the Chorleywood Process), which lasts about three minutes.
Once the dough has been mixed it goes through a machine that divides it into smaller pieces, each of which will eventually become a loaf of bread. These pieces are then shaped into balls and left to rest for a few minutes – this allows the yeast begin to work and gives the dough an opportunity to rest. This resting stage is known as the first proof.
The dough pieces are moulded by a machine that flattens the dough between two rollers. The dough is then rolled up like a swiss roll. Good moulding produces an even texture in the finished loaf. Some loaves are made using a four piece process which cuts the swiss roll into four pieces that are then dropped into one tin. Other moulding techniques use a single piece of dough which is placed directly into the tin.
The dough pieces then pass into a proover where in a warm moist atmosphere the yeast produces gas to make the dough rise. This is known as the final proof stage. After about 50 minutes in the proover the dough is ready for baking.
The risen dough passes into a pre-heated oven at about 280°C for approximately 20 minutes. The bread must reach a temperature greater than 92°C to ensure that it is fully baked. This results in a rounded high topped loaf e.g. Irish Pride White Sliced Pan. To make a square loaf e.g. Irish Pride Big Toast, a lid is placed on the tin before baking.
After baking the bread travels into a cooler which takes 2 ½ hours to bring the temperature of the bread down from greater than 92°C to below 26°C. The atmosphere is controlled to keep the bread soft.
The bread is sliced and wrapped as soon as it leaves the cooler to maintain softness. There are several types of packaging used including bags e.g. Irish Pride Sandwich and wax wrappers e.g. Irish Pride White Sliced Pan.
The bread is then packed on to trays or baskets and delivered to your local store. We deliver our best to you daily because for us It’s a matter of Pride!