Production methods

The principles of baking bread have been established for thousands of years. The basic ingredients are flour, yeast, salt and water.

All bread making processes rely on four key steps:

  • Mixing
  • Proving/Fermenting
  • Baking
  • Cooling

There are two main methods of making bread:

    • Bulk Fermentation Process (BFP)
    • Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP)


BFP is a traditional method. Ingredients are mixed together to form a dough and left to ferment for up to three hours. During fermentation the dough changes from a short dense mass into an elastic dough. The time taken to reach this state largely depends on the amount of yeast and the dough temperature.


The modern commercial process used in large bakeries is known as the Chorleywood Bread Process and was developed in the early 1960’s by the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association (BBIRA) at Chorleywood. CBP uses mechanical energy in the form of high speed mixing to develop the dough for proving and baking. It is essentially a rapid form of kneading helping to develop the gluten (protein) structure within the dough (this means that the lengthy bulk fermentation of traditional processes is not needed). To achieve this, a flour treatment agent (ascorbic acid) and a little fat or emulsifier need to be added, usually in the form of a bread improver.

Other than mixing and bulk fermentation, all other parts of the bread making process – dough dividing, proving, baking, cooling and slicing are the same as any other way of making bread.

The plant bread production process takes around 4 hours from end to end.

Other methods of bread making include:

      • Activated Dough Development (ADD)
      • Straight Dough Method
      • Delayed Salt Method
      • Sponge and Dough Process (S&D)
      • Ferment Dough Process

For further information please click here to download our Consumer Factsheet No. 7 – How bread is made.