Thermodynamics of Bread Baking: A Two-State Model
American Journal of Physics
Bread baking can be viewed as a complex physico-chemical process. It is governed by transport of heat and is accompanied by changes such as gelation of starch, the expansion of air cells within dough, and others. We focus on the thermodynamics of baking and investigate the heat flow through dough and find that the evaporation of excess water in dough is the rate-limiting step. We consider a simplified one-dimensional model of bread, treating the excess water content as a two-state variable that is zero for baked bread and a fixed constant for unbaked dough. We arrive at a system of coupled, nonlinear ordinary differential equations, which are solved using a standard Runge-Kutta integration method. The calculated baking times are consistent with common baking experience.
Zürcher, Ulrich, "Thermodynamics of Bread Baking: A Two-State Model" (2014). Physics Faculty Publications. 315.