Is Baking Bread Endothermic or Exothermic?

Are you a baker and love to bake bread? Is Baking Bread Endothermic or Exothermic? So you must know that baking bread is a chemical reaction. This reaction converts the raw material into a loaf of bread. To understand this reaction, we must know whether the reaction is endothermic or exothermic.

An endothermic reaction is an input of energy into the material. While the exothermic reaction is an output of energy into the material. Here a question arises: “Is baking bread endothermic or exothermic?” To clarify, it is important to understand the chemistry of the baking bread process.

The role of an endothermic and exothermic reaction is the subject of detailed debate among bakers. In this article, we will try to discuss the main aspects of the bread-baking process. And try to analyze this process.

What is the difference Between Endothermic Reaction and Exothermic Reaction?

What is an Endothermic Reaction?

Endothermic is a chemical reaction that absorbs energy in the form of heat. It means the reaction involves the input of energy. This process often has negative delta H (enthalpy) values. It is the indication of the absorption of energy from the environment. Some common examples are the evaporation of water vapours and ice melting.

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What is an Exothermic Reaction?

Exothermic is a chemical reaction that releases energy from heat, light, or sound. This energy release increases the temperature of the surroundings. It is a common type of reaction in everyday occurrences. Some common examples are the burning of candles and the rusting of iron.

Overview of Baking

Baking is the preparation of food items that use dry heat. The different mediums of the baking process are the oven, hot ashes, or hot stones. Baking in the oven is now the most common and widely used in the world. The baking process requires pans, sheets, and different utensils like a spatula, bowls, or electronic beaters. The baking material like flour, sugar, eggs, butter, oil, and other items as per requirements.

While many other bakery products like rolls, muffins, pies, pastries, cookies, or cupcakes. Bakery items are favourites all over the world.

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Chemical Reactions involved in baking bread

The bread-baking process has chemical reactions with the involvement of enzymes. It has three reactions: the role of yeast in bread-making, the breakdown of carbohydrates and the production of CO2, and the Maillard reaction and the formation of new flavours and aromas.

The role of yeast in bread-making

Yeast is a single-celled fungus that consumes sugar and excretes carbon and alcohol as by-products. Yeast ferments the sugar in the process of dough rise. That produces carbon dioxide to make dough fluffy and light. The produced alcohol is then evaporated in this process, left with the yeasty flavour of the bread.

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The breakdown of carbohydrates and the production of CO2

In the fermentation process, the carbon dioxide production gives the bread a light and fluffy texture. The CO2 production in this process depends upon several factors. What is the type and amount of yeast used for fermentation? Temperature and humidity of the surrounding. And how much time dough is left to rise.

The Maillard reaction and the formation of new flavours and aromas

The Maillard is a chemical reaction between sugar and amino acid when food is cooked at high temperatures. In baking bread, the amino acids in the dough react with the sugars to form a wide variety of new compounds. They include a variety of volatile compounds that contribute to the flavour and aroma of the bread. This is done at very high temperatures, usually above 300°F (150°C).

Factors that influence the energy balance

In the bread-baking process, there are many factors involved that influence the energy balance of bread, such as the type of flour, amount of yeast, temperature, and time. The type of flour impacts the energy balance because every flour type has different protein and gluten content. The amount of yeast can impact in a way that the balanced quantity of yeast can produce a perfect lighter dough. While too much yeast can produce uneven or can ruin the dough.

The temperature can also impact the energy balance. Very high temperatures can overcook the outer layer and undercook the inner one. Sometimes it can burn the bread. While lower temperatures can take more time or cook crumbs. Time can also be a factor in influencing the energy balance. Much time can cause the burning of bread. While less time can result in undercooked bread, which can be wasted.

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How to calculate the energy balance using the heat of the reaction? 

The heat of reaction is the amount of heat absorbed or released during a chemical reaction. If the heat of the reactions is greater than the energy input, the process is said to be exothermic (releasing heat). If the heat of the reactions is less than the energy input, the process is said to be endothermic (absorbing heat). It is quite a complex process to calculate this balance with sophisticated techniques.


Without more information, it isn’t easy to conclude whether bread-making is endothermic or exothermic. The energy balance during bread-making depends on the heat of reaction for the various chemical reactions that occur during the process and the energy input (in the form of heat) required to bake the bread. Proper instruments and more parameters are needed to conclude. Still, this will vary in each baking process of bread.


Q. What is bread made of?

The making of bread includes flour, water, yeast, and salt. Additional ingredients include sugar, fat, and milk.

How does yeast work in bread-making?

Yeast consumes sugar and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol as by-products. While the gas trapped in the dough creates a rise of it and a light texture.

What is the Maillard reaction?

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids and sugars in the dough while the bread is baked.

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