Carasau bread is a typical Sardinian baking product, with great commercial potential, due to its long shelf life. Nowadays, its production is performed, in most cases, in small or medium size factories, where the working conditions and quality properties of the product are set on an empirical basis. Thus, the processing know-how lacks quantitative information, and the product is still far from standardization. As a result, industrial-scale manufacturing is hindered. The literature presents some studies devoted to better explaining the effect of semolina doughs' main constituents (gluten, starch, etc.) on their rheological properties or to infer the latter through in-line measurement. However, it is still necessary to understand the role of each working parameter in conditioning the dough rheology.
This work investigated the role of five working parameters: yeast amount, salt amount, water temperature, kneading time, and leavening time. The water amount was kept constant to avoid covering other effects because its role can be predominant in most cases. A Design of Experiments (DOE) was performed, in order to plan the experimental campaign. First, the dough samples were tested through a parallel plate rheometer (Anton Paar, model MCR 102), applying both creep and frequency sweep tests. Moreover, the same samples were subjected to Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) to highlight possible correlations between theoretical rheological model parameters and TPA ones, which can be obtained in shorter times, so being more suitable for process monitoring purposes.