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An image of freshly baking loaves of bread on a white farmhouse rustic table. Time-lapse of baking.

News Baking Time-Lapse

18 June 2024 Holly Eckersley

Time-lapse photography offers a unique and insightful way to document the baking process, revealing the intricate transformations that occur from start to finish. By capturing a series of photographs at regular intervals and then playing them back in rapid succession, time-lapse photography allows us to observe and analyse the otherwise slow and gradual changes that take place during baking. This technique can be especially beneficial for both educational and professional purposes.

Preparation and Mixing Time-lapse

The initial phase of baking involves the preparation and mixing of ingredients. Time-lapse photography can effectively capture the gradual combination of dry and wet ingredients, showcasing how they transform into a uniform mixture. This is particularly useful in illustrating the differences between various mixing methods, such as kneading dough for bread versus gently folding ingredients for a cake. By observing these processes in time-lapse, viewers can gain a better understanding of the critical role that mixing plays in developing texture and structure. In this video by annetagonist, posted on YouTube, time-lapse is used to help the viewer to understand the various stages in her brownie recipe. Critical in this is the mixing of ingredients and their order to create rich, gooey and dense chocolate brownies.

Fermentation Time-Lapse

For recipes involving yeast, such as bread and certain pastries, fermentation is a crucial step that can be effectively documented using time-lapse photography. During fermentation, yeast cells consume sugars and produce carbon dioxide and alcohol, causing the dough to rise. This process can take several hours, but a time-lapse video can condense this period into a few seconds, clearly showing the dough’s expansion and the formation of gas bubbles. This visualisation helps highlight the importance of fermentation in developing both the volume and flavour of the final product. Vincent Talleu uses time-lapse photography to document the fermentation of yeast showing it growing and expanding in a glass.

Baking Bread Time-Lapse

In this video by ChainBaker time-lapse photography is used to document a number of baked goods cooking in the oven. Delicious focaccia bread, sesame seed bagels, cinnamon buns, camembert brioche, flatbreads, cakes, hot cross buns, baguettes, pretzels, pizzas, croissants, biscuits, garlic bread and pasties are shown rising and turning golden brown in the oven. Set to Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers, the video shows all of the home cooked goods that have been made over a two year period by this enthusiastic chef.


Cookies Baking Time-Lapse

The baking phase involves several key transformations, all of which can be visually captured through time-lapse photography.

  1. Oven Spring: The initial rapid rise of the dough, known as oven spring, occurs within the first ten minutes of baking. Time-lapse photography can capture this swift expansion, making it easier to observe the impact of oven heat on the dough’s volume.
  2. Coagulation and Gelatinisation: As the temperature rises, proteins coagulate and starches gelatinise, setting the structure of the baked good. Time-lapse footage can show these changes in real time, providing a visual representation of the crumb structure forming and stabilising.
  3. Maillard Reaction and Caramelisation: The development of colour and flavour through the Maillard reaction and caramelisation occurs as the surface temperature exceeds 150°C. Time-lapse photography can vividly depict the browning process, illustrating how these reactions contribute to the final product’s appearance and taste.
  4. Evaporation: Water evaporates during baking, leading to a reduction in moisture content. Time-lapse photography can capture this gradual drying process, highlighting how it helps create a desirable crust in bread and contributes to the texture of cakes and cookies.

In this video by Suec525, it shows cold cookie dough melting in a hot oven, it then browns turning into chewy chocolate chip cookies in a matter of minutes.

Benefits of Time-Lapse Photography in Baking

Using time-lapse photography to document the baking process offers several benefits. Time-lapse videos can serve as powerful educational tools for both amateur and professional bakers. By condensing lengthy processes into short clips, these videos make it easier to understand and teach the various stages of baking. They can be used in culinary schools, online tutorials, and recipe demonstrations to provide a clear and engaging visual aid.

For professional bakers and food scientists, time-lapse photography offers a way to analyse and refine baking techniques. By closely observing each stage of the process, they can identify potential issues, experiment with different methods, and improve the quality and consistency of their products.

Time-lapse videos can also be a valuable marketing tool for bakeries and food businesses. These visually appealing clips can be shared on social media platforms, websites, and in promotional materials to attract customers and showcase the artistry and craftsmanship involved in baking.

For those involved in recipe development and innovation, time-lapse photography provides a way to document and share new creations. It allows bakers to showcase the evolution of their recipes and the techniques they use, fostering a deeper appreciation for their work.


An image of freshly baked croissants. Time-Lapse of baking.


At Time-Lapse Systems we are the UK’s leading professional time-lapse provider in the UK. We work across a range of genres documenting an extensive number of different projects, particularly in the food and beverage sector. Our clients include, Greggs, Greenalls Gin Distillery, Sainsburys, Tesco, Hello Fresh, Waitrose and Müller to name only a few. Food and drinks manufacturers choose us as their preferred providers of time-lapse photography due to our years of experience and our extensive portfolio of work. We have the capabilities and knowledge to capture both internal and external projects and we offer a range of services, such as drone photography, 360 and aerial film photography which can be integrated into our time-lapse videos.


If you would like to see more examples of our work and to learn how we can fully bespoke our videos for your project please get in touch.



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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.