Ingredient Basics • Common ingredients in all baking: • Flour-protein (gluten) and starch in flour gives most of the structure • Liquid- Usually water or milk • Leavening agents- causes product to rise • Fats- adds tenderness, richness and flavor • Sweeteners-provides sweetness and flavor, makes product tender, and helps crust brown • Eggs- help form the structure and binds • Flavoring- extract flavors, spices, herb, vegetables, nuts
Leavening Agents • Leavening agent is a substance that triggers a chemical action causing a baked product to rise • Types of leavening agents: • Air: trapped air in mixture expands when the product is heated. • Ex: Angel food is mainly leavened by beaten egg whites • Steam: As a product bakes, temperature of the water rises and steam is formed. The steam expands which causes product to rise. Ex: Cream puffs
Leavening Agents (cont.) • Yeast: is an alive microorganism that produces carbon dioxide gas as it grows. • Yeast requires food, liquid and warm temperatures in order to act as a leavening agent
Leavening Agents (cont.) • Baking soda: leavening agent used with acidic liquids, such as buttermilk, yogurt or sour milk. • Baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas when activated by the acidic liquid – which causes a food to expand and RISE! • Baking powder: Made of baking soda and a powered acid (ex: cream of tarter). • Used in recipes with no acid part because it already contains the acid.
Batters and Dough • The amount of liquid in relation to the amount of flour determines whether a mixture is a batter or a dough. • A batter will have more liquid than dough.
Batters and Dough's • Four kinds of batter and dough: • Pour batter: thin enough to pour in a steady stream. Ex: Cakes, pancakes, waffles 2. Drop batter: are thick and are usually spooned into pans. Ex: Cookies and some quick breads 3. Soft dough: are soft and sticky but can be touched and handled. Ex: rolled biscuits, yeast breads and rolls, and some cookies start with soft dough 4. Stiff dough: are firm to the touch, easy to work with and cut. Ex: Piecrust and some cookies Flapjacks by Alton Brown!
Quick Breads • Quick breads are quick and easy to make. They don’t require kneading and usually use baking powder as a leavening agent. • High in carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins and iron. Some quick breads can be high in fat. • Examples of quick breads are muffins, biscuits, pancakes, corn bread, and fruit breads
Muffin Method • Muffin method: • Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and make a well in the center. • Mix all liquid ingredients in separate bowl and then pour them in the dry ingredient bowl. • Do not over mix • Mixture should be lumpy • A properly mixed muffin should have a rounded, pebbly top
Loaf Breads • Many quick loaf breads are mixed in the same manner as muffins. • Usually baked in greased loaf pans. • If bread contains fruits or nuts, the bottom of the pan should be lined with parchment paper.
Biscuits • Biscuits are delicate, have a crisp crust, and peels apart in tender layers. • 2 kinds of biscuits: • Rolled- rolling out dough ½ inch thick and cutting with a biscuit cutter. If you do not have a biscuit cutter, use the rim of a water glass. • Dropped- dough is dropped with spoon. These contain more liquid and are too sticky to roll. - Both are made using the pastry and biscuit method of mixing.
Pastry and Biscuit Methods • In the pastry and biscuit method the fat is cut-in tothe flour. • To cut in means to mix solid fat and flour using a pastry blender or 2 knives in a cutting direction.
About Yeast • Single celled, microscopic plant. • When you add sugar to yeast, it reacts to the bacteria and creates carbon dioxide. This leavens the baked product. • Water mixed with yeast MUST be between 110 and 125 degrees in order to keep the yeast alive. • Available in three forms: • Active dry (what we use) - Compressed (very perishable) - Fast rising yeast (rises twice as fast)
Yeast and Kneading • After forming the dough for yeast breads, you MUST knead it!!!! • Almost all of the gluten forms during the kneading stage. • It is important to not add too much extra flour while kneading. This will make the dough far too stiff.
Yeast and Fermentation • After you knead the dough, what do you do??? • When you let it rest in a warm place, the yeast acts upon the sugar and the carbon dioxide causes the bread to rise. This is called FERMENTATION! • The bread should at least double in size during fermentation
Punching Down! • When the dough has risen all the way and has doubled in size, you have to punch it down to release some of the carbon dioxide. • Some doughs require a second rising period.