Properties and Functions of Ingredients in Baking
With simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, and flavorings a wide almost endless of products can be made. But to produce perfect quality products, careful attention must be paid to the ingredients in the recipe. Baking products depend on precise preparation. Baking is not an art. It is a science. It is important to follow baking formulas carefully and completely. “Different flours, fats, liquids, and sweeteners function differently. Bread flour and cake flour are not the same, nor are shortening and butter. If one ingredient is substituted for another the results can be different”. (Labensky) There are many different types of flour. The most common flours are made from wheat but any grain can be used to make flour, like rice or corn. A grain of flour is made up of the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. The bran is the outer-shell of the grain. The bran adds texture and fiber to the flour. The bran also gives flours, such as whole wheat flours, their brown color. The endosperm is in the middle of the grain. Most simple whit flours use only the endosperm part of the grain. The endosperm contains a small amount of oil, carbohydrates, and protein. Gluten is found in the endosperm of the grain. However, gluten does not become gluten until moistened and manipulated, such as kneading. The germ is a concentrated source of nutrients located in the center of the grain. The flours that contain the germ will have more vitamins, fiber, and minerals. The character of the wheat determines the character of the flour. The protein content is higher if the wheat kernel is harder. The softer the wheat kernel, the lower its protein content. Tender products, such as cakes, are best with soft, or weak, flour. Hard, or strong, flour is used for yeast breads. There are six main types of flour. Each flour has a different protein content and different uses. The first is cake flour. Cake flour is used for tender cakes and has a low protein percent of about six to eight percent. The second type of flour is pastry flour. Pastry flour can be used for products such as biscuits and pie crust. Pastry flour has a protein percentage of seven to nine percent. The third type of flour is the most commonly used flour, the all-purpose. All –purpose flour has a protein percentage of nine to twelve percent and is used for general baking. Bread flour is the fourth flour type. Bread flour is used to make yeast bread and has an eleven to fourteen protein percentage. The fifth flour type is the flour that is used to make breads and has a thirteen to fourteen protein percentage, whole-wheat flour. High-gluten flour is last of the six main types of flour. High-gluten flour has high protein percentage of thirteen and a half to fourteen and a half percent. High gluten flours are used to make pastries such as bagels. This flour is also used to increase protein content of weaker flour such as rye and whole-grain flours. Sugars and sweeteners are used in baking for color, flavor, as tenderizers, to provide food for yeast, and to serve as a preservative and act as a creaming agent to help with leavening. Sugar is a carbohydrate that can be classified in one of two levels. Sugar can either be a complex sugar or a simple sugar. Complex sugars may occur naturally or in refined sugars. Simple sugars, such as glucose, occur naturally in honey or fruits. Sucrose is the most often sugar used in the kitchen. Sucrose is a refined obtained from sugarcane and the root of the sugar beet. Like flour, there are main types of sugar. Turbinado sugar, also known as Demerara sugar, is the closest, consumable, product to raw sugar. It is a light brown color and has caramel flavor. Turbinado sugar is used in certain baked goods and beverages. Sanding sugar is a sugar almost exclusively used for decorating cookies and pastries. It has large, grainy crystal structure. Granulated sugar is the sugar used throughout the...
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