Properties and Functions of Ingrediants 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
Cited: Labensky, Sarah R. On Cooking. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., 2011. Book. Larson, Linda. "Baking Ingredient Science." n.d. About.com. Document. 27 January 2013.