@allaboutpastries: The Science of Baking Ingredients Part 2. An Interesting and Informative Way of Learning How to Bake! Plus More Great Posts You Might Have Missed

in food •  2 years ago  (edited)

We left off yesterday after discussing flour and fat; how they work together, and how you can use this information to produce fantastic baking every time.  You now have that knowledge, and when you have finished reading this post you will be able to bake cakes just like this one!


So lets continue with the other major ingredients, starting with eggs.

Eggs act in both capacities; as a strengthener, and to weaken.  Through the egg whites...... moisture is added which develops the protein structure.  


The yolks, due to the fat content help tenderize.  Lecithin within yolks help bring together fat and liquid which 'shorten' pastry, as they inhibit protein chain development.  Therefore, if you want really short pastry in your pie, the liquid element should be egg yolks; expensive though!  Mind you, you will be able to make lots of lovely meringues with the spare whites, yummy.


Eggs also add flavour and colour. 


Egg whites on their own are a strengthener, when whisked up to foam they give volume, think of a Soufflé, 


or Meringues. 


Raising agents (Leveners), disrupt gluten development and help weaken the structure.  The air bubbles expand and break through the gluten chains. Remember, too little in your cake and you will get a dip in the center; easily remedied though by hiding the dip with fruit! 


If you add a very small amount of baking powder to the flour when making pastry it will help stop it becoming tough through over mixing once the liquid is added. Not too much though (about 1/4 tsp), as you don’t want cake!  Never use self raising flour to make pastry, you will loose crispness, and it will double the thickness of your pastry.  However, if you substitute a portion of plain flour for self raising flour, your pastry will not be tough and the rise will be insignificant; about 20 % (4 parts plain flour : 1 part self raising flour) substitution should do it.


Sugar always makes 'shorter' pastry as it weakens protein chains. Sugar also absorbs liquid first before flour ensuring a 'crumblier' texture.  Sugar also adds colour and crispness to baked goods.  Biscuits are a prime example, the higher the sugar content the crispier your biscuits will be; 


and why sugar free 'sweet' items have very little colour, and a poor texture - little better than flavoured pastry!

Milk acts as a strengthener as the liquid content aids gluten development.  Too much liquid of any kind causes structures to collapse so you must get it right.  You can get away with a 'sloppy' bread dough because the stronger gluten chains can to an extent hold its structure, though the bread will have a very open texture.  Ciabatta is a prime example where an open, holey texture is required; 


never with cake or pastry though!  Milk also gives flavour through natural sugars which add a touch of sweetness to your baking. 


As you can see it is vitally important that the 'strengtheners' and 'weakeners' are in balance in your baking. Luckily, most recipes are; you don’t have to think about it. 


Finally, salt plays an important part in baking, not as a strengthener or weakener, but to develop flavour and balance sweetness.  A good pinch of salt added to your baking will enhance the flavour considerably, even with sweet baking. Salt will 'kill' over sweetness too; salted caramels always taste better than unsalted!  


With biscuits which require high sugar levels to gain crispness, add some extra salt and they will not taste as sweet - it's magic!


You now have some understanding of the way ingredients work together. Hopefully I have managed to simplify the complex science behind these ingredients.  As you gain experience you will start to know why your baking failed and have the knowledge to put it right. 

So let’s look at the different kinds of ingredients commonly used in baking today.  My next series will cover these, starting with chocolate!!!!! 

Now Some More Interesting Posts:

@fkofficials has given us a really tasty looking and healthy breakfast cake.  Well worth a look.

@cleankarma and the 'nutty' dark chocolate nourishing squares: healthy? Chocolate?  Great!!

@tesscooks4u .  A wonderful pistachio dessert, Luuurve pistachios; what could be better?

And finally for now.....

@meuraxa with Indonesian Culinary delights, in this case 'Chicken Rica', and doesn't it look soooo good!


Please my Dear Steemit Friends, please carry on writing these fantastic posts as all I want to do is........



As often as I can!

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Ohh again great post..very creative spicy sweet.. thanks !!

No, thank you for viewing. Much appreciated. :)X

Posts are very useful and add knowledge thank you for posting

Thank you for reading, much appreciated. :)X

Looking forward to the chocolate post! :)

I'm not. How to temper chocolate? Trying to explain the complex science of that process in a post. Likely to make it two posts or the few followers I have will run away! :)X

Haha I'm hoping for some tips! I've not done much chocolate work other than with modelling choc x

Just taken far too long on Chocolate part 1, the next will cover tempering in some detail so you might find that more useful? This one just explains what chocolate is. Pity I can't write just words, as have to interspace with images so it will be read. That is what takes the time. hey ho, life goes on! :)X

I'm learning so much! I feel like I should make flash cards!! :)

LOVE IT! LOL. Thank you very much. Chocolate next....he he. :)X

Hey, awesome post.
I'm guessing however that you weren't a maths teacher or it was very late when you wrote this - proportions 1:5 mean 16-17% ;)
I know, I know, not that important.

LOL. You are so right, yes it was very late, and yes I was not a Maths teacher, wonderful. In the scheme of things, no not very important, easier to just portion rather than weigh. I thought the 1 : 5 didn't look right, meant a 1/5th! Hopefully, people got the point! Thank you for putting me right. and thank you for enjoying my post. Please put me right again in future when I make a gaff! :)X

20 % is 1:4, you can update it :)
For the sake of completeness, one of the cake pictures has no source provided and I think it comes from Steemit, from https://steemit.com/food/@get-baking/wow-so-luxurious-my-raspberry-creme-brulee-tart-it-really-is-heaven-in-each-slice-try-me-now

Will do. Yes I know, that is me too! I want this as an educational and community site, while my original site will have general blog and recipes. Must say it is hard to do two sites and publish quality content. Hey ho succor for punishment! :)X

Again, Polish translation: https://steemit.com/food/@breadcentric/troche-naukowo-o-pieczeniu-czesc-druga
It's hard to keep up :)

Thank you for putting in the time. Are you sure you have the time to do this? You are a star*************! multi times over. :)X

If course I don't, like with many other things I'd like to do but have no time for, but I do them anyway ;)

You really are a star. Hope we both succeed on steemit. I am going to set up an external blog site and republish on there to try and have a second stream of readers for my stuff. Wasted with so few viewers on steemit. Will also go back to writing my books and self publish on Amazon. Can't loose much by it only time! LOL :)X

Do you think you will get many more people by publishing in two places? How about trying to find different channels to draw people to your content in here? Like a FB page, or Instagram?
Not saying it's a bad idea, it's just that you may find yourself having to deal with a lot of distractions. It's not just write and post, the complexity grows the more places you host content in.

My original site was hijacked. Got it back but already started this one. Did not want to loose followers from that one so decided to split them into educational and recipe sites. Have Facebook and twitter but not instagram. Not really done much with them just post to them when I have written. I do have to earn an income from these so I must try as much as I can to develop a following. Hard work as you know, but wont give up! :)X