The dough and batter start as a suspension in water. In baking, water serves as the medium where all the proteins, lipid, and carbohydrates and other structurally important molecules can interact resulting in important chemical reactions. In this procedure, the addition of buttermilk and the very cold butter introduces water into the mixture. With the addition of water, the sugar dissolves and interacts with the gluten in the flour giving the dough, it’s proper consistency and structure. Gluten is a big protein network formed by the proteins found in wheat such as gliadins and glutenins. Glutens and gliadins interact and form disulfide bridges which crosslink the molecules when the flour is added to water thus forming gluten. This protein network is also responsible for the chewy and airy texture of the biscuits. To add to this, the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking powder and baking soda resulting in gaseous carbon dioxide which causes the dough to expand. Baking soda is a basic compound which reacts with an acid to form carbon dioxide while baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, starch, and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar of potassium hydrogen tartrate is the acid component which activates baking soda in the baking powder. This activation happens only when water is added. Once the dough enters the oven, the water vaporizes thereby drying the dough and allowing the formation of the solid structure. The evaporation of water also acts as a mechanical leavening agent and expands the dough further. The high temperature also causes the bonds in the protein to break thus allowing the amino acids to move freely and react with the sugars resulting in the popular Maillard reaction which is responsible for the brown color of the cookies. When you mix wheat flour into an aqueous solution, (dough is an aqueous suspension after all- just a very viscous one) glutenins and gliadins are able to come together and form intermolecular disulfide bonds, crosslinking the molecules (Corriher, 1997). Now if we had properly introduced water through the addition of butter and eggs, the sugar would dissolve and the proteins in the flour would interact to give the dough its proper consistency. Then, once the dough enters the oven, the water vaporizes, drying out the dough and allowing the solid structure to form. The water vapor also expands to provide mechanical leavening to our cookies. When you add the buttermilk liquid to the dough, the acid in the buttermilk will react to the baking soda and baking powder, creating carbon dioxide. The released gas bubbles cause the dough to expand. 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board 1⁄4 tsp baking soda 1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum) 1 tsp kosher salt or 1 tsp salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold 1 cup buttermilk FRIED CHICKEN Using vegetable oil is essential because it has a neutral flavor and it doesn’t smoke at high temperatures. Other oils that can be used include canola and peanut oil. Cooking oils are made up of triglycerides, big chunky molecules made up of three fatty acid chains and glycerol. During the deep frying, the hotter and less dense oil rises while the colder and denser oil sinks to the bottom of the fryer in a process called convection. Convection creates a heat circulation that is even and constant at the surface of the chicken. Through conduction, the heat enters the inside of the chicken and cooks the raw meat. The observed bubbles at the edge of the meat is not due to boiling oil. The high temperature used in deepfrying boils the water inside the chicken. The steam of the boiled water that leaves the chicken meat creates the bubbles observed. These bubbles actually create a “steam barrier” that prevents the chicken from absorbing too much oil. This actually helps in maintaining the crispy crunch of the chicken. Maintaining this crispy crunch also involves another type of reaction called hydrolysis. The water that comes out the chicken meat reacts with the triglycerides by hydrolyzing them, resulting in the formation of free acid chains and other compounds. This process is important in removing water from the chicken which helps in making the batter and the skin of the fried chicken crunchy. The accumulation of free fatty acids which is responsible for the musty and fishy smell of old oil makes it advisable to replace the oil used in deep frying every now and then. Doing this prevents unwanted flavor from seeping into the chicken. Oxidation is also involved in deep-frying. Oxygen reacts with the fatty acids present in the oil and produce volatile compounds having a fishy scent. This robs the fried chicken of the amazing flavor and aroma it should have had. To avoid this, a deep fryer or a deep pot has been used. Anything that has a small surface area to volume ratio ensures that more parts of the chicken is completely submerged so less oxygen will penetrate and produce unwanted reactions. To add to this, various ingredients like ____________ with high antioxidant content have also been added to the marinate or batter. These antioxidants help block the oxidation process. The high temperature used in deep-frying can also cause the fatty acids to link together thus forming longer chains of fat in a process called polymerization. Polymerization of the fatty acids degrades the quality of the oil by thickening its texture. With this, it is advisable to cook the chicken at temperatures close to 168 °C to keep the polymerization at a minimum. It is also important to take note of how long the fried chicken is being fried. The moment there are few bubbles left on the surface of the chicken, the chicken must be immediately brought out to avoid unnecessary oil from seeping in. This is actually why over-cooked fried chicken are too tough and greasy. On the other hand, undercooked fried chicken lacks the necessary color and crunch and the flavor and texture of a properly cooked chicken meat since not much time has been given for the heat to reach the chicken meat through conduction. Dough: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 tsp sugar ¼ tsp fine salt 14 tablespoons cold butter, diced 1 large egg Filling: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 Fuji apples 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie ¼ cup unsalted butter ¼ tsp ground cinnamon Generous pinch of ground nutmeg 1 large egg, lightly beaten Explanation As mentioned earlier, the addition of butter introduces water to the mixture. Butter is basically made up of water droplets trapped in a matrix of fat. This addition of water allows the proteins found in flour specifically glutenins and gliadins to interact and form disulfide bridges which then results in the formation of the protein network gluten. It is important to know that excessive gluten formation makes the crust tough. Alcohol or vinegar can be added to avoid this excessive gluten formation. It is of utmost importance that all the ingredients of the pie and the made dough are kept cold. The desired flaky texture of the crust can only be achieved when the butter chunks are flattened and pressed in between gluten sheets. Warm temperatures melt the butter and allows it to mix with the gluten which then results in a greasy crust. During baking, the water droplets found in the butter vaporizes. This water evaporation acts as a leavening agent allowing the dough to rise and create air pockets. These air pockets are also responsible for the flakiness of the pie. The high temperature used in baking breaks the bonds in the protein allows the amino acids to move freely and react with the sugars resulting in the popular Maillard reaction which is responsible for the brown color of the cookies. To achieve a browner and more flavorful crust, the temperature was set to at least 375 degrees F. The top edges of the dough were brushed with egg and sprinkled with sugar before baking to add more proteins and sugar respectively for the Maillard reaction which then makes the edges browner. The slits or cuts found at the surface of the pie serves as steam vents. Apple has a huge water content and this water evaporates during baking. These steam vents help the water to evaporate more easily and leave the inside of the pie more quickly. With a lack of these steam vents, the water vapors get trapped inside causing the pie to swell. Not all liquid from the apple evaporates, however, some seeps into the filling making it runny and soggy. The addition of a little bit of flour in the filling helps prevent this since their molecules are larger than water causing them these molecules to move past one another at a slower manner. With this, the filling will ooze rather than pour to the plate. In baking, the hotter and less dense air rises up while the colder denser air sins to the bottom of the oven in a process called convection. This creates a heat circulation that is even and constant. Using a pie pan with a relatively high surface-area-to-volume ratio also helps in the proper distribution of heat throughout the pie resulting in a more optimal crust browning and more perfectly cooked filling. It is also important to remember to let the pie cool first before serving. Serving the pie immediately after baking will cause the filling to be runnier since molecules slide past one another in a faster manner at elevated temperatures. During the cooling time, the pectin in the fruit filling also solidifies allowing the pie to maintain its structure even more after being sliced.