The Science of Baking Notes The Science of Baking

The Science of Baking…
Chemical Reactions
 A recipe is like a chemical formula.
 Chemical reactions during baking give the product
its final appearance, texture and flavor.
What Ingredients do…
 Flour:
 Provides proteins and starch that make up the
structure of baked products.
What Ingredients do…
 Leavening agents:
 Make products rise by causing air or gas to be
trapped in the mixture.
 Without these, products would be flat and dense.
 Ex: baking powder, baking soda, yeast, beaten eggs
What Ingredients do…
 Liquids:
 Help flour form the structure of the product.
 Also make possible many of the chemical changes.
 Ex: water, milk, fruit, yogurt
What Ingredients do…
 Fats & Oils:
 Make products rich and tender. They also add
flavor and help to brown the crust.
 Ex: butter, margarine, vegetable oil, lard &
What Ingredients do…
 Sweeteners:
 Give flavor
 Also, help crust to brown
 Ex: sugar, honey, powdered (confectioners) sugar,
molasses, brown sugar
What Ingredients do…
 Eggs:
 Make baked products tender.
 Add flavor and richness.
 Can help bind mixtures together so they don’t
separate (dough)
 Beaten eggs may be used as a leavening agent.
What Ingredients do…
 Flavorings:
 Chocolate, spices, herbs & extracts (vanilla or
How Ingredients are Combined…
 They are combined or mixed in a specific way
depending on type of product.
 Proper mixing helps to give desired texture.
How Ingredients are Combined…
 Mixture is called either dough or batter.
 Dough: thick enough to be shaped by hand or cut
into shapes.
 Ex: biscuits, cookies, pie crust, some breads
 Batter: thin enough to be poured or dropped from
a spoon.
 Ex: pancakes, muffins & cakes.
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Trapped Air
 Air is trapped when you sift, cream fat & sugar
together, beat egg whites, or beat batter.
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Steam:
 Product must be baked at a high temperature.
 High heat causes water in mixture to turn to steam
& causes it to rise.
 Ex: cream puffs
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Chemical Leavening
 Baking soda & baking powder
 THESE ARE DIFFERENT! Read recipes carefully.
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Baking Soda: forms CO2 gas when combined
with an acid.
 Used when using acidic ingredients (buttermilk,
yogurt, or citrus).
 Baking Powder: Combo of baking soda and a dry
 It forms CO2 when liquid is added.
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Yeast:
 A microscopic plant that gives off gas as it grows.
 It reproduces quickly if it has warmth, food (sugar)
and moisture.
 Yeast gives the baked product a distinctive flavor.
 Why
baked yeast bread smells so good! 
How Leavening Agents Work…
 Leavening agents work with gluten.
 As batter or dough is mixed the gluten strengthens
to form an elastic mesh.
 When baked the air/gas is released & gluten
stretches to let product rise.
 As baking continues heat causes proteins and
starch to become firm and set.
5 tips to Successful Baking
1. Use the exact ingredients called for.
2. Measure accurately
3. Follow the mixing directions in the recipe
4. Use the correct type & size of pan
5. Use the correct oven temperature