A lot more goes into baking other than flour and water. Even simple ingredients like salt play a bigger role than adding flavor. I recently hosted a record-attended webinar by the American Society of Baking on the basics of baking ingredients, diving into some of the most common ingredients such as fat, fiber, eggs and chocolate.
Just in case you missed out on the webinar, I’m sharing the answers to questions asked by fellow bakers:
Q: Are mono- and diglycerides derived from partially hydrogenated oils? If so, is this always the case?
A: Not so; here is why.
Q: What is a good substitute for gluten in gluten free products to get the same functionality as gluten?
A: Gluten provides two main functions in bakery goods: strength and viscosity. Strength is often provided by other proteins like egg, whey, soy, etc., while viscosity is often achieved with modified starches and gums. Focusing on these two characteristics of gluten will help you reformulate for gluten-free products.
Q: How do I ensure that bread has a good oven spring and smooth crust after baking?
A: Oven spring is dictated by yeast and the oxidization system. Early yeast kill and inadequate oxidizers would prevent a good oven spring. A smooth crust is obtained in the proofer. A dry proofer with low humidity would result in a rough crust.
Q: What causes a muffin to have a great dome? And whom would you look to for clean label certification?
A: A great looking dome is mainly caused by the viscosity and stability of the batter. Emulsifiers, chemical leavening, water and flour quality all contribute to this. There is no legal entity established for clean label certification. Please contact me to seek a clean label alternative.
Q: With a wheat flour at 15% proteins, good for pan bread, how can this be used for artisan bread?
A: This level of protein is actually great for artisan bread. However it depends on the type of bread you want to make. Sourdoughs or baguettes would usually require higher water absorption and longer fermentation times to produce.