Commercial bakers are adding protein. Lots of it. To everything. The high-protein trend is taking off in the baking industry, with consumers looking for added value and nutrition to their food. Baking with extra protein does present its fair share of challenges, but there are a growing number of innovative solutions to help make products that are delicious as they are nutritious!
One area with a lot of potential is cookie and biscuit products. Mintel reports that almost one in four consumers now look for cookies that are high in protein. So how can you produce them?
What are the challenges of baking high-protein cookies?
Protein is a functional ingredient that’s naturally present in many ingredients already used in baking, such as flour. It adds viscosity, binding, foam formation, emulsification, strengthening and dough formation.
However, high amounts can create issues such as:
- Processing efficiency: dough and batter becomes more dense and stiff
- Eating quality: products have more tough, chewy bite
- Product appearance: volume, crumb and texture are all affected negatively
In the case of cookies, a flour with around 8-10% protein is usually used. Extra protein can affect the spread and structure of the dough. However, because cookie systems do not rely on gluten development, they will be less affected by the elimination of wheat flour.
Formulating healthy cookies
Successfully adding protein to cookies requires looking at the function of key ingredients and adjusting the formula accordingly. Some minor adjustments and additions can go along way in increasing the overall nutrition of the final product. Adding ingredients like chia flour to increase protein and fiber, or using alternative sweeteners like allulose is a great place to start.
To see a sample cookie formula and troubleshooting tips, download our paper here!