Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Baking and Baking Science

For this time around, we will include Part Six and Part Seven as a PDF document which you can view or download and save 


Download or view Part Six


Download or view Part Seven


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Mmm…yummy, the very existence to so many things that taste great and feel great (mouth feel). All types of fats have been used in cooking since the beginning of time. Tell me one grandmother that didn’t use lard/shortening (Crisco) in her baking…I’m sure there are still many people that do. It really does give you a great product.

First let’s clarify, that the difference between a “fat” and an “oil” is temperature. A “fat” is solid at room temperature and “oil” is liquid at room temperature. Change the temperature and you can convert oil into a fat, or vice versa.

The current trend in commercial cake baking is to replace plastic fats entirely with liquid oil in combination with appropriate surfactants and increased water levels. Canola oil has been show to replace hydrogenated shortening successfully in white layer cakes when used with an emulsifier system.

In recent tests oil cakes were dense and tough with a harsh crumb. But including the emulsifier system as 9.5 percent of the flour weight, along with 169 percent water, corrected these defects. In fact, the emulsified cakes were tenderer than the shortening prototype even when the oil was reduced from 52.5 percent to 10.5 percent of the flour weight. In this example, a cake produced in this manner could provide an attractive market opportunity for “light cakes”.

Oil-surfactant systems are also forecast to replace solid fat in commercial bread production. Oil has the advantage that it can be pumped and metered — features which are important in continuous factory processes.


Margarine versus Butter
 In the United States and Canada, margarine is marketed as a butter alternative and must contain 80 percent fat. However, in parts of Europe, the term margarine is used generically to describe any hydrogenated vegetable oil, and colored, 100 percent fat margarine may be sold for baking and frying.

A buttery flavor, smooth texture, spreadability and rapid mouth-melt are important features of table spreads such as margarine.

The use of skim milk in margarines along with appropriate starter cultures and ripening conditions produce lactic acid, diacetyl, and other chemicals which are part of a natural butter flavor. However, margarine does not quite match butter in flavor. A 1986 comparison of commercial blends of butter and canola brick margarine showed that the buttery flavor intensity of 50:50 blend was comparable to that of butter while that of 100 percent margarine was not. The fact that butter is still prized for special baking may be because the flavor compounds produced when butter is heated are among the most difficult to duplicate.

The advantage of margarine over butter is its spreadability. Consumers may choose to buy soft tub-type margarines which spread easily straight from the refrigerator.

Soft margarines are more spreadable because they will contain up to 70 percent liquid oil, whereas brick margarines are usually combinations of oils hydrogenated to different degrees of firmness.

It’s your Decision
Whether you choose to use butter, hydrogenated oil (shortening), partially hydrogenated oil (margarine) or a liquid oil emulsification is a choice usually based on economics. Even with the amount of information readily available, the cheaper way to production may always be the ultimate answer.

Consumers are very demanding. They want a great tasting product that is healthy and can be consumed all day long…and of course in a beautiful convenient package at rock bottom prices.

Cheers, TBN

Can you produce such a demanding product, sell at mass-market prices and still come out on top? If you can, your growth will be uncontrollable.

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Happy Mothers Day to all you fantastic mother’s and thank you for teaching us the fine art of baking.


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