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Thickeners and Stabilizers are the Basis for Perfect Baked Goods

Nina NordNina Nord
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Almost everyone loves sweet and salty biscuits and pies, but how many homemakers actually reflect on why they put butter or eggs in the dough?

All base components which are used for baking can be divided into stabilizers, macerators, sweeteners, raising agents, thickeners and flavoring ingredients.

Stabilizers contain protein and thanks to them, baked goods retain their shape after being removed from the oven. This category includes flour, eggs and starch.

well baked sweet bread

Flour contains a protein that turns into long elastic fibers during mixing, which are stretched, but not torn. Thus the dough is converted into a porous homogeneous mass. The longer we knead the dough, the more stable those filaments become (gluten strands).

Macerators make the baked good soft and remove dryness. They include butter, oil and pork lard. During kneading and heat treatment, the particles of oil surround the elastic fibers of the flour and shorten them.

Such a property is not only found in oils, but in products with a high content of fat - cream, high fat milk, fatty cheese, egg yolks. It is very important how you add the fat to the dough.

If you add the oil to the dry ingredients or add it in the middle of the finished dough, baking yields a layered structure. If the fat is mixed with sugar to foam, and then mixed with the other ingredients, a fine, porous pie structure is the result.

sweet bun

For sweeteners, everything is obvious - these include sugar, maple syrup, powdered sugar and honey. But keep in mind that honey and sugar affect the structure of some pies and retain moisture in the baking process.

Raising agents make the dough fluffy on account of the release of carbon dioxide as a result of a chemical or thermal reaction. For the dough to form pores which are fixed in place by heat treatment, you will need these.

Chemical raising agents are baking soda and baking powder and organic ones – yeast. Steam is considered a physical raising agent, which is released during heat treatment and causes gaps in the dough to expand. This is the method used in dough for croissants.

Flavoring ingredients are countless - vanilla, walnuts, fruits, anything that gives the baked good a special taste.

Thickeners make creams, sauces and puddings thicker. To this end, the most frequently used are gelatin, eggs and products which contain starch. The consistency of the product depends not only on the thickener, but also on the manner of preparation.

For example, if you are cooking cream and are stirring it constantly, you will get a thick, slightly liquid cream. And if you cook it in a water bath without mixing, the cream will be solid and will keep its shape after cooling - like custard.