Eggs, flour, Water, fat and in most cases sugar are necessary components in all baking and pastry goods. The process that occurs when these ingredients interact during the mixing and baking stage is indicative of the final baked product. To better understand baking ingredients, I divided them into two areas: stabilizers and liquefiers.
A stabilizer is an ingredient that assists in developing the structure for the baked good. Flour and Eggs are classified as stabilizers and provide structure to a finished baked product. Flour is the basic component in all baked goods and acts as a binding and absorbing product. The gluten in the flour helps to build structure and provides the backbone in the final product. As mentioned in an earlier post different types of flours have varying protein content and this ultimately affects the crumb structure.
Eggs offer extra stability during baking. It affects the crumb and texture by incorporating air and leavening elements. Whole, yolk or white eggs when whipped trap air and expand when heated resulting in a lighter product.
Water, Milk, fats and sugar act as liquefiers. Liquifiers help to bind dough, loosen or liquefy the dough or batter. Water dilutes and facilitates even distribution of sugar, salt and yeast in a batter or dough and also acts as a leavener. Milk serves a similar role but the element of fat in the milk adds flavor. The lactic acid in the milk helps the proteins in the flour tighten.
Fats, such as butter, oil or shortening are considered liquefiers and also provide the elasticity for the flour’s protein. Fats and oils divide the long gluten strands that toughen doughs and batters. This results in a less dense and more tender crumb structure.
Sugar has the tendency to stiffen a mixture at first, it’s an ingredient that attracts moisture and therefore loosens the batter or dough. It also acts as a gluten inhibitor, stopping the dough or batter from becoming too stiff or elastic. Sugar interacts with a component in starch to allow the batter and dough to remain softer longer, therefore, inhibiting greater speed of