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Thread: Baking

  1. #1 Baking 
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    does anyone know excatly what each ingredient does in recipes? like yeast breathes out causing air bubbles and the sugar feeds it. It would just help cause then you know what ingredients you dont actually need


    just wondering
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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Yeah it's frustrating to skim through hundreds of recipes just searching for the essence of what the heck is actually happening. I learned by finding the most bare-bones recipes - bread, noodles, cake, etc. - and then experimenting. Depression-era had some very stripped-down recipes. They really stretched the butter back then. I guess a proper cook book (not recipe collection) ought to give some insight.

    I blame the Boston Cooking School. Their book published over a century ago claimed to be the world's first "scientific" cookbook... meaning it actually gave exact measurements and directions. This I think set the standard of ingredient lists, temperatures, and even timed procedures cooks would follow dumb of why:

    "Whisk for 6 minutes." :?

    Do you have a particular question?


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  4. #3  
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    I'm not sure there's anything that doesn't have a role of some sort.

    You described yeast for example as needed to leaven the bread. Well they need something to eat, so thus added sugars, or sugars such as maltose in the flour.

    Than there's stuff to add to consistency, flavors, nutritional quality etc.

    The science of food is pretty interesting though.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  5. #4 Re: Baking 
    Forum Sophomore cluelusshusbund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendra
    does anyone know excatly what each ingredient does in recipes? like yeast breathes out causing air bubbles and the sugar feeds it. It would just help cause then you know what ingredients you dont actually need
    Below is a wheet bread i make twice a week... an to make it you need yeast yogert wheet flower flax seed meal vital wheet gluten caraway seeds water an salt... the caraway seeds are jus for flavor so you can leave 'em out... but the rest of the stuff is necesary.!!!

    Go here an play the "Guess Game".!!!

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/gener...uess-what.html

    When the curent game is guessed... post anuther photo for us to... "Guess what this is" :-)
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    For bread all that's really necessary is flour (normally wheat), water (or the water in milk, beer, etc.), and the type of leavening that defines bread: yeast burps.

    Salt is usually added for taste and also to control yeast growth.

    I prefer to jump-start the yeast in a thin batter of warm water and flour, plus a dash of sugar... and no salt. Around body temperature it'll foam up nicely. This is actually reproducing the yeast, so you get more. Pre-industrial bakers continually multiplied their yeast supply by coddling it that way.

    Yeast will grow in flour without any added sugar, it just takes longer. In any case what sugar it eats is lost forever and turned to alcohol plus CO2, neither of which improve the taste of bread. So we want to avoid overgrown yeast, by conserving its bubbles and even artificially expanding them. Yeast thoroughly distributed throughout the dough yeilds uniform bubbles. Large bubbles of course pop out so we've lost them, lost time, and gained only alcohol. Egg/flax and especially gluten give dough a rubbery quality AKA "matrix" that conserves bubbles. Kneeding improves the microscopic layout of this matrix. Gasses also expand when heated in the oven, so this is a 2nd stage of leavening applied to bread.

    Blah blah blah. Anyway: flour + water + yeast = bread. Sugar to accelerate; salt to brake. Conserve your bubbles.

    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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