Bakery ingredients are a lot of fun to play with! The bakery world is full of different flavors and textures, from the most delicate buttercreams to rich chocolate cake. However, not everyone understands how bakery ingredients work together or why they’re used in specific recipes. In this article, we’ll do a bit of exploring on bakery ingredients and their roles in your favorite bakery treats!
Flour is one of the most crucial bakery ingredients because, without flour, there would be no structure! This is one of the main components that make up bread dough; it helps provide structure for the bread while also adding flavor and color. The gluten found within wheat helps hold everything together, giving baked goods some firmness while also allowing them to rise when heated up! Bread flour has higher protein content than regular wheat flour, which helps create more gluten and produces a lighter loaf. There are three main types of flour: cake flour (very low protein), all-purpose (medium protein), and bread flour which have a high amount of gluten which is what bakers need for bakery ingredients.
One might think that sugar’s only job would be to provide sweetness, but it actually has a few other roles. Sugar helps the bakery ingredient leavening agents do their job better by making them more effective at trapping air bubbles and creating volume in baked goods. It adds tenderness, moisture retention, browning agent, and of course, flavor!
This is probably one of the most critical bakery ingredients because, without salt, there would be no flavor. Usually, sodium chloride or table salt are used since they have larger granules than regular sea salts, making them easier to incorporate into bakery recipes. Salt also acts as an antioxidant for bakery ingredients like nuts, so they don’t go rancid during the baking time!
Fat gives cakes that light texture we all love while adding richness and tenderness to baked goods. It also adds moisture retention, which is crucial for shelf-stabilized bakery items, like cakes and cupcakes! These can be vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, or safflower oil. Oils are liquid at room temperature, and bakery items that use fats should be refrigerated to extend their lifespan. Fats/oils act as an emulsifier in bakery goods by helping bakery ingredients not separate while baking, so it’s important to get the right blend for your bakery item!
This chemical leavening agent works together with an acid ingredient in bakery recipes to create carbon dioxide bubbles that expand when heated. Baking soda should always be used alongside something acidic, so baking doesn’t lose effectiveness!
To conclude, bakery ingredients are necessary for bakery items, but it’s important to know what each ingredient does and how they affect your bakery goods. Knowing the bakery basics of flour, oil/fats, baking powder/soda will help you formulate a recipe and become an expert baker!