HOW TO ACHIEVE GREAT BAKING RESULTS FROM PROPER MIXING TECHNIQUES
To get the greatest possible baking results with a bakery mixer, I had to learn how to mix all of the ingredients properly. I’m not very good at baking, so I asked my friend Chef Jenni, a fantastic baker and even better teacher, for assistance.
Before you try this, it’s critical to understand how individual components function in the baking process, so I recommend that you read Bread Making Ingredients and then come back here to learn how to combine them all together.
Because Chef Jenni goes into such great depth with them, I’m going to split the Two-Stage Method and the Egg Foam Technique up into two distinct entries.
The most important thing to keep in mind about the bread, biscuit, and cake techniques is that all components should be at or near room temperature (about 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit), or around 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the right temperature is maintained for solid fats and proteins, they will become “more plastic” (i.e., more
- When your proteins are too cold, they will take much longer to combine and foam up.
- If your fat is too cold, it won’t be stiff enough to allow for optimal air absorption.
- If your fat is too hot, it will become rigid and hard, so make sure it’s soft and flexible, similar to Play-Doh.
- It should not be as fluffy as a cloud, but it should be soft enough that you can run your finger through it without making a groove.
- It should be flexible, not soft.
To achieve optimum creaming efficiency, the fat and eggs should be cold. The sugar in whipped cream causes tiny holes or pockets in the fat where bubbles may develop and expand. It’s critical to properly cream the fat (a new, technical phrase).
The egg is the final ingredient in our cream mixture. You’ve sweated and strained to make sure that the fat and sugar are smooth or fluffy (depending on the recipe). What do you suppose will happen if you combine 39 degree eggs with a fattened fat?
Are we the only ones who find it strange that they’re talking about “plastic fat” when all we have is actual fat? To avoid crystallization, keep liquids below 140°F. All we have is real fat; there’s no such thing as plastic fat! When your dough or batter cools down, the fat will solidify.
THE MIXING TECHNIQUE
Cremating is the process of making cookies, as well as cakes. I’m not sure whether you noticed a change in texture between cookies and cakes, but I do notice a difference. Cookies have a finer, thinner texture than cakes.
Cookies, on the other hand, are more moist and have more liquid than cakes. Some of this texture distinction is owing to the greater quantity of liquid components. Differences in creaming account for a portion of the disparity.
To make a chewy cookie, you must first form a soft fat/sugar paste on low speed. You’re done when the distinct pieces of fat and sugar no longer appear in the mixing basin with the bakery mixer. To make a lighter cookie with a cake-like texture (or to make a cake), begin slowly and finish on medium speed
Rather than being dense and paste-like, light and fluffy dough is desired for chewy cookies. The longer creaming time allows more air pockets to form in the fat, ensuring optimum leavening.
THE MUFFIN METHOD
The muffin method is a quicker method of combining ingredients than the mixing technique. You must still make sure that your components are at room temperature, but as long as you combine the wet and dry elements gently, you should be fine.
Breaking down a baked muffin to look for the crumb is a simple test for determining whether you’ve mixed enough. If you see lengthy tunnels in the crumb, then you ran too hard.
Another thing to consider when utilizing the muffin method is that there is no “pre-leavening,” as with the creaming technique. I liken them to tiny pockets of sugar and fat, similar to those produced when creaming, in this case.
In the muffin method, the fat will combine with the wet components in a liquid state (either oil or melted butter).
Spelt flour is an excellent alternative to wheat flour when making a healthier version of brownies, cookie dough, or cake pops. This type of flour is ideal for creating low-carb breads since it doesn’t contain gluten and absorbs moisture effectively (unlike wheat flour).
- If you use baking soda in a food processor, it will distribute chemical leaveners throughout your dish to ensure an equal rise.
- The flour is separated from the husks and chaff, which allows for expansion of the chemical leaveners into air pockets over time.
- In a dish where chemical leaveners are not used, the natural expansion of air pockets from the heat of baking is allowed to occur. The result of this method is a pleasing browned exterior and crumbly interior.
- You can also accomplish this by using an old fashioned oven for baking your dishes, as opposed to a newfangled convection oven.
- Since there’s no fan, convection ovens may dry out your baked goods. For a chewy brownie or moist cake, turn the conventional oven off periodically to maintain a consistent internal temperature and steam moistures inside the cooking chamber.