Recipes around the world compilation

Basic Ingredients and Equipment in Baking

By PutoPinoy on Thursday, June 07, 2007 At Thursday, June 07, 2007

A. Basic Ingredients in Baking

1. Flour. When mixed with water, flour forms an elastic and rubbery substance known as gluten which is responsible for the structure. There are many kinds of flour that are available in the markets today. These are all-purpose flour, cake flour, bread flour and whole wheat flour. They differ primarily in their gluten content.

2. Liquids. The most common liquids used in baking are water and milk. Their primary function is to react with flour to form the gluten. They also increase moisture content and prolong the self life of thee baked product.

3. Shortening. The shortening makes the product more tender. The most common shortening are the following: butter, margarine, vegetable shortening, lard and oil.

4. Eggs. Eggs have many functions in a baked product. The egg white, when beaten, helps to make the mixture rise and also adds volume to the baked product. The egg yolk enhances the color of the baked product. Eggs also add important nutrients in a baked product.

5. Leavening agents. The common leavening agents used in baking are baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar. These make the dough rise, producing a porous and light finished product.

6. Sugar and Salt. Sugar hastens the development of the batter or dough, contributes to the nutrient value of the baked product and increases the tenderness of the baked product. Salt is used mainly because of its flavor. It enhances the flavor or other ingredients and strengthens the gluten of the batter or dough.

7. Flavoring extracts. Flavoring or extracts add flavor and aroma in a baked product. Examples of flavorings or extracts are vanilla, lemon and strawberry.

Basic Equipment and Utensils Used in Baking

  1. Oven. Commercial ovens are used for medium to large scale production; these ovens are bigger and more durable.
  2. Electric mixer. This is used for beating different ingredients such as butter and egg whites. It can save time and effort in baking.
  3. Cake pans. These come in different shapes (round, square, rectangle and loaf pans). Loaf pans also come in different sizes (small, medium and large).
  4. Cookie sheet. This is used in baking cookies and making jelly rolls.
  5. Measuring cups. For liquids, you will need a heatproof measuring cup. For dry ingredients, stainless steel cups are used. Do not substitute one kind for the other.
  6. Measuring spoon; spatula for mixing and scraping; wooden spoons; bowls and sifter.
  7. Cake decorator. Although optional, cake decorators come in handy especially if you intend to sell special occasion cakes.