2What is it?Leavening baked goods is a process that causes the product to be light and porous.. Leavening involves producing a gas that expands the batter or dough leaving holes as the dough/batter sets during the baking process
3The most widely used leavening agents are: Baking sodaBaking powder Yeast
4Steam and air also considered leavening agents: Steam is created when a very hot 400 degree oven is used. These high temperatures cause the liquid in the recipe to create steam. The egg and gluten in the batter forms around the steam to create the structure of the product as we see in popovers.Air is used as a leavening agent when fat; sugar and sifted flour are mixed with an electric blender. During this process protein from the gluten is trap the air bubbles to create a light and fluffy product.
5Quick Breads/MuffinsQuick breads all contain flour, liquid and salt. Depending upon the recipe they may also contain fat, sugar and eggs. There are foud categories of quick breads depending upon the flour to liquid ratio in the product. The categories include:Pour batters: popovers, pancakes, cream puffs._ 1:1 flour liquid ratioDrop batters: muffins and some cookies. _ 2:1 flour to liquid ratio.Soft dough’s: biscuits and scones_ 3:1 flour to liquid ratioStiff Dough: pasta and pie crust._6/8:1 flour to liquid ratio
6YeastYeast is a microscopic organism that works as a leavening agent. Yeast is considered a fungus related to the mushroom family. Yeast cells multiply and grow best when handled with care and allowed to grow where it is warm ( F ) and moist. And when it is combined with the proper food ( flour/sugar), liquid and warm temperature yeast produces carbon dioxide, expands and grows. This process causes the dough to expand and rise.
7How do ingredients react to Yeast? SUGAR: is the food yeast needs to make the carbon dioxide gas which causes the dough to rise. It also helps the crust to brown and adds flavorFAT: helps to extend the shelf life of the dough. It also helps the dough to stretch easily when forming the crust.FLOUR: when stirred and kneaded with the yeast mixture, the gluten stretches to form the elastic framework that holds the gas bubbles formed by the yeast. This makes the structure of the crust. The amount and quality of gluten caries depending upon the type of flour used.**Flours with the most gluten produce products with the biggest volume. The amount of flour needed for your dough varies slightly depending upon the weather conditions and type of flour used.LIQUID: all liquids must be at the proper temperature to dissolve the yeast without killing itSALT: slows down the action of the yeast as well as draws out the flavor of the other ingredients.
8USING WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR Whole wheat flour has less gluten than white flour. Whole wheat will produce a heavier and more flavorful pizza dough. Because of the increased fiber content it will not rise as high and will produce a denser chewier crust.
9KneadingUse a flat surface that has a small amount of flour on it ( ¼ to ½). Also rub flour on your handsForm the dough into a round ballFold it towards you.Using the heels of your hands, push dough away with a rolling motion.Turn dough one quarter turn around and repeat until dough is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes)If dough becomes sticky, sprinkle board with flour under the dough and rub more flour on your hands.
10Rising Rising time caries depending upon method used The dough should double in sizeTo check this press the tips of two fingers lightly and quickly ½ inch into dough.If the dent stays it has doubled.
11Punching down the dough Using your fist punch dough down by gently pressing your fist down into the centerThis action helps to eliminate the large air bubbles.It also helps to build up the elasticity and makes the lighter more tender and easier to shape into your final creation.