Mixtures

I When you whisk light mixtures, hold the whisk like a pencil, with the balloon end pointing away from you.

I When you whisk light mixtures, hold the whisk like a pencil, with the balloon end pointing away from you.

^^ When you whisk heavier mixtures, it is less tiring if you hold the whisk with the balloon end facing you, and slightly bend your wrist.

Compressed yeast rapidly deteriorates at room temperature.

Dry active yeast has had most of its moisture removed by hot air, which leaves granules of dormant yeast that are asleep. Dry yeast must be reactivated in liquid that is between 100°F and 110°F (38°C and 43°C) before being added to other ingredients. Dry active yeast is available in %-ounce packets, 4-ounce jars, or 1- to 2-pound vacuum-sealed bags. Unopened packages can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months. Once opened, containers of dry active yeast should be kept frozen. When you substitute active dry yeast for compressed yeast, use 50% less than called for in the formula.

Also called instant yeast, quick-rise dry yeast is similar in appearance to dry active yeast. However, its leavening action is much quicker, speeding the rising of dough. Quick-rise dry yeast provides closer results to compressed yeast. To use quick-rise dry yeast, first blend it with the dry ingredients.

Then, add water that is between 100°F and 110°F (38°C and 43°C) to activate the yeast. Quick-rise dry yeast lasts at least one year in unopened packages or when it is stored frozen.

Salt

Salt also has an important role in baking. It enhances the product through its own flavor as well as bringing out the flavor of other ingredients. Salt also acts on gluten and results in an acceptable texture. A certain amount of salt is also necessary to slow down or control fermentation in yeast products. However, salt can negatively react in baked goods if it is not measured accurately or if it is added at the wrong point in the mixing process.

Flavorings

Flavorings include extracts and spices. Although flavorings do not usually influence the baking process, they do enhance the flavor of the final baked product.

Extracts Extracts are liquid flavorings that contain alcohol. They are mostly concentrated, volatile oils or essences diluted with alcohol. Vanilla extract is the exception. It is made by passing alcohol through the vanilla bean, with little or no heat, to extract flavor.

Spices Spices add to the enhancement of food and baked goods by adding flavor, color, or aroma. Most spices come from the bark, roots, flower buds, berries, or seeds of aromatic plants or trees. Although they are not commonly thought of as spices, coffee beans and vanilla pods also fall into this category. Citrus zest, or the outer skin of oranges, lemons, and limes, is considered a spice, too.

Ground spices release their flavor quickly and are often purchased in quantities that can be used within three months. The flavor of whole spices comes out over long cooking periods such as those used in baking. Spices should be used carefully so that they do not overpower the food. Spices used frequently in baking are listed in Figure 26.2.

* Nutrition Notes *

Chocolate Nutrition

Most people enjoy eating chocolate. Some researchers have found health benefits to eating some types of chocolate:

• Cocoa and dark chocolate have antioxidants, which can help lower LDL cholesterol.

• Some studies have found a reduction in blood pressure after eating dark chocolate. However, too much chocolate in a diet can cause overweight and obesity. It is important to eat foods like chocolate in moderation and to maintain a healthful diet.

CRITICAL THINKING Who could benefit from lowered LDL cholesterol?

Chocolate and Cocoa

Chocolate and cocoa add body, bulk, and a unique color and flavor to a wide variety of baked products. Both items are made from the cacao (ks-'ka-o) bean.

L jFIGURE26.2 Spices Used in Baking

' Spice of Life Spices are used to give interesting flavor to baked goods. What baked goods do you think anise is used in?

Spices

Uses in the Bakeshop

Allspice

Used in cakes and puddings; allspice is the dried, unripe berry of a tropical tree; available whole or ground; combines flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves

Anise

Used in cakes, cookies, and candies; anise is the dried seed of a plant; available whole or ground; licorice-like flavor

Cardamom

Used in pastries and baked goods; cardamom is the seed of a native Indian herb; available whole or ground; sweet, peppery flavor

Cinnamon

Used in cakes, cookies, pies, breads, and desserts; cinnamon is the thin, dried inner bark of an evergreen tree; available ground or in sticks; warm, spicy flavor

Cloves

Used in baked goods such as breads and pies; cloves are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree; available whole or ground; warm, spicy flavor

Ginger

Used in baked goods such as cookies and cakes; ginger is the underground stem of a tropical plant; available dried or fresh; sweet, peppery flavor

Nutmeg

Used in custards, pies, breads, and other baked goods; nutmeg is the kernel or seed of the fruit of an evergreen tree; available whole or ground; sweet, warm, spicy flavor

Poppy Seed

Used in breads, rolls, and other baked goods; poppy seed is the dried, ripened seed of a Middle-Eastern plant; nutty flavor

The meat of the cacao bean is roasted and ground into a thick substance called chocolate liquor. Cocoa butter is a by-product of cocoa powder production. More steps are then taken to create a variety of chocolate or cocoa products. The most common varieties in the bakeshop are unsweetened chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa powder, and Dutch-process cocoa powder.

Chocolate must be tempered when it is used. Tempering allows crystals in chocolate to be distributed evenly. This creates a creamy, shiny final product.

Unsweetened Chocolate This form of chocolate is also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is the pure, hardened substance that results from roasted and ground cacao beans. Unsweetened chocolate has no added sugar or milk solids. It is bitter because it contains no sugar. Unsweetened chocolate gives baked products an especially rich taste because it still contains all of the cocoa butter from the bean.

Semi-sweet Chocolate Sugar, l ecithin ('le-ss-thsn), and vanilla are added to

Chocolate and Cocoa All varieties of chocolate and cocoa come from the cacao bean. What is the difference between cocoa powder and Dutch-process cocoa powder?

unsweetened chocolate to create semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. Semisweet chocolate is often used in chocolate chip cookies and glazes.

White Chocolate White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, lecithin, and dried or condensed milk. There is no chocolate liquor in white chocolate.

Cocoa Powder Cocoa powder is the dry, brown powder that remains once the cocoa butter is removed from the chocolate liquor. It is used mostly in baking and has no added sweeteners or flavorings. Cocoa powder absorbs moisture and provides structure, the same way that flour does.

Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder Adding an alkali, or base, to cocoa powder makes Dutch-process cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa has a darker color and milder flavor than regular cocoa. It is less likely to lump and produces a milder, smoother chocolate flavor. Dutch-process cocoa can be substituted for unsweetened chocolate when adjustments are made to the amount of cocoa and shortening that is used.

Additives and Nuts

Additives are used in the bakeshop to color, thicken, provide texture in, and replace fat in baked products. (See Figure 26.3 for a list of common additives that are used in the professional bakeshop.)

Nuts are often used to provide flavor, texture, and color in baked products. Figure 26.4 on page 699 shows the nuts most commonly used in commercial bakeshops. (For more information on nuts, see Chapter 16.)

gluten so important in the baking process?

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