Gluten Development In Quick Breads

Only slight gluten development is desired in most quick breads.Tenderness is the desired quality, in contrast to the chewy quality of yeast breads. In addition, chemical leavening agents do not create the same kind of textures that yeast does and are not strong enough to create a light, tender product if the gluten is too strong.

1. Muffin, loaf bread, and pancake batters are mixed as little as possible,just until the dry ingredients are moistened.This,plus the presence of fat and sugar,keeps gluten development low.

Overmixing muffins produces not only toughness but also irregular shapes and large, elongated holes inside the product.This latter condition is called tunneling.

2. Biscuit dough is often lightly kneaded, enough to develop some flakiness but not enough to toughen the product.

3. Popovers are the exception among quick breads.They are made with a thin batter and leavened by steam only. Large holes develop inside the product during baking, and the structure must be strong enough to hold without collapsing.Thus, bread flour is used, and the batter is mixed well to develop the gluten.The high percentage of egg in popovers also helps build structure.

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