Importance Of Chemistry In Baking

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The Chemistry of Baking
If there is one thing in the world that brings people together, it is food. No matter who a person may be, or what their background is, everyone can enjoy an excellently crafted dish. In particular, many people enjoy selections of pastries, sweets, and bread. There are hundreds to thousands of crafted desserts and bread around the world. When a person first bites into a macaroon, slice of asiago bread, or a perfectly-shaped chocolate chip cookie, they might not consider all that goes into their snack. What they might not know, or think to consider, is that baking is simply chemistry.
Chemistry was originally brought to the attention of bakers to improve the art of their craft. In fact, there was an entire study done
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Baking is dependent on interactions of various chemicals in substances, and so it is chemically based. Stripped down, the science of baking is simply a series of chemical reactions. Chemical reactions, or chemical changes, are defined as “a process involving one or more substances changing into a new substances (Buthelezi 1010). There are four major reactions in baking: protein bonding, leavening, maillard reactions, and caramelization (Baker).
Protein bonding in baking involves glutenin and gliadin, two proteins found in flour. These two proteins form a bond when water is added to flour, such as when making dough. The bond these two proteins form results in the formation of gluten (Baker). Dough made from wheat flour and water will cause the gluten to transform into a thick, sticky, and elastic mass. This will allow the dough to rise many times its original size and set with a light texture. Due to this, gluten is a main component in baked goods, as it provides an appropriate structure (Czernohorsky and
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These reactions are also known as “browning” (“Maillard Reaction”). This happens due to the high temperatures involved in baking. These reactions cause the darkening of the dough, and also delicious flavors and aromas (Baker). There are 3 stages to the Maillard reaction: the initial stage, the intermediate stage, and the final stage. The initial stage is where the amino acids involved in the reaction begin to condensate. The intermediate stage occurs when sugars dehydrate and become fragments, and the amino acids begin to degrade as well. This produces a colorless to light yellow crust. The final stage is when the crust will become a nice, golden brown (“Maillard

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