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< prev - next > Food processing KnO 100644_Baking (Printable PDF)
Practical Action
a) b)
Figure 5: Forming bread dough into shapes, a) Dough divider (Pie Master at b)
Conical dough moulder
There are many variations of these machines as well as other equipment that laminates sheets of
dough with fat to produce Danish pastries and croissants, folding doughs to form pastries and rolls,
and filling doughs to form sausage rolls and fruit bars such as ‘fig rolls’.
Making cake batters
Cake batters are complex oil in water emulsions: added fats or oils are finely dispersed in water that
contains both sugar, egg, starch and flavours, and also a foam that is produced by incorporating air
when the batter is mixed or by adding baking powder. The cake texture depends partly on the
amount of air incorporated during batter mixing and partly on the time and temperature of baking.
Where emulsifiers are used, they improve the texture, volume and uniformity of cakes by controlling
the size of air bubbles in the cake batter.
The ingredients in a cake mix each have particular functions: flour and egg provide strength and
structure to the cake; sugar, fat and baking powder make a lighter texture; and milk and water make
a heavier texture. It is therefore necessary to balance these ingredients. There are hundreds of
different recipes for cakes, and each complies with three basic rules for cake-making:
The weight of fat should not exceed the weight of egg.
The weight of fat should not exceed the weight of sugar.
The weight of sugar should not exceed the total weight of liquids.
The two methods of making cake batters are the ‘sugar-batter’ method and the ‘flour-batter’ method.
In the sugar-batter method, fat, margarine or butter is beaten with sugar to create a cream. Any
colouring or essences are added at this stage and then egg is mixed into the cream. The sieved flour
and baking powder are then folded into the batter to achieve a smooth, lump-free batter but without
‘toughening’ it by too much mixing. Other ingredients (fruit, nuts etc.) are mixed into the batter and
it is poured into a greased baking tin and baked. In the flour-batter method, sugar and egg are
whisked together to form a batter. The flour is sieved to incorporate air, and folded into the egg/sugar
mixture, causing as little disturbance as possible to its structure, until the batter is smooth and free
from lumps. Any other ingredients are then blended into the batter. If the recipe uses margarine or
butter this should be creamed (mixed) with an equal amount of flour before mixing with the
egg/sugar. The sugar/egg mixture is added to the fat/flour mixture in about four equal portions,
beating each portion together. The batter is then placed into a greased baking tin and baked.
Hotplates and ovens
Hotplates are used to bake a wide range of flatbreads, batter-based pancakes, crêpes and scones.
They are normally made from aluminium or steel and may be coated with Teflon to give non-stick
properties. They are heated either by gas burners or by thermostatically controlled electric elements
embedded in the plate. In Ethiopia, a ‘mitad’ made from clay and fuel fired, or an electrically heated
metal version are used to prepare the flatbread, injera. A non-stick hotplate can be made from a
sheet of thick steel (e.g. 1 cm) that is heated over a fire. The steel plate is made non-stick by
covering it with a 1 cm thick layer of salt and heating it to a dull red heat for 20-30 minutes. At this