23 August 2007

Baking Theory Notes: Fermentation Chemistry 4


Remember: Fermentation starts when the mixer stops!

Control Fermentation through:

  1. Temperature
  2. Time
What happens during the fermentation process?
  • Gas is produced --> Carbon Dioxide {When Dough is mixed gas is caught by the gluten and the gas rises}
  • (water & flour cause enzyme activation)
  • Gluten is modified --> Dough becomes balanced so dough is workable : Elasticity --> Extendability
  • Flavor is developed (Acidity)
  • Alcohol is developed ("Alcoholic fermentation")
*To test the "alcoholic fermentation" theory ---> when you are ready to mix your formula, open a starter, either one retarded or left on the bench (Ciabatta or Croissant are especially potent!), lean in --- (as a former instructor would explain: "you rip back- because alcohol has hit your brain", he had such a big grin when he said this ) I am telling you --- it'll knock your socks off. The more "bake-tarded" (my own baker slang) you become, the more you anticipate smelling those starters! Ha HA!


fermentation chemistry simplified
click here to see a bigger sized diagram of the chemical changes of fermentation.

Biochemical Catylist: an organic substance formed by living cells (yeast), is able to cause changes in other substances {i.e bacteria, fungus or both } without changing it's self .

yeast cell budding

Diastatic = has enzymes
Non-diastatic = enzymes have been killed

Diastic Enzymes:

---> Supplied by flour / or Malt (sugar)
  1. Alpha-Amalase works on Amylose ---> Converted to Dextrin (sugar)
  2. Beta-Amalase works on Amylopectin ---> Converted to Maltose (sugar)
*These diastic enzymes are important because they work on STARCH.
---> Wheat is 70% starch (bran is protein)


--->Amylose --->

Diastatic Enzymes from flour (from milling) work on the damaged starch (i.e gelatinized (from heat / baking) and convert it to sugar (2% of starches) .

End result is mostly Maltose. Yeast cannot metabolize maltose.

  1. Maltase (enzyme) ---> converts to Fructose, Dextrose / Glucose)
  2. Sucrose [beet or cane] (granulated sugar) ---> Converts into Glucose
  3. Invertase (enzyme from yeast) ---> converts Glucose into Sucrose

Yeast takes maltose (enzyme) and converts it into Fructose, Dextrose / Glucose {allows yeast to eat it).

These processes take place if:
  1. Optimal Temperature
  2. Right moisture Content
  3. Allowed Optimal time
Zymase (yeast) ---> Reacts with simple sugars and injects CO2 into the dough causing it to rise. Produces alcohol.

Simple Sugars:
  1. Fructose = CO2
  2. Glucose = CO2
  3. Dextrose = CO2
Proteolytic Enzymes
  1. All from flour
  2. Can be found with Diastatic Enzymes
---> Protease ---> Converts protein ---> Modifies the gluten so dough is workable (softens and makes extendable)

*Over mixing dough will break dough down into "slime". I've seen this happen, it ain't pretty. Kinda resembles the stay puff marshmallow man (as the ghostbusters cross streams)
when he is obliterated --- a bumpy, jiggly white mass. yuck.

14 August 2007

Blurb on Big Small Plates : Recipe for Tomatillo - Avocado Salsa 6

Cindy Pawlcyn Big Small Plates:

...I was inspired

by that funny movie
Mermaids, where Cher plays
a mom who can only cook appetizers...

Smaller Portions. Big On Taste.
I am a big fan of the bite sized sampler. I love dim sum.
At most decent restaurants you can satisfy hunger
with an order among friends made solely of appetizers.
When I think about small samplers, It is a feeling
much more nostalgic, it awakens memories of
toddler days, when little bits , here and there
were arranged in a goofy mosaic on my colorful
melmac dinning set, equipped with matching fork
and sippy cup. Little nibbler was I, and I enjoyed
this feast as I watched Sesame Street. My favorite
short was of the Pastry Chef, who in his chef
whites and hat, aided by snazzy jazz muzak, speedily
flat iced a cake on his Revolving Cake Stand.
That was a defining moment for me . I saw that and told
myself, yes, that would be someone neat to be.

In Cindy Pawlcyn's newest cookbook,
she explores the shrinking culinary world of mini plates. It is a trend I would love to see more of, especially as America's waste size keeps growing. Most restaurants have to relay their culinary flare plated with portions suitable for two people, eaten by one. Most customers tend to feel robbed if their portions play out into healthy sizes on the plate. The average person would vote quantity over quality --- in theory a better value, but for most avid foodies this is not the case.

Big Small Plates is a refreshing take on mini portions. Here Cindy uses ingredients to maximize flavor, and in the recipe below she includes some of my ♥ favorite ♥ ingredients. It is a ♥Vegan/Vegetarian friendly recipe.

Cindy's Backstreet Tomatillo - Avocado Salsa
Make sure you find the right ripeness in your avocados --- wiggle the stem, it should move gently, but not sink in totally.
Juiciness of tomatillos vary** --- you might need to add a tsp or more of rice vinegar and one additional tablespoon of olive oil.
If you want less heat in your salsa --- be sure to remove the jalapeño seeds.

  • 8 oz. tomatillos, papery husk removed, cut into ½ - inch dice.
  • 1 ½ avocados , pitted, peeled, and cut into ¼- inch dice.
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced.
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded if you wish, and minced.
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar**
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

To make the salsa :

Combine all the ingredients except the vinegar and oil, in a bowl. Mix well but gently, taking care not to mash the avocado. Whisk together the vinegar and oil until emulsified, and add just enough of this to the salsa to moisten it. Reserve any leftover vinaigrette to use in other salad dressings.

Big Small Plates © Ten Speed Press

Other cookbooks big on little adventures:

04 August 2007

Baking Theory Notes : The Yeaasty Boyz 1

I liken Yeast to the popular and oh-so-old skool group ,The Beastie Boys. Both groups - whether rockin' the mike or the mixer, if given the best environment, will rock hard...and go on and on and on, improving on flavor. They both are fueled on additives and are a product of alcohol, whether that means straight drunk or chemically.....they get ill.

Beastie Boys by LaMoe79


Purpose: Leavening of doughs
Optimum Temp: (to warm 33-40°F) (♥ prefer. 33-38
°F) as temp. deteriorates over time.

When Yeast is activated: 45

Thermal Death of Yeast: 140

----> Compressed Yeast
  • 73% moisture
  • Needs to be as fresh as possible for use.
  • Refrigerated
  • Has not been processed as much as dry yeast.
  • Fresh yeast is best for products to be frozen
Conversion Rate {If formula calls for Active Dry Yeast, you will need 2½ X [the amount in formula] = amount of compressed yeast needed}
----> Active Dry Yeast
  • Can be stored for 1 month.
  • Has to be reconstituted in 4x it's weight.
  • Not used as frequently in bakeries, as in restaurant kitchens.
Conversion Rate {To substitute Compressed Yeast in a formula : multiply 2½ X [the amount of Active Dry Yeast] = amount of Compressed Yeast needed }

----> Instant Dry Yeast

  • Shelf life of 1 year
Conversion Rate {To substitute Instant Dry Yeast in a formula calling for compressed: multiply 3 X [the amount of Compressed Yeast ] = amount of Instant Dry Yeast needed }

For More Yeast Info: Go here

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