Monthly Archives: October 2010

Baking…

Baking. Baking. Baking. I seem to be stuck to the idea of baking today… and it’s not just today, it’s been a while. One time a few weeks ago, a friend was supposed to drop by at midnight. To kill time I decided to bake a cake. It turned out to be a crappy cake but that only got me even crazier.

Yesterday I got a Thermomix and my friend baked me some bread! Soft baguettes… and I was jealous! I couldn’t bake a cake and here was some bread and she made it look so simple!

I have to find a solution to my baking … urges! So, I’ve started researching. I’m trying to figure out the formula of baking. A friend once told me that it’s all about the formula. And man, it does seem complicated… for a simple thing like bread. And perhaps now I think it’s not as simple as I thought it may have been…

Ingredients:

Flour – 1 cup = 140 g.
Sugar (in a cake) must equal or exceed the amount of flour used. Upto 145% according to this rulebook. The author uses Baker’s Percentage – a formulation method.
Egg – for structure – depends on the flour. It’s also got some leavening (ballooning, or rising) properties. And there’s more…
Butter/Oil/Shortening – Used for capturing the air (rising) and emulsifying (getting the liquids and sugar to mix)
Milk – adds protein and therefore toughness. Strenght/structure. Also flavor and crusting. We’ll talk about crusting after I figure out the damn cake

So his formula for pound cake is:image

Which means, using the min. proportions

Substance Qty Units
Flour 100 g
Sugar 100 g
buttter 40 g
eggs 40 g (1 egg = 50g)
Baking Powder 1 g (averaging min & max. 1 tsp = 5 g)
Salt 2 g
Liquids 50 g/ml same thing (milk’s almost the same density as water)

I’ll share my experience about this mix later today. So, it’s either eggs or baking powder?

To my experiment, I added 20g of flour and 20g of sugar, to make it less fluid. I put them in muffin tins and now after 20 mins of low heat baking, the dough seems to have risen. I’ve left it to cool. Will report on that in 15 mins.

15 mins later:

It was decent, better than I expected. Some great stuff:

  1. Taste and sugar content were just right. Cocoa was perhaps a bit much. I should’ve reduced it, or adjusted the liquid content to even things up
  2. Caramelization of the muffin was excellent! So the sugar content was correct proportionally

Some challenges that I found:

  1. The raised dough was light, but it could’ve been puffier
  2. The muffin came apart too easily
  3. It was too dry. I’d have preferred it to be a bit moister

Possible adjustments:

  1. I added 40g of stuff. I should’ve lessened that or skipped it. I didn’t have a clear/valid reason to add that amount.
  2. Change the order. In my case, I mixed the dry stuff and then in my Thermomix added the liquids – butter, milk, eggs. So I should’ve mixed the dry stuff first, cleaned out the bowl, mixed the liquids and slowly added in the rest. this would’ve allowed the air to be captured better in the mix.
  3. Cooling. I let things cool in the oven. Perhaps, I should’ve removed them from there.

I think all these contributed to the underperforming muffin. So, the next time will be different!