How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Third Edition
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More About This Title How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Third Edition


An up-to-date, comprehensive guide to understanding and applying food science to the bakeshop.

The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between. Among other additions, How Baking Works, Third Edition includes an all-new chapter on baking for health and wellness, with detailed information on using whole grains, allergy-free baking, and reducing salt, sugar, and fat in a variety of baked goods. This detailed and informative guide features:

  • An introduction to the major ingredient groups, including sweeteners, fats, milk, and leavening agents, and how each affects finished baked goods
  • Practical exercises and experiments that vividly illustrate how different ingredients function
  • Photographs and illustrations that show the science of baking at work
  • End-of-chapter discussion and review questions that reinforce key concepts and test learning

For both practicing and future bakers and pastry chefs, How Baking Works, Third Edition offers an unrivaled hands-on learning experience.


Paula Figoni is a food scientist and associate professor at the International Baking and Pastry Institute in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She has more than ten years of experience in product development and food science at The Pillsbury Company and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.




1 Introduction to Baking 1

Introduction 2

The Importance of Accuracy in the Bakeshop 2

Balances and Scales 3

Units of Measure 5

Weight and Volume Measurements 5

The Difference Between Weight Ounces and Fluid Ounces 7

The Difference Between Density and Thickness 8

Baker's Percentages 9

The Importance of Controlling Ingredient Temperatures 11

The Importance of Controlling Oven Temperatures 12

2 Heat Transfer 19

Introduction 20

Methods of Heat Transfer 20

3 Overview of the Baking Process 33

Introduction 34

Setting the Stage for Success 34

Stage I: Mixing 36

Stage II: Baking 38

Stage III: Cooling 44

4 Sensory Properties of Food 57

Introduction 58

Appearance 58

Flavor 61

Texture 68

5 Wheat Flour 79

Introduction 80

The Wheat Kernel 80

Makeup of Flour 82

Classifying Wheat 83

Particle Size 84

Flour and Dough Additives and Treatments 85

Commercial Grades of White Flours 89

Types of Patent Wheat Flours 91

Other Wheat Flours 94

Functions of Flour 96

Storage of Flours 98

6 Variety Grains and Flours 117

Introduction 118

Cereal Grains 118

Alternative Wheat Grains 122

Cereal-Free Grains and Flours 123

7 Gluten 135

Introduction 136

The Formation and Development of Gluten 136

Determining Gluten Requirements 138

Controlling Gluten Development 140

Dough Relaxation 150

8 Sugar and Other Sweeteners 163

Introduction 164

Sweeteners 164

Dry Crystalline Sugars 167

Syrups 173

Specialty Sweeteners 183

Functions of Sweeteners 186

Storage and Handling 191

9 Fats, Oils, and Emulsifiers 213

Introduction 214

Chemistry of Fats, Oils, and Emulsifi ers 214

Processing of Fats and Oils 217

Fats and Oils 221

Functions of Fats, Oils, and Emulsifi ers 233

Storage and Handling 238

10 Eggs and Egg Products 257

Introduction 258

The Makeup of an Egg 258

Commercial Classifi cation of Shell Eggs 261

Egg Products 263

Functions of Eggs 265

More on Coagulation: Basic Egg Custard 269

More on Aeration: Meringue 272

Storage and Handling 275

11 Leavening Agents 299

Introduction 300

The Process of Leavening 300

Leavening Gases 301

Yeast Fermentation 304

Chemical Leaveners 308

Storage and Handling 313

12 Thickening and Gelling Agents 323

Introduction 324

The Process of Thickening and Gelling 324

Gelatin 325

Vegetable Gums 328

Starches 330

Functions of Thickening and Gelling Agents 336

Storage and Handling 338

13 Milk and Milk Products 355

Introduction 356

Common Commercial Processes to Milk and Milk Products 356

Makeup of Milk 358

Milk Products 359

Functions of Milk and Milk Products 365

Storage and Handling 366

14 Nuts and Seeds 377

Introduction 378

Composition of Nuts, Kernels, and Seeds 378

Cost 379

Common Nuts, Kernels, and Seeds 380

Toasting Nuts 383

Storage and Handling 384

15 Cocoa and Chocolate Products 395

Introduction 396

Cocoa Beans 396

Common Cocoa and Chocolate Products 399

Handling Chocolate Products 412

Functions of Cocoa and Chocolate Products 414

Storage 417

16 Fruit and Fruit Products 427

Introduction 428

How Fruit is Purchased 428

Common Fruits 434

Fruit Ripening 437

Storage and Handling 439

17 Natural and Artificial Flavorings 453

Introduction 454

A Brief Review of Flavor 454

Flavor Profi les 454

Types of Flavorings 455

Evaluating New Flavorings 462

Storage and Handling 463

18 Baking for Health and Wellness 471

Introduction 472

Healthful Baking with the Customer in Mind 472

Guidelines for a Healthful Diet 473

Strategies for Healthful Baking 475

Food Allergies 481

Questions for Review 487

Exercises and Experiments 487