Raising or leaving agents are substances that produce gas in flour mixtures which cause them to rise and become lighter, bigger and softer in texture and porous after cooking. The use of a raising agent is based on the principle that hot air rises and expands.
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TYPES OF RAISING AGENTS
- Baking powder: consists of an acid (cream of tartar or tartaric acid) and an alkali (bicarbonate of soda) with the addition of some starchy ingredient such as rice flour which proportion of ingredient is twice the amount of acid to alkali i.e. 4gm cream of tartar, 3gm bicarbonate of soda, 2gm rice flavour.
- Yeast: the scientific name for yeast is saccharomyces cerevisial. Yeast is made up of a large number of minute’s cells. When kept cool and dry, the cells are inactive, when added to water with a little sugar and gently warmed, the yeast grows rapidly, giving off carbon dioxide which works through the dough making it light. Extreme heat kills yeast and it can have no further activity. Cold retards or hinders its action but does not kill it.
- Palm wine: this is a good raising agent for it contains yeast. It is used for commercial bread making and is more economical than yeast. Warmth, sugar and moisture are necessary conditions for its raising action like yeast. Excessive heat, cold and too much sugar retard or stop its growth. Sometimes, for large scale bread making, overripe banana are used to produce a raising agent with the same characteristics as yeast or palm wine. The overripe banana are left to ferment before they are put into use for the purpose. Flour products you can use palm wine as raising agent are bread of different types.
- Steam: is an effective raising agent. Steam is the principle raising agent in pop overs and cream puffs. Steam contributes to the expansion of baked products in which other raising agents are used.
- Air: when air is incorporated into flour mixture and put into the oven to bake, the trapped air expands in volume and therefore leavens the product. Air beaten into egg white is the principal raising agent of omelette, sponge cakes and angle cakes.
- Baking soda: Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline compound. When it comes into contact with an acidic ingredient (such as buttermilk, vinegar, or lemon juice) and moisture, it produces carbon dioxide gas, resulting in a rise. Baking soda is often used in recipes that contain acidic ingredients.
- Self-rising flour: Self-rising flour is a pre-mixed combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. It provides convenience by eliminating the need to measure and mix individual raising agents. Self-rising flour is commonly used in recipes that require a light and tender texture, such as biscuits and some cakes.
- Whipped egg whites: Whipping egg whites to incorporate air is another way to introduce a raising effect. When egg whites are beaten, they create a foam structure that can help leaven baked goods. Whipped egg whites are commonly used in recipes such as soufflés, meringues, and some cakes.
It’s important to note that different recipes may require specific types of raising agents depending on the desired texture and outcome. Understanding the appropriate use and proportions of raising agents is crucial for successful baking and achieving the desired results.
- What are raising agents?
- State the composition of baking powder and the ratio of each component
Describe how palm wine is used in the commercial bread production