Baking tips - talk about the commonly used sugars in baking
Hualong.com, May 15, 2017 News: Fine granulated sugar, coarse granulated sugar, soft white sugar, sugar powder? For those who have just come into contact with baking, let alone the complex array of dairy products, this sugar alone can make people feel confused.
These types of sugars are common in baking. Speaking of sugar, it is an indispensable ingredient in baking and plays an extremely important role.
While specifically discussing the differences between these types of sugars, let's first talk about the role sugar plays in baking. Sugar is not just a sweetener, it quietly undergoes some magical changes during the baking process, bringing many wonderful results. Don't believe it? Looking down:
1、 Sugar has water absorption, and adding sugar in baking can not only change the taste, but also enhance water retention.
2、 Sugar can enhance the anti-corrosion effect. The higher the sugar content of the formula, the longer the shelf life.
3、 Sugar has a coking effect. The higher the sugar content of the formula, the easier it is to color during baking.
4、 Sugar can improve the structure of dough and alter its extensibility.
5、 Sugar can make the foam of protein more stable. So when making Qi Feng cake, adding sufficient sugar to the protein helps to make a cake with stable quality.
6、 Sugar is the main target of yeast. Why is sugar added to bread but not necessarily sweet? Because sugar is broken down by yeast during the fermentation process.
7、 Generally speaking, if the amount of sugar in the formula is reduced, it is possible to increase the baking temperature and extend the baking time.
There are many types of sugar in baking, and today we will mainly introduce the most commonly used ones:
White granulated sugar:
Usually, the fine or coarse sugar we refer to belongs to white sugar. This is the sugar we most often come into contact with. In fact, white sugar can be divided into many levels according to its particle size, such as coarse sugar, regular sugar, fine sugar, extra fine sugar, and young sugar. In baking, when making cakes or cookies, fine sugar is usually used, which is easier to blend into the dough or batter.
Coarse granulated sugar is generally used to make the outer skin of pastry cookies, such as granulated sugar tea cookies and butterfly pastries. Coarse particles can increase the texture of the pastry. Coarse sugar can also be used to make syrup, such as conversion syrup. Coarse sugar is not suitable for making cookies, cakes, bread, and other pastries because it is not easily soluble and can leave large particles in the product.
Soft white sugar:
Soft white sugar, as the name suggests, is a very soft white sugar. The reason why it is soft is because it contains a small amount of invert sugar and has a higher moisture content than granulated sugar. In supermarkets in the north, soft white sugar is as common as white granulated sugar.
So, what is the position of soft white sugar in baking? To some extent, soft white sugar has finer particles and can be used as a substitute for fine granulated sugar. However, due to the slight differences in properties between soft white sugar and white granulated sugar, there may also be some differences in the characteristics exhibited in pastries. Don't worry, most of the time, using soft white sugar instead of fine granulated sugar won't have much impact on the results.
Many people used to worry that using soft white sugar instead of fine granulated sugar would not be very good. It should be assured that for home baking, its impact is much smaller than you imagine.
Sugar powder, as the name suggests, refers to powdered white sugar. Sugar powder sold on the market is usually mixed with about 3% starch to prevent clumping during storage. Sugar powder has many levels depending on the particle size. The sugar powder with a specification of "10X" is the thinnest. The commonly used sugar powder is 6X.
Sugar powder is very useful. It can be used to make cookies, cakes, and more often, it is used to decorate pastries. Sieve a layer of sugar powder on the surface of the prepared pastry, and the appearance will become much more beautiful. It is also used to make icing and creamy fillings, such as protein icing when making gingerbread houses.
Sugar powder particles are very small and easy to blend with batter. They have a good emulsifying effect on oil and can produce very uniform tissue. So when making cookies, using some sugar powder can make the appearance of cookies more beautiful and maintain clear patterns. Many people ask: Can sugar powder in the formula be replaced with granulated sugar? I usually don't recommend doing this.
Sugar powder can also be ground at home using a food processor. Grinding white sugar into powder using a food processing machine's grinding cup is called sugar powder. Self ground sugar powder can be ground and used according to the amount used, without the need to add starch. However, if you want to preserve the ground sugar powder, you need to add 3% corn starch to prevent caking.
Brown sugar is sometimes referred to as red granulated sugar. However, except for a few varieties (such as demerara sugar), brown sugar is not as dry and distinct as white granulated sugar, but has a somewhat moist texture. It not only contains sucrose, but also a certain amount of molasses, caramel, and other impurities, giving it a unique flavor. Different varieties of brown sugar have different shades of color, and the darker the color, the more impurities it contains.
Brown sugar has a unique flavor, so it is often used to make cakes with unique flavors. For example, oatmeal and grape biscuits.
If there are references to "yellow sugar", "black sugar", etc. in the baking formula, they all belong to the category of brown sugar, but there are slight differences in processing methods and impurity content.
Finally, by the way, I would like to mention the "sugar free" Dim sum that everyone is most concerned about. Xylitol is the most widely used sweetener in "sugar free" snacks. It does not cause an increase in blood sugar, does not cause dental caries, and has lower calories than sugar, so it is very popular.
If you want to make "sugar free" Dim sum, you can replace the sugar in the formula with xylitol. The sweetness of xylitol is similar to that of white sugar, and it can be replaced in equal quantities. For those who do not like too much sweetness, it can also be used in reduced quantities.
However, it must be noted that xylitol is not a sugar and does not have the common characteristics of sugar. Therefore, after replacing sugar with xylitol, there must be a gap in the Dim sum made. As for what will be different, everyone can look back and compare the several effects of sugar that I mentioned at the beginning of the article, and you should have a clear idea.
Additionally, it is recommended that adults consume no more than 50 grams of xylitol per day.