Knowledge Base

Raising Agents

Types of raising agents

Methods of aeration or raising agents
Biological (Yeast)
Chemical (Baking powder)
Mechanical {Whisking/beating)
Lamination (Folding/rolling)

YEAST
Given the right conditions of warmth, liquid and food, yeast will feed on sugar and produce carbon dioxide as a by-product. This gas gets trapped in bubble-like structures made by the gluten in flour and so aerates the product. When cooked, the gluten structure sets and gives a light product.

BAKING POWDER
A chemical reaction between an alkali and an acid in the presents of moisture and heat, produces carbon dioxide which as with yeast, gets trapped in gluten bubbles. In the case of baking powder, the acid is Cream of Tartar and the alkali Bicarbonate of Soda. The heat of the oven increases the reaction, producing light and digestible products.

WHISKING AND BEATING
Air is incorporated into fat and sugar, or sugar and eggs, by way of whisking or beating, either by hand or machine (hence the mechanical). Raising takes place when air and the moisture content incorporate in the mixture and expand when heated in the oven.

LAMINATION
Is produced by folding and rolling the dough with fat to produce alternate layers. While cooking, water in the dough turns to steam which is trapped between the layers and lifts and aerates the paste. The fat gets hot during cooking and fries the dough in between, causing it to set, resulting in a light flaky product.

COMBINATION
Such as yeast in a lamination, as in Danish Pastry, or mechanical and chemical, as in Victoria Sponge

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