Wheat flour is the most important ingredient in home baking. There are many different types of flour such as:
- Stone Ground
- Cookie flour
Flour as an ingredient has many different functions:
- Provides fibre (especially if wholemeal!)
- Makes mixtures rise(especially if self-raising!)
- Thickens sauces
- Forms the bulk of bread, cake and pastry mixtures
- Provides colour and texture to food (if wholemeal!)
- The gluten in the flour produces a stretchy dough
- Also provides carbohydrate, fibre, Vitamin B, calcium and iron (all important nutrients!)
Ever tasted a sugar-free biscuit? Not nice. Although sugars are used to make food products taste sweet, this is not the only function they have!
- Provides sweetness
- If brown sugar, it provides colour and texture
- Large amounts can prevent microorganism growth on foods
- Caramelises to produce a brown colour
- Retains moisture
- Helps to trap air in cake mixtures!
- Also provides carbohydrates!
You can use eggs for almost anything.. from egg Mcmuffins to meringue pies!
- Hold air when beaten
- Coagulate(sets) when heated
- Add colour to mixtures
- Helps to thicken sauces/custards etc.
- Glazes bread, scones and pastries
- Bind(sticks) ingredients together
- Provides protein, fat, iron and vitamins A, B and D
Fats and Oils
You may think that fats and oils aren't good for you, but they are an essential ingredient in most dishes!
- Provide flavour for the food
- Keeps the products moist
- Extends the shelf life of the product!
- Adds colour to the foods!
- Hold air when creamed with sugar
- Oil forms and emulsion with liquids (e.g mayonnaise)
- Provides energy and vitamins A and D!