The Role Of Sugar In Baking: What Every Baker Needs To Know

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Updated on 09-December-2021

Sugar is undoubtedly the essential ingredient that makes cookies and cakes such a treat! Sugar is the common name for sweet-tasting and solvent starches that are utilised in nourishment.


We know that there's a lot of chemistry going on when you mix ingredients in a recipe together. When you understand the role of sugar with other ingredients, you're one step towards becoming a better baker.


We all know that sugar is crucial for baking - after all, it’s what makes pastries taste sweet. You may not realise it, but due to its unique chemical nature, sugar also carries out other vital purposes in baking cakes, sugar rolls, cookies, and other sweet pastries.


To understand how sugar interacts with other ingredients in recipes, check out these roles of sugar in baking that every aspiring baker needs to know.


Sugar preserves meringues


If you beat sugar with egg whites, you’ll get Meringue! This fluffy, white pie toppings gives loft and lightness to pastries such as mousses, food cakes, and some frostings! Sugar preserves the meringues in two methods.


First, it protects the egg whites from overbeating. When you whip the egg whites, they bond and form a layer of thin, strong sheets that create foam. Adding sugar slows down the foaming process.


Second, sugar protects the foam from collapsing. It dissolves the water in the bubbles’ walls, which forms a syrup that surrounds and supports the bubbles.


Sugar adds color and flavour


If you love the golden-brown colour of your favorite dessert, you have to thank sugar for that! As sugar increases in temperature, it undergoes a cascade of chemical reactions called caramelisation. Caramelisation is a process where sugar molecules break down into smaller parts and begin to turn deeper shades of brown to develop more complex flavours.


Sugar adds crunch


Moisture evaporates from the surface of baked goods when heating in the oven. This allows dissolved sugars to re-crystallise and creates the crunchy, sweet rust that you’ve probably enjoyed on pastries such as pound cakes, muffins, cookies, and brownies.


Sugar is a raising agent


Have you noticed that cake and bread batters ascent during baking? Sugar makes this happen! When you mix up the cake batter and beat sugar eggs and other liquid ingredients, sugar crystals are mixed into the blend and create tiny air bubbles, lightening the batter. These bubbles thicken and lift the batter, which causes it to rise in the baking pan.


Conclusion


Sugar does play a vital role in baking, aside from providing the sweet taste we all love! If there’s an upcoming occasion that you want to celebrate, you can start preparing the ingredients and bring out the baker's side of you, or you could opt for online pastry delivery!


Whether you are looking for a sweet treat or a birthday cake delivery, Polar Puffs & Cakes has the sweet pastry that you’ve been longing for!

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