The Science of Baking
By Chefs 2b
A leavening agent is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that causes a foaming action that lightens and softens the finished product. Formation of carbon dioxide is induced by chemical agents reacting with moisture, heat, acidity, or other triggers.
Whether it's a crusty loaf of bread or a tender angel food cake, leavening agents can also tenderize and provide a finer crumb structure. Also, if using baking soda, this leavening agent adds flavor (think baking soda biscuits).There are many different leavening agents available to the baker.
By Chefs 2b
The basic idea behind the science of cooking is to determine what happens when food cooks, how its physical and chemical properties change, how different methods modify its taste, smell, and texture, and then use this new understanding to create novel dishes. All this physical and chemical changes also modified our own taste experience. Taste is perceived by all our senses, and these factors are change, then our perception of what we are eating will change too.
Eating and food preparation is one of the few tasks that make us use our 5 senses, and the mix of all this is what will create a unique dish’s sensory experience.
To be able to manage all these factors and understanding the science behind how food cooks, will set you free by being able to understand recipes, create new ones and modified or substitute -with no fear- any ingredient that most recipe calls for.
Working with Herbs and Spices
Herbs and Spices are an invaluable addition to the kitchen, fresh herbs and aromatic spices give dishes distinctive taste and exotic aromas. Food is always better when properly seasoned. You'll enjoy cooking a lot more once you've mastered the herb and spice basics. Most herbs can be found dried or fresh and can be used either way with ease. Herbs are considered to be the leaves and greener parts of the plant - the seeds, bark, roots, etc. are normally considered a spice. Some plants are both. Spices are much more varied in flavor than herbs and tend to pack a bigger punch.
Tip: Fresh herbs are best used fresh. Proper storage will help in prolonging their life.