For over 500 years, we’ve been looking for the fountain of youth—that magical restorative water that will make us look and feel younger. While the fountain has yet to be discovered, we can find some solace in knowing that many of the foods we eat are becoming healthier for us.
In May’s column, we discussed the process of fermentation. Bakers put that wheel into motion once they combine water, flour and yeast—either commercial or wild—in a bowl and start to mix. However, there are numerous controls to initiate controlled fermentation as opposed to a process that under- or over-ferments yeasted products.
The chips segment has grown quite lively over the past year, with new product areas emerging and others, like apple chips, seeing considerable growth and maturation. Snack producers are also starting to grow beyond potatoes, offering sweet potato, beet and parsnip chips.
There are no secret ingredients or master recipes in great bread baking. Successful artisan bread baking is largely focused on controlling fermentation. Controlled fermentation accounts for greater dough strength, longer product shelf life due to acidification and, more importantly for your customer, complex flavor.
During research and development, bakers and snack producers face formulation hurdles on a daily basis. Luckily, functional ingredients like fats, oils, dough conditioners and egg replacers can help them solve a host of common challenges.