Baking is an art that’s miles away from any other form of cooking. It requires precision and balance, which is hard to find anywhere else. Perhaps the most amazing thing about baking is that there are so many ways it can go, and the end product will appeal to absolutely anyone.
What do bakers actually need to know to perfect their confectionery creations? Most people will apply for the culinary arts to learn more about their craft, which makes sense. Baking is still cooking, so it’s best to learn about it from professional chefs. Some schools will even hook students up on where to get the best cake decorating supplies online. But, there is actually a field of study much better suited for the aspiring baker: chemistry.
Don’t Cross The Line
Chemistry is one of the foundations of cooking; nothing happens on a plate without chemical reactions playing a significant role in it. This is especially true in baking where the exact measurements mean the difference between success and failure.
For example, if a baker puts too much flour in the mixture it gets too thick, making it a chewy mess. The best desserts are the ones that melt in the mouth, not the ones that take hours to break down. Even sugar, the staple of all desserts, can’t go over its own limit. There’s always a pleasurable threshold for everything. No baker who wants people to eat their food would ever dare cross those thresholds for no good reason.
A Whole New World
All this makes baking seem like a rigid discipline, which counters its reputation as a creative art. It’s true that the methods of baking require people to toe the line most of the time, but that quickly shifts when they master the chemistry of the ingredients.
Culinary arts can teach people how to bake, but chemistry can teach them to bake the way they want. Knowing how much of an ingredient they need, and understanding why that specific amount is needed are two different things. Knowing the chemicals and how they react with each other will allow bakers to explore new worlds and pioneer different tastes in baking.