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Development of a Benchtop Baking Method for Chemically Leavened Crackers. I. Identification of a Diagnostic Formula and Procedure

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A benchtop baking method has been developed to predict the contribution of gluten functionality to overall flour performance for chemically leavened crackers. To identify a diagnostic cracker formula, the effects of leavening system (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate, and ammonium bicarbonate), sugar concentration (%S), and total solvent (TS) on cracker-baking performance were explored. From preliminary experiments to establish a production procedure, 10 min of dough-mixing time, a cord-weave baking mesh, and a 500°F oven temperature were selected. For the leavening system, increasing ammonium bicarbonate (ABC) level at constant sodium bicarbonate (soda) and monocalcium phosphate (MCP) levels resulted in increased cracker height. For the diagnostic formula, 1.25 g of soda, 1.25 g of MCP, and 1.25 g of ABC were selected, based on 100 g of flour. As the sugar concentration in the cracker formula, at constant total solvent (38 TS), decreased to <20%, the resulting cracker dough became softer, and the baked cracker exhibited an increased blistering tendency because of a too-high formula water level. In contrast, a cracker dough formulated with >40% sugar concentration was too crumbly to handle and sheet. As the total solvent in the cracker formula increased at constant sugar concentration (≈23.7%S), the resulting dough became softer. A dough with 34 TS was too crumbly to handle, while doughs with 42 and 46 TS were too soft to handle and resulted in blistering. Therefore, 38 TS and 23.7%S were identified for the diagnostic formula. Crackers baked with a hard wheat flour, a soft wheat flour, and blends validated the utility of the developed method.
Kweon, Meera , Slade, Louise , Levine, Harry
Includes references
Cereal chemistry 2011 Jan-Feb, v. 88, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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