• Why baking is a science

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Introducing my brand new series.. cake chemistry! Let’s begin by looking at what the definition of Science actually is..

SCIENCE

1. (knowledge from) the careful study of the structure and behaviour of the physical world, especially by watching, measuring, and doing experiments, and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities.

-Collins dictionary

The process of baking also involves studying the structure and behaviour of the physical… in the form of ingredients, by watching (or choosing), measuring, doing experiments with these ingredients, and then developing theories, aka methods and recipes. This is how every baked good originates! Although similar to cooking, baking requires a much higher degree of accuracy when measuring ingredients and it is a careful balance of these ingredients which produce a high-quality baked good. Many cakes and also other baked goods contain very similar ingredients – flour, sugar, fat, eggs, and water for example but yet the finished goods can vary immensely in size, shape, texture, and taste simply due to the proportion and assembly method of these ingredients. 

For example, if we add too many eggs to a biscuit recipe it would probably end up more like a cake, and if we didn’t add any eggs to a cake recipe it would probably end up more like a biscuit! This is why it is so important to carefully measure ingredients properly. A chef preparing a pasta dish can make adjustments along the way if something isn’t quite right – for example adding more salt – but a baker preparing a cake cannot add extra sugar to the recipe once their cake is in the oven! 

Baking requires patience, skill, accuracy, and of course creativity.. bakers are essentially chemists in the kitchen. 

In this new series, I’m going to be talking all things baking science. Explaining various ingredients and how they function, different baking methods and the results they produce, and answering all your baking FAQs. I’m also going to do more research into vegan and gluten free baking, so that I can share my results with you and find out the secrets of what makes a perfect cake! 

Thank you to everyone who was stuck with me on this baking/cake chemistry/creative journey… I have been unsure as to what content to create being a multi passionate individual but I do feel that it’s slowly coming together! Please do share your thoughts, questions, and ideas with me, and join the community – I’d love to hear from you. 

Until next time, 

Claire x 

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Claire Elizabeth
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