Higher Temperatures & RAISING AGENTS

Jun 26, 2019

With the arrival of summer, the ambient higher temperatures in bakeries can affect the performance of bakery products even before they’re baked.

As many bakers will know, the temperature of the yeasted dough is important to manage and control with regards to the bulk fermentation and proving process. 

What is not as readily understood, is that warmer summer temperatures can influence chemically raised doughs (scones and soda bread), as well as sponge and cake batters. 

Baking powders (and baking soda) that are used to make such baked goods are chemical compounds that begin to react and release gas once they become wet and are subjected to heat. Once a recipe is mixed, the raising agents become wet and gas release begins, although at a low rate. The gases released increase depending on the temperature of the dough or batter, until the baking process, when all remaining gases are released. If the dough or batter is warmer than normal, which can often be the case during the summer months, then the gas starts to release earlier during the process and that can result in doughs being harder to process (stickier) and both doughs and batters can be difficult to weigh out accurately if a divider or depositor is used. The final baked products can be of a lower volume and inferior quality too.

To help during the summer months, please find advice below to ensure you produce the best-baked goods for your customers:

  • As with yeasted doughs, bakers often have to chill the liquids (egg, milk, water, etc), and/or replace part of the water added with ice. Ensure that dry ingredients are stored in a cool area (flour and, if used, dried fruits especially). A typical temperature target for chemically raised dough or batter is 18-19C maximum, but that can vary depending on process and product being made
  • Doughs or batters should be placed in the oven as soon as they’ve been made, with mixing delayed until as late as possible to reduce any standing time in a warm environment. It may be necessary to reduce the mix size and mix more frequently to control the gas release during processing
  • If such doughs or batters are delayed prior to bake, they should be held in the coolest place available and away from the heat of the ovens

In extreme cases, bakers can look at using ‘slow acting’ baking powder (4204 Kells Red Lion Baking Powder) to help slow down gas release if the delay from mixing to baking cannot be reduced and the warmer weather does have an adverse effect on the final baked product.

Our range of off the shelf raising agents include:

  • 4204 Kells Red Lion Baking Powder
  • 4207 Kells Star Baking Powder
  • 6727 Doves Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 4201 Kells Cream Powder

In addition, Kells would be delighted to assist any baker with bespoke solutions to raising agent reaction or to generally improve raising agent performance in volume or aftertaste. 

If you would like more information or assistance on this, please contact Kells!