Skip to main content
102 votes
Accepted

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

I'm going to agree with Szczerzo about this being an anthropologic question, but I'm going to disagree about the cause. While nomadic lifestyles was an influence, it's not causative. I'm also going ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 65.3k
56 votes
Accepted

Why use baking powder instead of yeast?

The main reasons are speed and convenience. Yeast takes longer (even "instant" yeast) and requires more maintenance: waiting for dough to rise, etc. But those are the historical reasons for the ...
Athanasius's user avatar
  • 32.2k
31 votes

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

It's actually an anthropologic question. It's more due to Europe being settled down while Middle Eastern peoples were still nomadic. Raising bread, even with agents, is very hard when you move or don'...
SZCZERZO KŁY's user avatar
14 votes

Why use baking powder instead of yeast?

In addition to Athanasius's excellent answer, the other reason to choose chemical over yeast leavening is the composition and proportion of the other ingredients. Yeast is an organism that requires a ...
SgtStens's user avatar
  • 821
12 votes

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

It's also worth mentioning that many flatbreads have a rather long storage life. For instance, the Sardinian pane carasau is split and cooked a second time so that it could be used on months long ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 81k
11 votes

What would happen if I made angel food cake with whipped cream instead of whipped egg whites?

It would not work. The benefit of egg is that it is largely (aside from water) comprised of protein (~12g/100g). This forms a stable structure when you whip it, that is maintained because the proteins ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 15.5k
8 votes

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

Perhaps the difference is not so much between leavened and unleavened as between flat and loaf. In colder climates, there is an existing need for a persistent fire, which has been lit for heating, as ...
Robin Betts's user avatar
  • 1,895
6 votes

Is there a difference in the end result between using mechanical leaveners vs chemical leaveners in a cake?

"Leavener" as you're defining the term, is vague. A meringue of whipped egg whites are "leaveners" in the sense that they provide a stable structure for tiny air molecules; but of course an egg white ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k
6 votes

Why use baking powder instead of yeast?

The primary benefit of baking powder is speed. You don't have to wait hours for dough to rise from yeast. Baking powder causes a chemical reaction that releases gas for leavening.
mattm's user avatar
  • 2,474
6 votes
Accepted

Baker's Ammonia with yeast—good idea?

Can you list the leavening agents used in your Japanese Milk Bread? Baker's Ammonia is NOT a good choice. The milk is likely to trap the ammonia and leave an awful taste. Baker's Ammonia is Ammonium ...
Stephen Inoue's user avatar
6 votes

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

As @Marcin stated in the comments above, there are no sources for the answers given, and many of the answers have issues: Materials, it may not be the prairie, but wheat, spelt, barley, and rye were ...
undrline - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes

Is it beneficial to rest a quick bread batter w/o leavening agent? ex. banana bread

Another aspect apart from the difficulty of evenly distributing the chemical leavening agent is gluten development. Resting wet flour will start that process. While this is desired in e.g. yeasted ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
4 votes

How to achieve a super leavened cake as the Pierre Herme ones?

Pierre Herme's "Cake Ispahan" is basically a pound cake flavoured with rose, raspberry and litchi, then glazed. Let's look at the ingredients as reported on PH's own online shop: Sugar water wheat ...
Agos's user avatar
  • 930
4 votes

Baking after the first rise (without punching down) vs the regular two rise approach?

Part of the effect of the first rise is to develop gluten in the dough. With an overnight rise, the flavour and texture of the final product will most likely be fine. However, you might have trouble ...
LSchoon's user avatar
  • 4,884
4 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of adding baking powder to a recipe that contains yeast?

Most baking powder available today is double-acting baking powder. The "first" action is when it gets wet. The "second" action is when it gets hot (above 140°F/60°C). Generally ...
AMtwo's user avatar
  • 9,017
4 votes

Is it beneficial to rest a quick bread batter w/o leavening agent? ex. banana bread

The nature of a "quick" (chemically leavened) bread is that it's very quickly mixed, so normally one would go no further than mixing the dry ingredients together until ready to put it into ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 18.6k
3 votes

How to achieve a super leavened cake as the Pierre Herme ones?

You don't want a 'super hot' oven. 50°F/25°C can make a big difference in how fast the cake rises. It's likely he's also using a fan-assist oven. You can reduce how quickly the top browns by ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 81k
3 votes

no-knead pizza. When is it supposed to raise? which flour is the best?

So the recipe in baker's percents: Flour 100% cold water 80% olive oil 4% salt 2% instant dry yeast 0.2% This looks like a high-hydration ...
NSGod's user avatar
  • 1,119
3 votes
Accepted

Properties of potassium carbonate as leavening agent

I've never heard of any preservative effect of potash, the reason it is still used in traditional recipes is the ashy flavor it imparts. That smokiness is not to everyone's taste, baking soda is a ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Can I use the stovetop while a dough is leavening in the oven?

Do you have a thermometer? Place it in your oven. Check temp. Turn on your burners/use stove for a bit. Check temp. You will then know for sure.
moscafj's user avatar
  • 76.1k
3 votes

Using both whipped egg whites and egg yolks vs whipped egg whites only?

Whipping egg whites is usually done to make a batter lighter and fluffier. In such a case, adding in egg yolks will likely make the batter denser and less fluffy. On the other hand, if the recipe has ...
Esther's user avatar
  • 2,453
3 votes

When marbling cake, can density of chocolate cake impact the rising of the vanilla cake?

I wouldn't mix those two cake recipes, personally. The chocolate cake is much more dense than the vanilla, with almost twice as much liquid. Further, in the recipe, the vanilla batter is fluffed up, ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 65.3k
2 votes

Is it possible to make souffles that rise without beating egg whites?

Yes! I got this recipe from CBS Saturday Morning. 4 eggs 1 1/3 C heavy cream 1 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese Mix all the ingredients in a blender over medium ...
Jane's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

Pizza without yeast

It will depend a lot on what you want out of your pizza dough. Are you looking for pizza dough that's thick, fluffy, rich, floppy, chewy, crisp, dry, flaky, crumbly? You can make good pizzas with ...
Megha's user avatar
  • 11.8k
2 votes

Is both creaming and chemical leavening needed?

Depending on what you are making, you can easily use just one of the mechanisms to create tiny air bubbles in your finished product. On one end of the spectrum are for example pancakes: you mix just ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
2 votes
Accepted

Can I substitute a biga or poolish in recipes that call for a sourdough starter?

Yes, you can. A biga or poolish is pretty similar to a sourdough starter, especially if the hydration is the same, and from what I've heard it is a 1-to-1 substitution. I have seen sourdough ...
Megha's user avatar
  • 11.8k
2 votes

How to achieve a super leavened cake as the Pierre Herme ones?

Have you baked it in the right pan shape? This is pretty normal rising for cakes baked in a pan with a narrow shape, so either the loaf pan your picture uses, or a bundt (guggelhupf) pan. When you ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
2 votes

What would be the best order for folding whipped egg whites and yolks into cookie dough?

It all depends on what you want the whipped egg whites to accomplish. Generally you use the wipped-egg-white-method in order to incorporate more air into the batter, which is mostly used for cakes. In ...
Gretel_f's user avatar
  • 1,096
2 votes

Is it possible to cream clarified butter with sugar? Will it have the same benefits as shortening and oil?

Is it really possible to cream clarified butter [with sugar]? Sure, why not? And considering that clarified butter is 100% fat, am I correct in assuming you'd get the taste of butter and also the ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k
2 votes

Beating egg whites over a double boiler for increased leavening?

actually for egg yolks it does the heat help on that, for egg whites they should be at room temperature not cold because at room temperature reaches maximum volume faster than cold egg whites, and the ...
Michael Ben David's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible