The 3 variables of confectionery and bakery
The 3 variables of confectionery and bakery

The 3 variables of confectionery and bakery

Confectionery and Bakery are sciences that embrace accuracy. Many times we are faced with preparation methods and some rigors that we may even find boring (there are people who even call “freshness” to be measuring grams, measuring temperatures etc). Of course, some preparations we managed to do without so much control and precision, but who never made a recipe that had worked before and then did not have the same result?
The more accurate your measurements are, the less likely you are to make mistakes and the more faithful to the original recipe the results will be. A little more than one ingredient, a little less than the other, may in some cases not make much change, but in other instances they may completely compromise the final product.
What many people do not take into account are factors that can completely change the most “delicate” recipes. The three variables are: Atmospheric Pressure, Relative Air Humidity and Ambient Temperature.
sovar-pao-williams-sonoma-ickfdSource: Williams Sonoma
When talking about atmospheric pressure in confectionery and bakery, it points to an uncontrollable environment variable. The closer to sea level your city is, the greater the pressure. As a result, cakes and fermented doughs tend to grow less than if they are made with the same ingredients (and quantities) in a higher city. If your recipe has a good result and you will make it in a higher city, depending on some variables, take into account the altitude if your dough grows too much, then you already know: decrease the amount of yeast. Meringues tend to be more stable with less pressure as well.
homemade-french-bread-thelittlecorner-ickfdSource: The little corner
The relative humidity of the air is not as complicated and “abstract” as the atmospheric pressure. The more humid the air, the more hydration it passes to the masses, causing them to lose crunchy texture and soften. The high relative humidity of the air is also the enemy of chocolate handling, as it can cause damage during tempering and result in a defect in the chocolate called Sugar Bloom.
On the other hand, when humidity is low, it can be responsible for dehydrating pasta and preserving food. Cookies remain dry, but depending on how dry the air is, they can become very dry. When placing raw pasta to rest in the same condition, it is necessary to cover them with a damp cloth or to grease the entire surface with oil, preventing the water from escaping into the environment.
When air conditioning an environment, cold air decreases the relative humidity. Taking advantage that we are talking about humidity, whenever you put creams (and brigadeiros) to cool, cover them with film paper in direct contact with the surface, so they lose temperature without losing moisture and texture, besides not undergoing oxidation or creating films.
The last variable is the room temperature, which is easier to identify (just use a thermometer). When in recipes it is said: let the dough rest for approximately an hour or even double in volume, that is to say that in warmer climates they grow faster and in colder climates they grow at a slower pace. The temperature can interfere with the relative humidity of the air, but nothing prevents having days (or nights) with any combinations between hot / cold and wet / dry.
macaron-laciliegina-ickfdmacaron-croissanteparmesan-ickfdsources: La Cilegina, Croissant and Parmesan
When making recipes in your city, paying attention to these variables, you can better choose what to do on the day, depending on the circumstances. If it is raining, avoid working with chocolate (without air conditioning) and macaroons; if the day is hot, it is good to make fermented pasta. If I take a recipe for a pasta that comes from a city with more or less altitude than mine, I pay attention if its growth reaches a satisfactory result. Otherwise, I correct the fermentation.

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