Achieving the right texture in your cooking and baking can make or break a recipe. We've rounded up some of the most popular ingredients that can help you achieve that perfect texture!
Textures: how to achieve the right one
Whether it's making perfectly smooth gravy for the holidays or making a pie, you're using gelling and thickening agents in your everyday life and you might not even know it!
What are some of the main functions of these ingredients?
Gelling and thickening agents basically provide a stable product. They increase the stability of your pie so you can slice it and thicken your pudding just enough. Also, depending on the agent, it will give your baked good a delicious sheen such as in your pastry cream. By increasing the viscosity of the main component, these textures can be achieved.
Gums and starches
Gelling and thickening agents are divided into gums and starches, listed below. Make sure to choose the correct ingredient for your recipe. Most of them are not interchangeable.
Remember to consider what outcome you'd like to have when choosing a gelling or thickening agents. Whether you want the product to freeze well (use a root starch) or you want the flavor of the agent to be barely noticeable (use pectin), not all gelling agents produce the same results.
Sources: How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science by Paula Figoni, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee
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