Hi class, welcome back to baking
school! I am Kristin Baker Bettie Hoffman, the
baking instructor over at BakerBettie.com Now today we are on lesson six of
the baking fundamentals course and today we’re diving into the sweet stuff! We’re
going to talk all about sugar, its functions in baking, and the different
types of sugar that you most commonly encounter in baking, and the differences
between all of them. So let’s go ahead and dive in! So first things first, let’s
talk about what is sugar? So sugar is actually a molecule called sucrose that
is found in all plants but it’s actually found in the most high quantities in
sugar cane and sugar beets. So pretty much all sugar that you will ever bake
with comes from these two plants. And you might not know this, but if you’ve ever
bought a bag of sugar that was not specifically marked as “cane sugar”
chances are you actually purchased beet sugar. But cane sugar and beet sugar are
actually chemically identical. So now that you know exactly what sugar is,
let’s talk about all of the roles it plays in baking. Now you might be
thinking “of course sugar sweetens our baked goods” but it actually plays huge
roles in the structure and the texture of our baked goods! So let’s go through
each role it plays in baking. Sugar sweetens and adds flavor to our baked
goods. So while granulated sugar is actually a
pretty neutral flavor and really only add some sweetness to our baked goods,
other sugars like brown sugar not only add sweetness but do add some depth of
flavor to the baked good. Sugar promotes browning. Now because of the way sugar
caramelizes when it is heated, baked goods made with sugar will brown more
readily than baked goods made without sugar. To demonstrate this, I actually
made four batches of just a very simple shortbread cookie. The one on the left
here is made without any sugar at all and then there are increasing levels of
sugar as you go down the line. So this last cookie here on the right is made
with a very high ratio of sugar and is much more brown in color than the cookie made on the left. These were all baked at the same time and temperature so you can
really see a huge difference with this. Sugar holds on to moisture. So sugar
actually has hygroscopic properties which means that it grabs and holds on
to moisture. So baked goods made with sugar actually stale less quickly than
baked goods made without any sugar. So I like to think about this by comparing a
baguette, which is made without any sugar at all, and a cake that was made with a
lot of sugar. Now if you were to leave both of these two things out at room
temperature overnight in the morning that baguette is going to be so stale
that you could lightly break a tooth on it if you try to take a bite now the
cake will have also begun stealing but it is not going to be nearly at the
staleness level of the baguette and that is because of the hygroscopic properties
of the sugar in that cake sugar tenderizes now because sugar is hygroscopic in
nature it is going to suck in a lot of liquid in the baked good and leave less
liquid readily available for flower to interact with and develop gluten with so
it actually slows down gluten production in baked goods
now gluten production is the thing that makes baked goods very chewy and tough
so baked goods up made with sugar actually tend to be much more tender
than baked goods made without sugar sugar at 11 the sugar plays a huge role in the
leavening in our baked goods when you think about creaming butter and sugar
together the thing that really makes that butter mixture very light and
fluffy is the sugar is giving the stabilization for the web of air that is
beaten into the butter and sugar now additionally because sugar is
hygroscopic and is holding onto all of that moisture it gives a structure for
gas expansion in the oven to really rise and spread our baked goods now you might
have noticed when I showed you those cookies before that the Mon made without
sugar did not spread at all it completely maintained its shape but as
you move down the line the SCHIP cookie with the high ratio of sugar really
spread quite a bit compared to the cookie without sugar now I’ll also show
you these muffins that I made I made three different batches of muffins this
first one on the left here is made without any sugar at all the one in the
middle is made with a normal amount of sugar that a muffin recipe calls for and
then this last one here is actually made with double the amount of sugar now you
can see really how much leavening happened in this muffin actually too
much leavening happened so much so that it spread outward and instead of
completely up this is what it looks like when too much leavening happens in your
baked good sugar stabilizes now when sugar is beaten into another ingredient
such as when making meringue with egg whites or making whipped cream with
heavy cream it begins dissolving into that substance and gets trapped into
little air pockets that are being beaten into the ingredient it essentially
serves as this little cushion between all of the air bubbles which really
helps stabilize the air that has been beaten in and lastly
sugar garnishes so we love to use sugar to garnish our
baked goods whether it’s sprinkling powdered sugar to finish the top of a
pastry or sprinkling sanding sugar to add some crunch or even caramelizing
sugar to make some kind of fancy sugar decoration sugar can be used in all
kinds of ways to garnish our baked goods so let’s talk about the most common
sugars that you will use in baking granulated sugar is a refined sugar that
is white in color and is the most common type of sugar used in baking when raw
sugar is refined the naturally occurring molasses is removed and a white sugar
with fine crystals is produced brown sugar is granulated sugar that has
molasses added back into it producing a fine crystal sugar that is moist and has
more depth of flavor light brown sugar has a small amount of molasses while
dark brown sugar has a larger amount of molasses molasses is even more
hygroscopic in nature than plain granulated sugar so brown sugar keeps
baked goods moist and adds chewiness powdered sugar which is also called
confectioner sugar icing sugar or 10x sugar is a very finely ground white
sugar because powdered sugar is so finely ground it is also combined with a
starch like corn starch to prevent it from clumping powdered sugar dissolves
extremely quickly and because of its fine texture and the addition of corn
starch it can create a very tender baked good so now I feel like we should
address the topic of substituting sugars in baking so now that you do have a good
understanding of how important sugar is in the structure and the texture of your
baked goods I want to encourage you to substitute sugars with caution because
you are going to get varied results but one of the exciting things about
understanding how truly does work in baking it gives you
the opportunity to really experiment and try different things if you are
interested in trying to create your own recipes one of the things I should note
is that if you are going to try to substitute sugar in baking you really
want to do it by weight instead of by volume because all of these different
types of sugars do have a different amount of weight by volume so you’re
going to be the most accurate if you do substitute by weight so that is it for
today’s lesson I hope you learned something about how important sugar is
in baking not just for sweetness but for the structure and texture of your baked
goods and now I want to give you your homework assignment so I’m actually
going to give you two options for homework for this assignment the first
option is that I would love for you to try your hand at making an angel food
cake now the reason I chose this particular baked good is because it has
very few ingredients in it and sugar is one of the main ingredients in it and
sugar plays a huge role in angel food cake for the way the baked good is
leavened and how moist and tender it becomes angel food cake has zero fat in
it and zero chemical leavening so the sugar and the egg whites are actually
going to do all of the leavening and then the sugar is really what’s going to
keep that cake tender and moist so it’s such an excellent example of how
important sugar is in baking now if you’re not really interested in making
an angel food cake then I’d encourage you to try baking something anything
that calls for you to cream butter and sugar together
now when you cream butter and sugar together you want to make sure that your
butter is at room temperature and then you’re going to cream it together until
it is truly very light and fluffy and very pale in color pay attention during
this process watch how much this mixture changes and be mindful about how much of
that is the sugar the work now you can share your homework
assignment by commenting on this video letting me know what you made or you can
share a picture of it in our private Facebook group our on any of your social
media using the hashtag BB baking school thanks guys I’ll see you next time bye