The Science behind Baking with Eggs

Eggs are used all over in our cooking, but we never use eggs as a liquid. Eggs have an albumen, which is the white part. The albumen is made up of proteins, water, and minerals, and is 2/3 of the egg. The main protein is ovalbumine (54%). The rest of the egg is the vitellus and is less dense than the albumen, so it always floats on top. The vitellus is made of 50% water, 35% lipids, and 15% proteins.

Eggs can be very helpful to cooks in the fact that their basic chemistry makes them sticky enough to bind meats & suspend oils in many Asian dishes along with the oils in mayonnaise. If you look at a muffin, you would notice that there is a frame of meshwork that surrounds different pockets of air. Without these pockets of air, a muffin would be closer to an edible rock than a piece of bread.

Bubbles are formed in the bread batter. These bubbles are usually made up of Carbon Dioxide gas. Because yeast is not involved in the forming of these bubbles this would be what bakers call a “quick bread”. Quick breads usually contains baking powder to make it rise (like my muffins have).

Baking powder is a dry powder used in baking (henceforth the name), it is made up of cornstarch (to keep the ingredients dry), sodium bicarbonate (a base known as baking soda), Sodium Aluminum sulfate (an acid), and monocalcium phosphate (another acid). When all of this dissolves in the liquid in your batter, the base can react with the acids and form Carbon Dioxide gas, which makes everything rise.

It is because of the eggs and the flour that the Carbon Dioxide does not leave the bread. The baking powder also cancels out the bitter taste it would have if it was to basic or too acidic. Some baking powders are called “double-acting” because they use two acids instead of one, that way, one gives off a lot of its Carbon Dioxide at first, but the second one gives off Carbon Dioxide at a much slower rate to try and give off more not in the batter state but in the oven.

While researching I discovered that you can still make delicious muffins even without the eggs, but your muffins wont be as round as usual (meaning they will be bumpy on the top instead of smooth and even).

Some of the top chefs say you should use a copper bowl when whipping your egg whites. Those chefs are correct because a foam that is harder to over beat will arise in a copper bowl because when you whisk eggs some of the ions go from the bowl to your eggs, producing different types of foams. Over beaten whites are usually formed when the proteins are denatured. Over beaten whites are usually discarded due to the loss of valuable proteins.

One egg has 13 different nutrients including protein, chlorine, foliate, iron, and zinc. Eggs also play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more.

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