Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2010
Publication Date: 1/1/2011
Publication URL: handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/53707
Citation: Kweon, M., Slade, L., Levine, H. 2011. Development of a benchtop baking method for chemically leavened crackers. I. Identification of a diagnostic formula and procedure. Cereal Chemistry. 88(1):19-24. Interpretive Summary: To develop a benchtop baking method for chemically leavened crackers, the effects of leavening system (soda, MCP, and ABC), sugar concentration, and total solvent were explored, in order to identify a diagnostic cracker formula. Based on preliminary experiments, 10 min of dough-mixing time, a cord-weave baking mesh, and a 500 F oven temperature were selected as parts of the production procedure. For the diagnostic formula, 1.25 g of soda, 1.25 g of MCP, and 1.25 g of ABC were selected as the leavening system. As %S was reduced below 20%, at constant 38 TS, the dough became softer, and the baked crackers exhibited excessive blisters, because of a too-high level of formula water. In contrast, above 40 %S, the dough was too crumbly to handle and sheet. As TS was increased, at constant 23.7 %S, the dough became softer, resulting in an increased blistering tendency, for 42 and 46 TS. In contrast, the dough at 34 TS was too crumbly to handle. With respect to ease of dough handling and minimization of blistering, 38 TS and 23.7 %S were identified as the preferred formula. Evaluation of hard and soft wheat flours and their blends with the cracker method developed in this work clearly discriminated in their cracker-baking performance.
Technical Abstract: A benchtop baking method has been developed to predict the contribution of gluten functionality to overall flour performance for chemically leavened crackers. In order to identify a diagnostic cracker formula, the effects of leavening system (sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate, and ammonium bicarbonate), sugar concentration (%S), and total solvent (TS) on cracker-baking performance were explored. From preliminary experiments to establish a production procedure, 10 min of dough-mixing time, a cord-weave baking mesh, and a 500 F oven temperature were selected. For the leavening system, increasing ammonium bicarbonate (ABC) level at constant sodium bicarbonate (soda) and monocalcium phosphate (MCP) levels resulted in increased cracker height. For the diagnostic formula, 1.25 g of soda, 1.25 g of MCP, and 1.25 g of ABC were selected, based on 100 g of flour. As the sugar concentration in the cracker formula, at constant total solvent (38 TS), decreased to < 20%, the resulting cracker dough became softer, and the baked cracker exhibited an increased blistering tendency, because of a too-high formula water level. In contrast, a cracker dough formulated with > 40% sugar concentration was too crumbly to handle and sheet. As the total solvent in the cracker formula increased, at constant sugar concentration (about 23.7 %S),the resulting dough became softer. A dough with 34 TS was too crumbly to handle, while doughs with 42 and 46 TS were too soft to handle, and resulted in blistering. Therefore, 38 TS and 23.7 %S were identified for the diagnostic formula. Cracker baking with hard wheat flour, soft wheat flours, and their blends validated the utility of the developed method.