Tidewater Times April 2019

Page 67

Light & Airy Baked Goods for Easter If you are looking for attractive and unusual breads to round out your Easter menus, you will be interested in these selections. Nothing tastes and smells as good as homemade bread. Have you ever been curious why yeast breads rise, popovers puff,and muffins expand to fill the pans during baking? Leavening agents are the answer. They are responsible for making batters and doughs higher in volume, more porous, less compact and softer in texture. The three most common types of leavening are steam, air and carbon dioxide gas. Steam makes foods like cream puffs and popovers rise. As they bake, the moisture inside evaporates, forming steam that expands the dough and leaves a hollow cavity. The cheesy cream puffs with chicken salad recipe is a good example of how this leavening agent works. Whoever developed cream puffs deserves an award. When baked, the famous dough magically rises

and creates a center cavity exactly the right size to accommodate chicken salad, whipped cream or any of your favorite fillings. Popovers, with their crusty exteriors and soft centers, also use steam to rise to grand proportions. Cheesy spoon bread uses air for leavening. When air is beaten into egg whites and then folded into a batter, it causes the batter to expand during baking. Other foods leavened by air include puffy omelets, souff lĂŠs, sponge cakes and angel food cakes. 65