Understanding the Variables
With so many variables for a scratch baker, such as different formulas, procedures, mixer size and storage, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when converting to non-PHO shortenings. If we make a formula the same way we did when we used a PHO shortening and it doesn’t work well, we need to know how to change it. We need a control, or baseline, to compare to, so that we can understand if we need to mix it more or less, or if we need to adjust the temperature.
If your bakery distributor delivers product to you in the summer, and the key ingredients are above 80 degrees when coming in the door, then how can you make a cake batter or icing that needs to fall in the 68- to 72-degree range? Water temperature will help control the final temperature of the batter or icing.
Use this water temperature formula as your guide: 3 times the desired batter or icing temperature, minus the sum of room temperature, mix (flour/sugar) temperature, and friction input.
Example: Room temperature = 85°F
Mix (flour/sugar) temperature = 80°F
Desired batter or icing temperature = 70°F
Friction factor = 3 (you can use this same formula for dough as well. Just increase the friction factor to 25)
Water temperature = 3 X 70 - (85 + 80 + 3) = 42°F
If the grain of your cakes is too open and is uneven, the specific gravity should be adjusted. We need to shorten the mixing time. If the grain is too tight and the cake is too dense, we need to mix it longer. But we need a target to aim at — a control. The following are average specific gravities for the most common cake types:
Pound Cakes & Cream Cakes 0.90
Shortening (and Oil), Layer Cakes 0.80
Angel Food Cake 0.3
Chiffon Cake 0.50
For additional information, please contact your Stratas sales representative, or review our product lines at www.stratasfoods.com.