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Scientific Content: Why is each ingredient is used?

This post is by Isaiah Bañuelos and Caleb Chastain 

Checkout out Blossom Recipe Page to learn about other factors with croissants.

When we look up certain recipes on the internet, at times we blindly follow whatever comes up with the first link on google. However, it is important to understand why each ingredient is used in a recipe. For the croissants, each ingredient plays a certain factor. When following the recipe listed on the Blossom Recipes Page, the role can be assessed:

A.) Active dry yeast is the leavening agent in this recipe. Specifically, it is an organic leavening agent. This means that it produces carbon dioxide as an organic by-product of the yeast organism consuming glucose. This is unlike chemical leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder which produces carbon dioxide through a chemical reaction of an acid and a base.

B.) The 2% milk in this recipe provides a source of water to form a little bit of gluten formation but its main purpose is to provide proteins, color, and flavor to the final croissant. 

C.) The brown sugar acts as a source of Glucose for the yeast to produce carbon dioxide as well as a flavoring for the finished product.

D.) All-purpose flour is the source of flour for this recipe. This means it provides the proteins necessary to form Gluten. Even though there isn’t a lot of gluten in croissants (as evidenced by their light and fluffy texture) having some gluten is still necessary for giving structure to the final product.

E.) Salt absorbs water which helps limit gluten formation to keep the croissants light and fluffy.

F.) In baking, butter slows gluten formation by coating proteins in butterfat. In this recipe, it does this and more in this recipe. Since the butter is layered between layers of dough, it also helps give the final croissant its typical fluffy layered structure.

G.) The eggs in this recipe are exclusively here to assist in the Maillard browning of the outside of the croissant. This is because the egg isn’t incorporated into the actual dough but used as an egg wash brushed on the outside of the raw croissants. The proteins in the eggs are what help with the Maillard browning reactions in this case.

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