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The Effect of Baking Powder

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Isabella Martinez

on 19 March 2013

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Transcript of The Effect of Baking Powder

The Effects of Baking Powder
By: Isabella Martinez and Katerina Rodriguez The Problem Statement:
Does the amount of baking powder used in cake mixture affect the height of the cake? Purpose Statement:
The reason this topic was chosen was because it was thought to be an interesting topic, plus baking is quite enjoyable. Many people bake cakes without even being aware of the amount of baking powder being used, and it is an important part of baking cakes. The reason for the investigation is to test and see if the amount of baking powder will affect the growth of the cake. It is an important scientific experiment because it can change and improve how people have been using baking powder. The experiment can help others understand if a certain amount of powder is needed to either make the cake rise or stay low. Background Information: Hypothesis:
If the amount of baking powder in the cake mix is increased then the height of the cake will increase because of the carbon dioxide bubbles in baking powder.

1 cake tester
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk Procedures:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan; line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.
Put the batter into the pan, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment.
Repeat these steps two more times but change the amount of baking powder for the second cake to none and for the third cake to 2 tablespoons. Dependent Variable- The height of the cake Variables: Independent Variable- The amount of baking powder used Cakes have been, and still are, universal. All around the world, cakes have differences and a uniqueness to them to represent a country and place. The French word, gateau, suggests a light cake, often filled with cream and fruit, very beautifully decorated and presented. Other European cakes tend to be along similar lines or richer, like Sachertorte¹, or more like pastries. Further into Eastern Europe the cakes are darker while the Far East has very little tradition of cake-baking. America has a fine tradition of cake-baking that blends homemade recipes, like brownies, with fancy ones, like frosted devil’s food cake (Hinds,2012). Cakes in the past have played a central role in people’s worship and rituals. The circular shape symbolizing the cyclical² nature of the seasons and life. (Hinds,2012). People would also roll cakes in order to ensure the continued motion of the sun. The first cakes bore a strong similarity to bread. The Romans sometimes added egg or butter, and sweetened the dough with honey, sometimes including nuts or dried fruit. The richer you were the more often you could eat cake, and they frequently formed part of banquets. They were mostly made for special occasions as they added a taste of sweetness to everyday life. In olden days, refined sugar, spices, and dried fruits were expensive so it was an honor whenever someone was given a cake (Hinds,2012). Many ingredients that go into baked goods not only influence the flavor, but create a chemical reaction that helps the ingredients bind together, fluff up, flake or develop other characteristics that people enjoy in baked goods. Cake ingredients work together to give it the ultimate flavor. Baking powder has an acidic ingredient added to it so that it can work with the others even if the recipe does not include acidic ingredients. It also happens to have ingredients that prevent it from reacting too quickly and so it will continue to make the cake rise even if it has been baking for twenty minutes (Breadworld, 2002). Eggs are what is used to bind the cake together and what makes yellow cakes look so good. This occurs when the eggs are beaten white and fluffy and it helps the cake not fall apart. Flour is used, like baking powder, to help bring together the other ingredients in the recipe but the type that is used can affect how it turns out. High-protein flour is used for baking bread, all-purpose flour is for crispy cookies, and for delicate cakes, the cake flour is used as it has the lowest protein content. The protein used in flour is called gluten⁵. The sugar is in charge for the browning of the cake and it also binds the moisture in the batter so however much sugar is used, the finer the crumb is (Hinds,2012). An interesting fact to know when baking is that the longer the sugar and butter are beat together, the more air is ultimately incorporated into the batter. Lastly, salt is used to bring out the flavors in the baked goods and can influence the texture. Sometimes it can slow down the yeast so that it rises slower in order to avoid the air pockets. Many cakes include fats as it is very hard to find a recipe that does not contain it. The main fattening products used for the baking are lard, which is used for the flaky pastries, oil, butter, which gives it a better flavor, and shortening, which helps the cakes and other sweets keep their shape (Hinds,2012). The first modern version of baking powder was invented by Alfred Bird in 1843. Various baking powders were sold in the first half of the 19th century. Baking powder is a leavener that consists of a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar⁴, and a moisture absorber, like cornstarch. It has the action of yeast, but it acts quicker. It's used in batters where there is no acid present (Stradley,2004). Also, the bubbles of gas are trapped in whatever baked good or confection is being made and consequently gets bigger and "lighter". This is because the air bubbles get locked up in the batter in a mixture of water and starch, leaving holes where the bubbles were. (Cake Boss, 2010). Cornstarch, or other moisture leaveners, in baking powder are very important in the process.
Cornstarch is used to absorb any moisture within the mixture so a reaction, between the baking soda and acid, does not take place until a liquid is added to the batter (Nygma,2007).

The baking powder used today is double-acting which means it reacts to liquid and heat and happens in two stages. The first reaction takes place when you add the baking powder to the batter and it is moistened. One of the acid salts reacts with the baking soda and produces carbon dioxide gas. The second reaction takes place when the batter is placed in the oven. The gas cells expand causing the batter to rise. Because of the two stages, baking of the batter can be delayed for about 15-20 minutes without it losing its leavening power (Nygma,2007).
The amount of each ingredient is essential as it can affect how the baking powder makes the cake rise. If too much flour is used for example, than it can weigh the other ingredients down and cause the cake to not rise. Also, the same thing can occur if too much of the amount of liquids is used, for the cake will be too wet and will not rise properly. The ingredients must be balanced out in order for the baking powder to help the cake rise.

In this experiment, the data did support the hypothesis. The hypothesis stated that if the amount of baking powder in the cake mix is increased then the height of the cake will increase because of the carbon dioxide bubbles in baking powder. While testing, the cake with the most amount of baking powder rose the highest, to a height of 3 inches. Conclusion The cake experiment was a success. The purpose of this experiment was to find out if the amount of baking powder would affect the height of a cake. In order to do this, the scientists heated an oven to 350 degrees then buttered a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan and lined the bottom with parchment paper. After, they sifted together flours, baking powder, and salt and then set to work on the liquid ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer, the scientists beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then they beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, the flour mixture was added in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. To end the process of creating the mixture, the experimenters beat all the ingredients until combined after each addition. They then put the batter into the pan and baked them, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes were golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean which was approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Next, they transferred the pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes and peeled off the parchment. The researchers repeated these steps three times but changed the amount of baking powder from 1 tablespoon to the first cake then none in the second cake and, lastly, for the third cake 2 tablespoons.

The data in the experiment showcased very positive results. To begin, the first cake tested had 1 tablespoon, the suggested amount needed, of baking powder mixed into its batter. This cake rose to the height of 6.35 centimeters. The second cake experimented on had no baking powder within it. This cake’s height was 5.08 centimeters and, as expected, was noticeably shorter in height than the first cake. Lastly, the third cake possessed 2 tablespoons of baking powder to help it rise. The cake’s height was the largest, as expected, reaching to 7.62 centimeters. Some experimental errors encountered during the baking of the cakes were that the oven used was too small to fit all three cakes so the scientists had to put them in separately and also that the amount of batter used was slightly too large. This was an error because the time spent on the experiment ended up being longer than intended and also, even though the cakes did not overflow, they were dangerously close to doing so because of the excessive cake batter. During the lab, questions such as “Why did the cakes take almost triple the time instructed to bake?” and “Did the amount of baking powder have something to do with the time?” were asked. The answers to these questions stated that the amount of baking powder did have something to do with how long it took for the cakes to bake. The more baking powder the cakes had, the longer it took for the cakes to bake. The first question still remains unanswered though as it is not completely clear why the cakes took over two hours when the recipe said it would only take 30 minutes. Overall, the experiment was a success and proved that baking powder does affect the growth of cakes and can now help bakers decide on the way to make their goodies. References
Breadworld. (2012, April 12). Breadworld. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://www.breadworld.com/BakingIhttngredients.aspx
Cake History. (2012, July 26). Cake Baker. Retrieved October 23, 2012, from p://www.cakebaker.co.uk/TheHistoryOfCakeBaking.html
Food Reference. (2009, March 16). Food Reference. Retrieved October 12, 1925, from http://foodreference.about.com/od/Ingredients_Basics/a/What-Is-Baking-Soda.htm
Food Timeline. (2010, May 2). Food Timeline. Retrieved October 24, 2012, from www.foodtimeline.org/foodcakes.http
Prepared Pastries. (2010, September 30). Prepared Pastries. Retrieved October 24, 2012, from http://www.preparedpantry.com/downloads/Ingredients_and_How_They_Work.pdf
What Is Yeast. (n.d.). DAKOTA Yeast Entry Page. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://www.dakotayeast.com/yeast_what.html https://docs.google.com/a/students.gulliverschools.org/document/d/1LIoEyiEcuSCsz-9uJd1145eSnQHWZ0D1_AeJhwAJOZs/edit This experiment is significant to the everyday lives’ of bakers. This is because it can help better understand measures of ingredients as well as the amount of baking powder needed for a desirable height. Application And Lastly, Thank You to Judith, for helping us bake for 8 hours, Elena, for helping us with the research, and Mrs. Fasick for being the best science teacher ever and teaching us everything we know!

WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! Observations: Figure A- Figure B- Figure C- Acknowledgments: Experiment- Experiment- Experiment-
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