Water in baking? Did you know that water is in every single baked good that you create? I am sure you knew there was moisture, but maybe did not think about it as water being the main ingredient. Water is an essential part of baking. Lets dive into why water is such an important ingredient.

What does water do in baking?

  • Adds moisture – so that your treats don’t end up dry and crumby
  • Binds mixture – it helps your treat build structure and bind together
  • Helps leaven – because water turns into steam when baked, it will help the chemical reactions take place and rise your treat. Its also a necessary part for yeast to wake up.
  • Dissolves Sugar – so that you don’t end up with crystalized and crunchy sugar bits
  • Starches Absorb it – flours and starches will absorb water and swell up providing structure to your treat
  • Creates Elasticity – When the gluten from flour is combined with water it helps the molecules stretch and bind together without breaking
  • Helps Emulsification – Emulsification is when 2 things that naturally won’t mix together (like oil and water) end up combining. When you whip up water and create tiny air bubbles it will become an emulsifier and the bubbles will absorb the oil.
  • Conducts Heat – Water passes heat through the batter while it is baking, it helps ensure even baking.

Where does water come from when baking?

All ingredients that add moisture have water content. For example, and egg is 76 precent water. Butter is 12 percent water, even flour is 7 percent water. WHAT? Flour has water in it? That is just crazy.

Want to learn more?

If this stuff interests you, then you may want to read Baking Science by Dikla Levy Frances. Her book will explain everything you need to know about ingredients and even help you learn how to develop your own recipes!

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