Leavening Agent

A leavening agent (also leavening or leaven; /ˈlɛvənɪŋ/ or /ˈlɛvən/) is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that causes a foaming action which lightens and softens the finished product.

The leavening agent incorporates gas bubbles into the dough—this may be air incorporated by mechanical means, but usually it is carbon dioxide produced by biological agents, or by chemical agents reacting with moisture, heat, acidity, or other triggers. When a dough or batter is mixed, the starch in the flour mixes with the water in the dough to form a matrix (often supported further by proteins like gluten or other polysaccharides like pentosans or xanthan gum), then gelatinizes and "sets"; the holes left by the gas bubbles remain.

Read more about Leavening AgentBiological Leaveners, Chemical Leaveners, Mechanical Leavening, Other Leaveners

Other articles related to "leavening agent, leavening agents, leavening":

Leavening Agent - Other Leaveners
... Steam and air are used as leavening agents when they expand upon heating ... To take advantage of this style of leavening, the baking must be done at high enough temperatures to flash the water to steam, with a batter that is capable of holding the steam in until set ...
Beer Bread
... Without sufficient leavening from the beer, a loaf of beer bread will be fairly dense and heavy unless an additional leavening agent, e.g ... may be used because it is a mixture of flour and leavening agent ... Beer bread without a leavening agent is very sturdy and tends not to lose moisture if it is overcooked ...
Monocalcium Phosphate - Uses - Leavening Agent
... Calcium dihydrogen phosphate is also used in the food industry as a leavening agent to cause baked goods to rise ...

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