Sweet or salty, Soft or crunchy, Simple or exotic! Yes, it is the biscuit, one of the important snack used in every household. Today, though they are known by different names the world over, people agree on one thing – nothing beats the biscuit! The history of biscuits is very old, and the recipe was created by the Roman chef Apicius, in which “a thick paste of fine wheat flour was boiled and spread out on a plate. When it had dried and hardened it was cut up and then fried until crisp, then served with honey and pepper.”
As people started to explore the world, biscuits became the easiest travelling food since they stayed fresh for long periods and easy to carry. Biscotti is said to have been a favorite of Christopher Columbus who discovered America. A normal tea is generally accompanied by plain biscuits whereas a high tea would include fancy or quality biscuits like crackers and cookies etc.
Everybody loves munching on biscuits, but do they know how biscuits are prepared? Let’s get into deep into making biscuits.
Raw Material | Biscuit Ingredients
Wheat flour – It is important ingredient of biscuits. It is a structure builder that provides the basic framework for biscuit making. The wheat flour is composed of nutrients – carbohydrate (as starch), protein and fat, together with some fiber, ash and trace minerals and vitamins.
The protein present in wheat is gluten, composed of glutenin and gliadin. The percentage of a protein determines the flour strength. A dough made from strong flour with a high protein content is extensible and can be machined into a continuous sheet for crackers and hard biscuits. Generally biscuits required “strong” flour, having high protein content, typically 10-12%. Soft or short biscuits are required low protein flour (7-9%). Flour should have 14% moisture.
The principle starch molecules in wheat flour are amylose. Amylose molecules contribute to formation of gel. When starch gel is heated further, dextrinisation occurs and this gives desired brown color to biscuits.
Sugar – Sugar gives sweetness and imparts color to biscuits, and also help in developing the texture of the biscuit.
Fat – Fats are a vitally important ingredient in achieving the texture, mouthfeel, and the bite of the biscuit. Hard biscuits and crackers require low percentages of fats, while more amount of fat is needed for soft cookies.
Leavening agent – Sodium Bicarbonate & Ammonium Bicarbonate are generally used. It produces products greater in volume than raw ingredients & have superior flavor & eating characteristics.
Water – Main function is hydration of dry materials. It acts as a solvent and helps in gluten formation.
Milk Solids – provides nutrients to product, provide flavor and textural improvements to aid surface cooling
Salt – Used for flavor & flavor enhancing properties.
Emulsifiers – To stabilize mixtures of two immiscible liquids (normally oil & water). Lecithins, SSL, DMG are used.
Dough Conditioner – Dough conditioners can improve dough handling, gas formation and retention, loaf volume, crumb structure and texture.
Biscuit Production involves following steps
Mixing – all ingredients are put together in the right proportion for dough formation. Mixing time plays important role in dough consistency and finally the texture of biscuits.
Forming – Forming dough into sheet, which then passes down to gauge rollers and sheet thickness is achieved for molding and biscuits of desired size & shape are formed.
Baking – pass these molded wet biscuit into baking oven. The biscuits are baked on temperatures between 160 – 1800C. Baking involves development of the biscuit structure and texture, the reduction in the moisture content, and the development of the colour.
Cooling – These baked biscuits are then passed on to cooling conveyors and cooled properly before packaging for better shelf life.
Packaging – These biscuit are then stacked and fed into packing machine for packing. Different types of packaging material are available for packing of biscuits like slug packs , pouch pack or family packs etc. Primary packs are put into secondary packaging like cartons to be transported to retailers.
Characteristics of Good Biscuits
1.Appearance – golden brown top crust
2.Texture – open, flaky, short, depending on the product
3.Mouthfeel – crispiness, smoothness, crunchiness
4.Flavor – Bland, mild
As day by day, more research is going simple biscuit is transformed into different segments and these are- Glucose 44%, Marie 13%, Cream 10%, Crackers 13%, Milk 12%, others 8%.
Parle, Sunfeast, Britania, PriyaGold are some brands of major biscuit manufacturer.
Now a day’s people are health conscious and demand nutritional consideration in the bakery products. So, various types of biscuits based on composite flour, biscuits with different flavors, special biscuits -vitamin fortified, high fiber, low sugar and fat biscuit are hitting the market now a days.
Making Biscuits | Biscuits From Scratch Video
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