I'm trying to find a leavening agent (not yeast, steam or any other conventional leavening agent) that I can use for crackers that are made of natural ingredients only. The ingredients are very basic: whole wheat flour, oats, rye wheat, salt, HOSO, water. All I'm missing is an ingredient that will allow the cracker to rise.
Thanks in advanced!
The most common types of natural leaveners include
Here are the most commonly used chemical leavening agents that you might find by themselves or combined in recipes for cakes, cookies and quick breads.
Baking powder is a dry mixture made of a base of carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak acid. It is used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods.
Single-acting baking powder reacts when hydrated and does not need heat to react.
List of Biological Leavening Agents
Active Dry Yeast:this dry, granular yeast is the most commonly used. It must be activated or proofed by dissolving it in warm water, ideally heated to 105ºF.
Instant Dry Yeast:a dry, granular yeast that can be mixed directly in with your flour and does not require proofing. Use ⅓ to ½ less than active dry yeast.
Fresh Yeast:also called cake yeast is most commonly used in professional bakeries. It can be mixed directly into dry ingredients or dissolved in water to more evenly disperse it, but does not need to be proofed first.
Yeast Conversions: to use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast in a recipe, multiply the amount of yeast in the recipe by 1.25. To use active dry yeast instead of fresh yeast, multiply the fresh quantity by 0.4. To use instant dry yeast instead of fresh yeast, multiply the fresh quantity by 0.33.
Beer: has carbon dioxide in it and is used as a wet ingredient to leaven beer bread.
There are a number of mechanical leavening agents that are used in baking to make dough and batter rise, including:
Whipped cream: whipping heavy cream traps air between thin layers of cream fat in a foam-like substance that expands and holds shape in baking.
Whipped egg whites: whisked or beaten at a very rapid pace so air bubbles become trapped in the soft or stiff peaks and provide most of the finished baked good’s structure.
Whipped whole eggs: often used in cake recipes will make the final product more dense than using only egg whites.
Whipped aqua faba: the liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas or other legumes can be whipped and used as an egg white replacement.
Whipped fats or creamed butter and sugar: cutting sugar crystals into fat produces air bubbles that cause a slight rise during baking. Most cookie recipes combine creamed butter and sugar with a chemical leavener to boost the rise.
There are a several ways to easily introduce steam in your baking, including:
Steam oven: an oven that has a built-in mechanical function or an attachment that creates controlled steam injection.
Pan of water: set a sheet pan or cake pan on the bottom of the oven to preheat with the oven. Pour hot water into the pan after you place the dough on the rack, then close the door quickly.
Dome:enhance the pan of water method by placing a large metal mixing bowl over your loaf of bread to trap the steam.
Dutch oven or cloche: place the dough in a preheated heavy pan with a tight fitting lid to bake. The pan traps and enhances the steam created when the dough begins to rise. Remove the lid after 25 minutes to bake in a dry oven.
Bain marie or water bath: a pan of hot water placed in the oven to hold the baking pan. This adds moisture to the oven and surrounds the baking pan with gentle, uniform heat, which is important for cheesecakes and custards which easily crack or become rubbery.
The previous answer was very comprehensive and lists all the ingredients which are currently available to leaven the dough.
Although steam was mentioned its important to understand that in most crackers the primary raising agent is steam (from the dough water) contributing more than 50% of the volume increase which takes place during baking.
In products such as Matzo Crackers which are made from only flour and water, steam is the only raising agent. The light crispy texture of these crackers is achieved by baking in an extremely hot oven for about 90 seconds
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Apart from above if you want to use natural leavening agent, my view is you will get biscuits but it will not be comparable to other market products. I am not discouraging you but since in Crackers the major ingredient will be wheat flour and water. Oil also less.
If you really want to try, this is wild idea only (out of box) I do not know whether you get the desired result but you can try. Use curd (sl.sour taste) and reduce the water accordingly. Give standing time (different standing time- to make probiotic enzyme in curd to work with dough) and give maximum steam in initial zones in baking and try. It may change the taste you actually intended to get from the cracker.