Veganbaking.net - The Hows and Whys of Vegan Baking
Veganbaking.net - The Hows and Whys of Vegan Baking
  

Ask a Vegan Baker

Our community would love to help you with your vegan baking questions. Please log in to ask or answer a question. Want to be on the Ask a Vegan Baker answer team? Contact us!

nmcardle
nmcardle
Offline
Resolved
0 votes
Hi,
just wondering why so many recipes contain cider vinegar? Would I be ok to miss this out?
Monday, March 11 2013, 11:20 AM
Share this post:

Accepted Answer

Mattie
Mattie
Offline
Monday, March 11 2013, 07:31 PM - #Permalink
Resolved
0 votes
Great question nmcardle! Lots of vegan baking recipes contain apple cider vinegar for several reasons:

1)
Acidic ingredients are tenderizers in that they slightly inhibit gluten formation for a more soft end product. When people refer to cake having a "more tender crumb" this is what they mean.

2)
Acidic ingredients react with baking soda to produce more leavening power, which allows cakes to rise more adequately.

3)
Acidic ingredients denature the protein in soy milk, and some other non-dairy milks that contain protein like some hemp and almond milks. These proteins are wrapped up like little balls of yarn and when they're denatured, they partially unravel and extra flavor compounds are generated. When these flavor compounds combine with certain ingredients like apple cider vinegar, dairy-like flavors can be produced.

Any acid can be used to get the above results with varying degrees of success: any type of vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, molasses etc. I've even experimented with plant-derived lactic acid and ascorbic acid. But one thing that's rather peculiar is how well apple cider vinegar, combined with soy milk, produces the flavors that it does. You really just don't get the same flavor when other acidic ingredients or non-dairy milks are used.

To nitpick a little, I have found that a mixture of half apple cider vinegar and half coconut vinegar for the total acid content does work better for flavor development than 100% apple cider vinegar in my opinion. But I don't want to update all my recipes and confuse everyone:D I'm contemplating making it an option with my Vegan Butter recipes though.

Some people are especially sensitive to acidic ingredients and they insist that they can taste it in recipes where it's used. I find it odd that acid sensitivity in regards to taste currently isn't really talked about in the food science community in the way bitter sensitivities are. I'm willing to bet this will change in the near future as it's studied more extensively. For people that are particularly sensitive to acididy, I recommend cutting down vinegars to half when used in baking so the other benefits can still come through.
The reply is currently minimized Show
Responses (2)
  • Accepted Answer

    Mattie
    Mattie
    Offline
    Friday, March 15 2013, 04:08 PM - #Permalink
    Resolved
    0 votes
    Glad the item you baked still worked out nmcardle! In most cases your baked items will be fine without it. But I use it because in my experience it seems to raise the bar just enough that it's worth using extensively.

    thankyou!! As a student I can't really afford to buy lots and lots of ingredients and I just went ahead without it, wish i hadn't now though... I added lots of soy milk and i'm really curious to see the effects of the vinegar on that.
    It was still a good bake though!
    The reply is currently minimized Show
  • Accepted Answer

    nmcardle
    nmcardle
    Offline
    Wednesday, March 13 2013, 01:27 PM - #Permalink
    Resolved
    0 votes
    thankyou!! As a student I can't really afford to buy lots and lots of ingredients and I just went ahead without it, wish i hadn't now though... I added lots of soy milk and i'm really curious to see the effects of the vinegar on that.
    It was still a good bake though!
    The reply is currently minimized Show
Your Reply