The Power of Flour in Cookies
Gluten is the main structural protein found in wheat and it primarily contributes to the elasticity and plasticity found in wheat dough. The gluten protein networks vary across different types of flours, resulting in different structural properties which will affect the dimension properties of baked goods. Therefore, we hypothesize that using different flours with various gluten concentrations will change the spread of cookies. For this analysis, three flours that vary in their hard and soft wheat composition were chosen: all purpose flour, bread flour, and cake flour. The recipe produced two separate batches, each containing nine cookies, for each flour type group which totalled 54 cookies. To measure the spread of the cookies, the height and diameter were measured for each cookie and then averaged for the cookie flour type. Finally, we calculated the spread ratio to incorporate both variables by dividing the diameter by the height. The results supported our hypothesis that the flour with the highest protein concentration (bread flour) would showcase the least amount of spread while the one with the lowest amount of protein (cake flour) would exhibit the most spread. After conducting a one way ANOVA test, the p-value was discovered to be less than 0.00001, meaning it is less than 0.05 and thus, our results are statistically significant.