Cheese & cheese powder

The high cost of cheese determines that only those types with strong flavours like Cheddar and Parmesan are commonly used in baking. In the fresh form there may be some incorporation problems in dough, and the dried, powdered cheeses tend to have lost some flavour. Choice of fresh cheese should include attention to type and maturity characters as both have a strong affect on the flavour and baking performance.

Cheese is one of the most acceptable and satisfactory basic savoury flavours for biscuits. This is because the flavour loss and change during baking is relatively small. It is, however, important to obtain the maximum effect of the flavour derived from cheese by paying attention to the salt, monosodium glutamate and acidity levels. The biscuit should always be slightly acid, best achieved with lactic acid additions, and the cheese can be "extended" with whey powder. Pepper and autolysed yeast preparations compliment cheese flavour and there are also many synthetic cheese flavours which work well when used with some real cheese or cheese powder to back them.

Cheese is rich in fat and protein which have shortening effects on doughs making it more difficult to maintain a good cracker structure. It is much more convenient to use cheese powders to flavour doughs. The storage is easier and a powder disperses better during mixing.

Most savoury biscuits are now oil sprayed immediately after baking. In some cases cheese or a cheesy flavour is dissolved in this oil, but this is not recommended because the oil taints conveyors, etc., and the oil lost to the bakery atmosphere can give a strong unpleasant and most persistent odour.

Cheese and cheese powders have limited storage life due to the fat contents. Cool storage is necessary and great care should be given to good stock rotation.