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Everyday science

Cakes, pastry and cookies: the physics of baking

16 Aug 2019 Susan Curtis

What makes a cake airy and soft, while bread is bouncy and chewy? And what makes certain pastries puffy and flaky, while others are brittle and crisp?

This short video introduces the physics of baking, explaining how it all depends on the right proportions of fat, flour and other key ingredients such as eggs, sugar and yeast. To find out more, read the feature article “Ready, set, bake” by Rahul Mandal, a metrology researcher and the winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2018.

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