So far in this lengthy and ongoing exploration of leavening, I’ve drawn fairly stark distinctions between the various types (microbial versus mechanical versus chemical, etc.). Yet as my recent detour into croissants has shown, leavening methods can, and often are, combined. Croissants employ laminated dough techniques yet they also contain yeast. This gives the crumb a unique flaky-yet-tender texture plus plenty of muscle to lift its body weight in butter. Danish dough, another yeast-laminated dough hybrid, works the same way.
The one leavening method you typically don’t find combined with any other is chemical leavening, which is what we’re going to get into next. And if you thought I’ve been nerdy before, ladies and germs, wait ’till you see what’s coming next. For those of you who have a weak stomach for this kind of thing, now might be a good time to reorganize those sock drawers. For the rest of you, strap on your pocket protectors, we’re going in.