It’s no mystery why sugar is one of the main ingredients in baking. Its purpose in baked goods is more than just adding a bit of sweetness to any flavor profile. Sugar in its many forms can affect texture and appearance—adding a bit of crunch to pizza crusts or creating the fluffy whipped texture of a meringue.
Different types of sugar can affect a dish’s moisture retention, making a cookie soft and tensile even after cooling—and offering a longer shelf life. It’s also essential for browning and the beautiful caramelization of sweet goods as well as fermentation, which is crucial for making bread, beer or wine.