Recipes

Baking is a Science!


Cooking is an Art, Baking is a Science. In cooking, you can throw in a handful of herbs or a little more butter, like you were adding a bit more white to fuchsia to get that portrait of a summer dress the right shade of pink. You can make changes as you go with no major catastrophe in the end. In baking, everything matters. Think of baking as chemistry. One small adjustment could be your undoing, but you won’t know it until you pull your cake out of the oven. When making something for the first time, read the recipe thoroughly before you start. Follow every step to a tee. Remember, the recipe developer thought each element was important enough to document, so there must be a reason for it. Let’s look at it another way, let’s say that you were Pablo Picasso, and you were commissioned to do your rendition of the Mona Lisa, it wouldn’t look like Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait, but never the less, it would probably still be considered a great work of art. That’s what cooking is like. Baking is defusing a bomb…one false move and…kaboom! That’s baking! When you try a new recipe, don’t  alter the recipe until you’ve made it successfully at least once.

posted in Cakes & Pies, Cookies & Bars, How To

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Why is it important to measure when baking

There’s a lot of debate about whether professional chefs should take the time to measure in the kitchen. Even if professional chefs add in a pinch of this and a dash of that on a whim, that doesn’t mean that people seeking their cooking certificate online should follow suit. In order to know what needs a dash more, you need to start out by measuring in the kitchen.

Here are a few tips for accurate measurement:

It's important to have accurate measurements when you bake.

It’s important to have accurate measurements when you bake.

Invest in liquid and dry measuring cups
One of these kitchen supplies isn’t acceptable for both water and flour. While it’s easy to pour a liquid up to the correct measurement line, it’s much more difficult to accurately pour a dry ingredient into said cup. Scoops are much more accurate. Just make sure the scoop is level, unless the recipe calls for a “heaping” scoop, which means you measure at eye level in a liquid measuring cup.

Pack your brown sugar
When your recipe calls for brown sugar, don’t just scoop it with your measuring cup and call it a day. Since brown sugar is so moist, not packing it down can lead to air pockets, giving you an inaccurate measurement. Simply pat the sugar down with the back of a spoon and fill it until the level reaches the top.

Do you need a scale?
If you’re an avid baker, there’s a good chance that you could benefit from a digital kitchen scale. This will allow you to measure any ingredient in milliliters, grams, ounces or fluid ounces. You’ll likely find that your baked goods will turn out even better than they used to when you are able to accurately measure everything. These devices don’t have to be pricey to be quality, and they’re very simple to use.

Cooking without measuring
Though cooking without measuring is a little more forgiving than in baking, it still takes some work to be able to do it effectively. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to add to a recipe than it is to take any away so don’t toss a lot of spices in all at once and make sure you taste your food as you cook.

 

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“Ripen” bananas in the oven for baking.

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If your bananas are perfect for eating but not ripe enough for baking, no worries! Cook the bananas you need for your recipe in a 300ºF oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper or foil as some bananas may leak when cooking. Once the bananas are black and soft, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Peel or simply snip the bottom off and squeeze the banana out, and get to baking your banana bread! (via Jane Maynard)