Baking is a very common term used by people especially those with knowledge about food and cooking. It is not surprising to notice that a lot use this term without a proper knowledge of what it entails. Well, I have some information to share, I know you would like them.
You already know that there are numerous cooking processes and new ones are being developed as time passes. Basic cooking techniques/methods include frying, roasting, grilling, steaming, poaching, broiling, simmering, blanching, stewing, braising and BAKING!
What is Baking?
So it is no longer news that Baking is a method of preparing food (cooking). This cooking method uses dry heat, especially in an oven. It, uniformly, heats food in an enclosed space. Usually, baking turns a dough into an evenly golden brown tasty product. However, the process can be used to warm dishes such as the casserole dishes.
Baking is, most likely, the oldest cooking method we have, since bread had been in prehistoric times. Till date, bread is the most common food product, across tribes, races and country, that is made using the baking process. Other products made by means of baking are pastries, pies, cookies, muffins, to mention but a few.
How does baking get food done?
You might ask, how does baking get food done? It is simple! Dry heat from the oven is transferred, gradually, from the surface of the bread, cake, cookie or other product to its center. The movement of heat from the surface through to the core transforms the dough into a firmly baked food.
The ingredients from which the doughs (be it cakes, cookies, bread…) are usually have the proclivity to change their forms, look, shape and flavour with movement and heat. So the even transfer of heat of baking changes the form of the combined ingredients and causes the surface to brown while aroma, taste and appearance becomes mesmerising.
Love baking?? Here are some simple tips for baking.
Baking as a beginner or from the scratch doesn’t have to be difficult and futile. Rather, it should be fun and interesting. However, some things are just not right and we do not get our desired result at the end of it all. I, totally, understand. In this article, I will be sharing in-depth and easy-to-apply tips about baking and how each of them is important to the success of your work.
The aim of this write-up is to help you become a better and more self-assured baker. I have made these mistakes and learnt from them. I am ready to put you through, so you enjoy all the fun that comes with the kitchen and baking. Read on!
- Read the recipe well before beginning
Reading the recipe, you intend to work on, before you get started will help you know the what, when, where, how and why of the entire process, from start to finish. There is nothing as disheartening as not realizing a certain step or ingredient was coming up. Save yourself from the disaster and waste that comes with not reading ahead. Utilize a minute or two in reading the recipe ahead, it will save you from wasting your money and ingredients on a failed recipe.
- Have all ingredients ready
After you must have read through the recipe a number of times, it is advised that you note the ingredients to be used and have them all ready, IN THE STATED MEASURMENT. Yes! Measure the ingredients as needed and place them orderly or even labeled on your counter. Always remember that baking works hand in hand with precision. So avoid ingredient substitution and false/guess measurement in order to arrive at the expected end.
- Learn to Measure
I should have placed this as the number one on this list, because it is actually a very cogent point that a lot get wrong. Measurement and precision are an integral aspect of baking you cannot escape. To become a fantabulous baker with excellent baking skills, you must acquaint yourself with precise ratios, measuring techniques and recipes – all of which must be followed to the letter. Usually, for dry ingredients, measuring cups and spoons are used. While clear liquid measuring cups are adapted for liquid measurements.
- Have the right butter consistency
A right butter consistency is key to all baked goods. Since butter is the starting point for a considerable amount of baked food, it is important that you have it ready in the right amount and consistency. Usually, there are three different consistencies of butter that baking recipes call for.
- Softened (Room Temperature) Butter
A butter at room temperature is cool to touch. Most recipes call for this; it is the most famous amongst the other consistencies. When you pressed your finger a butter at room temperature, it makes an indent. A room temperature butter shouldn’t creamy and melted. To achieve this consistency, leave your butter on the counter for about an hour before work starts.
- Chilled (frozen) Butter
This consistency of butter, as the name implies, must have been chilled in a freezer or refrigerator. This is because the recipe which calls for this butter consistency does not require the butter to melt during mixing. The resulting good made from these chilled butter consistency is usually flaky, and crispy such as in cookies.
- Melted Butter
Melted butter is usually liquid and lukewarm. It mustn’t be too hot except in recipes that demands it. A hot butter will cook the eggs present in the batter.
- Temperature is important
Finally, just as we have noted that precision is important and have also seen how temperature places an important role in butter consistency, it is no gainsaying that temperature is extremely important in all the stages and processes of baking.
The temperature of the room, oven, and certain ingredients as prescribed in the recipe should be followed doggedly.
As a beginner, these tips are more than enough to save you from baking disasters. Follow them closely and watch yourself grow into a professional and witty baker!