Friday, February 27, 2009

Basic Steps in Baking

1. Read the recipe carefully, make sure you have all the ingredients and utensil needed and understand the entire procedure.
2. Gather all the necessary ingredients together and prepare the utensils you will need to measure, mix and baking.
3. Preheat the oven. Set the oven knob at the desired temperature. Hang an oven thermometer on the center rack. When the same temperature registers with the oven knob then the oven is ready to use.
4. Prepare the pan, make sure it’s the correct size. If it needs greasing, brush the pan with little shortening. For baking purpose, don’t use butter or margarine for greasing coz it burn easily and can produce a very brown crust.
5. Measure the ingredients using correct utensils in the amounts needed in the recipe.
6. Mix the batter or dough. When filling pan, make sure you don’t overfill. Fill about 2/3 full to give allowance for the rising.
7. Bake in the preheated oven. Put the pan at the center rack.
8. Test for doneness. For butter cakes, prick the center of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean then it is done. For chiffon and sponge cake, press lightly with the fingers. If it springs back then it is done. Pies and pastries are done when the crust have turned golden brown, crisp and flaky.
9. Cool the baked goodies. For butter cake, put the pan on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 mins. Afterwards, invert the pan to remove the cake and cool it completely. For sponge and chiffon cake, invert the pan at once on wire racks. Remove cookies from cookie sheets at once and cool on wire racks.
10. Assemble and decorate the cake only when is already cool.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things to Remember to Produce a Quality Baked Goodies

Have a good quality ingredients. Check ingredients for any sign of deterioration or spoilage, better check the expiration dates.
Measure ingredients accurately. Remember that recipes have been prepared based on a standard proportions of the different ingredients. Measure the needed ingredients before starting the recipe.
Follow proper mixing procedures. Remember to consider the following sequence of addition of ingredients, length of mixing, temperature of mixing and method of mixing.
Use the specified size of baking pans stated in the recipe. This is important because proper use of pans will produce the desired volume of baked goods.
Set correct oven temperature and time during baking. This will safeguard your product from being underbaked or overbaked. Be sure the oven is pre-heated to the right temperature before you place the batter in the oven.
Observe good sanitation practice. Important to prevent contamination and spoilage of product and insuring its safety and good taste.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to Prepare the Pan

GREASING PAN – With a pastry brush, apply a layer of shortening or oil at the inner sides and bottom of the pan.
SPRINKLING PANS W/FLOUR – Put about a tbsp. of flour into the greased pan. Lift the tin and swirl the flour around until inside of the pan is well-coated. Tip off excess flour.
LINING RECTANGULAR PANS – Lay a piece of greaseproof paper large enough to cover the base and side of the pan. Set the pan at the center and cut the paper from each corner to the nearest corner of the pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with shortening and then press the paper on the sides and the bottom, neatly overlapping the flaps.
LINING CIRCULAR PANS – Place the pan on a piece of grease-proof paper. Press the pan firmly on the paper with one hand and draw its outline with your free hand. Remove the pan and cut the paper just inside the outline to produce a shape that is slightly smaller than the pan. Press the shaped paper on the bottom of the greased pan and smooth it with your hands.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Techniques in Baking

After learning the different ingredients and utensils used in baking, you can now familiarize to the different techniques in baking. These techniques or methods have their specific purpose, so it is wise to follow what the recipe requires.
CREAMING – Rub one or more ingredients together against the sides of the bowl with a wooden spoon or mixer to make the mixture soft and fluffy.
BEATING/WHIPPING – A fork, wire whip, wooden spoon or mixer can be used to make a mixture smooth, or to introduce air by a brisk, regular motion that lifts the mixture over and over.
CUTTING IN – Cut shorting into cubes and put them into the bowl with the flour using a pastry blender. You can also use two knives, by making rapid criss-cross motion into the shortening. The lumps of shortening will be cut about the size of peas, coated with flour.
FOLDING ( cut and fold ) – Combine ingredients by using two motion: cutting vertically through the mixture and turning over by sliding the scraper across the bottom of the bowl with each turn.
KNEADING – Work and press the dough with palms and heels of the hands. This develop the gluten and makes the dough smooth and elastic.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Measuring Ingredients

One of the keys to successful baking is the correct measurement of ingredients. One should not only follow the amounts stated in a recipe but also measure them in the right way. Dry and liquid ingredients are measured differently.

* Sugar and all-purpose flour are measured by dipping the cups on to the container until filled then leveling it off with a spatula. For cake flour and powder sugar, are spooned onto the cup then leveled off.
* Liquid ingredients are poured into the spouted glass measuring cups places on a flat surface. Measurement is read at eye level.
* Small quantities of dry and liquid ingredients are measured using spoons. Dry ingredients are leveled off with a spatula.
* Shortening is measured by pressing down firmly into the measuring cups to make sure there are no air spaces.
* Brown sugar is also packed firmly to ensure proper measurement. When the cup is inverted the measured sugar should retain the shape of the cup.
* Butter need not be measured in cups. One bar of butter us already 1 cup so if you need ½ cup just divide the bar into 2, for 1/3 into 3, and so on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Basic Utensils and Equipment in Baking

OVEN – The most important equipment in baking. It is an enclosed structure heated by electricity, gas, or charcoal.
GRADUATED MEASURING CUPS – are usually made of glass or plastic and are used for measuring liquids.
INDIVIDUAL MEASURING CUPS – are usually made of aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic and are used for measuring dry ingredients.
MEASURING SPOONS – used for measuring small amounts of ingredients.
MIXING BOWL - used for holding and mixing ingredients.
SIFTER – is usually made of wire mesh or fine plastic screen that sieves dry ingredients. Flour is usually sifted first before measuring to incorporate air into it.
WOODEN MIXING SPOONS, SCRAPES – use for mixing, choose the most convenient for you to use. Scraper is used to removed sticky ingredients from cups and sides of bowls and pushes batter to baking pans.
BAKING PANS – used to contain the batter while baking. Proper size and shape can affect the quality of the baked goods.
COOLING WIRE RACKS – these are important for cooling baked goods to prevent “wetting” or “steaming” of the bottom crust.
MIXERS – may be electric mixer or rotary egg beater. This will shorten the preparation time for baked goods specially icings.
TIMER – comes very handy to you as a beginner s it reminds you to check on the mixing or baking time.
OVEN THERMOMETER – gives the temperature inside the oven.
WIRE WHIP – this is a cluster of still wires used to egg whites and cream.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Basic Ingredients in Baking

FLOUR - is the basic ingredient in most baked products. Flour provides the structure or shape for the baked goodies. Different types of flour are used for baking, but the most commonly used is the all-purpose flour since it can be used for all kinds of baked goods. For cakes, its best to used cake flour because of its low protein content while for bread flour is most suitable for breads due to high protein content.

SUGAR - does not only function as a sweetener. It is also responsible for making the cake tender because it hinders in the hydration of flour, which is necessary in the development of glut. Sugars also provide the golden brown color of the baked goods. Most used is the refined white sugar or granulated sugar but there are some recipes call for brown sugar and even confectioners or powdered sugar.

FAT – makes the baked goodies tender, moist and rich. Butter or margarine is usually preferred because of baked flavor and for additional color. Shortening is also often used while other specifies oil. Butter can either be melted or creamed depending on what re recipes calls for.

LEAVING AGENTS – such us baking soda, baking powder and yeast. These produce carbon dioxide which is largely responsible for the rising of the cake or its volume. They also make cake light and porous. Baking soda, and baking powder are used for cakes and pastries while yeast is used for breads.

LIQUID – is also used to hold the batter or dough together and to blend all the ingredients. It can be in the form of water, milk or juices.

EGGS – is also used for additional structure, richness and nutrition. Important thing is use eggs of the same size.

FLOVIRINGS – can be nuts, dried or fresh fruits, flavorings, spices can be added to make the baked goods more flavorful and interesting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Baking ????

The lingering smell of cookies or cake being bake in the oven sends anyone smelling it into the kitchen, like ants pouring around a mound of sugar. And the pride and satisfaction of the baker gets as his goodies are heartily consumed make the time and effort that go with the preparation of those palate delights all worth his while.
Aside from the time and effort, this blog aims to tell you what you need and what you should do to come up with mouth-watering baked goodies such as cookies, breads and cakes. I do not promise to turn you to a professional baker, but guarantee to you that you will be able to bake simple yet tasty goodies that can bring smile and wink of approval from anyone who taste them. And who knows it can help you financially by selling the most loved goodies that you learned.
What is baking? according to Wikipedia : Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, and cookies.