How to Become a Great Baker
You will want to learn these six essential steps on How to Become a Great Baker from The Great Cook author James Briscione and the editors of Cooking Light. When it comes to baking, it is something that demands precision. If a cake recipe calls for folding in the flour in six batches, a shortcut of four will compromise the crumb of the recipe. Even one tablespoon of too much flour can change the texture of a reduced-fat cake recipe. When it comes to baking, there is a certain art to it. There needs to be attention to detail and love for what you are doing through each step of the recipe process to achieve baking success. The following are some of the baking fundamentals always to keep in mind.
To start, you want to learn the difference between weight and volume. Flour is an ingredient that needs to be weighed. It is recommended that if you donít have a kitchen scale, to buy one. Weight is the only accurate way to measure properly flour. And depending on how tightly the flour is packed into a measuring cup, you can sometimes end up with double the amount of flour that is intended for the recipe. Thatís why flour is given in measurements of ounces first, so in a pinch, you can using a measuring cup. To improve accuracy, you want to stir flour gently with a large spoon before measuring it, then level with a knife or small metal spatula. For the wet ingredients such as water, oil, milk, and others you want to pour these ingredients into a clear measuring cup on a level counter, then checked at eye level. You don't want to look from above.
Another essential step when it comes to recipe success in baking you want to check your oven. Your oven temperatures should be exact. If you want to prevent an under or over baked recipe you want to get an oven thermometer. An oven thermometer is a good way to be sure your oven is calibrated correctly. Each oven is different, so the only way to gauge properly the oven temperature is with an oven thermometer. You also want to check your oven for hot spots. The way you can check for hot spots is by placing bread slices on the middle rack and then baking them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes. Check if any get singed or darker than the rest, if so youíve found the ovenís hot spot. You want to try to avoid these spots or rotate the baking pans accordingly. You want to bake cakes, muffins, and quick breads in the middle as too close to the top or bottom can cause over browning. You also want to close gently the oven door as a slam can release air bubbles trapped in the recipe batter. Another baking tip is always to check for doneness. You can check for doneness a few minutes earlier than the recipe says to allow for variations in your oven or other factors. For muffins recipes, quick bread recipes, and some cake recipes, you want to insert a wooden toothpick, it should come out clean.
On the Cooking Light site, you will find a variety of recipe and cooking ideas just like you would find in the magazine of the same name. On the site, you will find food information, nutrition, healthy living, diet, videos and recipe ideas. Some of the recipes you will find on the site include in-season recipes, quick and healthy recipes, vegetarian recipes, holiday recipes, entertaining recipes, cooking 101, cooking videos and more. This recipe site is a good place to go whether you are a novice cook or a more experienced cook.
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