Questions about cooking by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven.

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9
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5answers
31k views

Why is lye used in some recipes for cookies?

I have seen some recipes for cookies which include lye (water boiled with ash) among the ingredients. Does anyone know what the purpose is? Is there any other ingredient that can replace lye? Thanks ...
4
votes
3answers
873 views

Cooking an eggless cake

I am about to cook a cake. I have bought the cake mix. Now, in the instructions, it says that I have to mix it with the vegetable oil and add egg. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I do not eat egg. ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Is there an alternative to cornstarch

I made a some pies a couple of days ago. The recipe called for cornstarch and it thicken the filling after it came out of the oven. The only thing is I could taste a bit of the cornstarch when I was ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Baking in Glass Loaf Pan

Do you have to adjust oven temperature and cooking time when cooking in glass loaf pans? My Ricotta Pound cake never seemed to get done in the middle (took another 10 minutes beyond recommended ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

UK alternative to corn syrup?

I've noticed that often when using recipes from the US that corn syrup is called for, and I was wondering what the best alternative to it would be to get in the UK? I've heard some people saying that ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Correct way to join two halves of sponge cake?

When you join two halves of sponge cake (as in this photo) which way round are you supposed to do it? The instructions I've used seem to assume what comes out of your two cake tins are two fairly ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Troubleshooting a soufflé that collapses during baking

I am trying to make a cheese soufflé to surprise my girlfriend on her birthday (24 Jan). After several cooking trials, I still face a key problem: my soufflé collapsed after baking for 25-30 minutes. ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Collapsing soufflé

A few months ago I attempted a soufflé and had mixed success (i.e. failure). I determined that I enjoyed both the taste and the presentation, but I just haven't gained the confidence to try again. I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I bake bread using a mother culture?

If I want to make bread using a 'mother' culture what do I need to do? How do I go about starting the 'mother'? How should I keep the 'mother' going? and how do I use the mother in my bread? What ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I prevent tomato making quiche soggy

I have made a simple quiche using a Martha Stewart recipe (http://www.marthastewart.com/336904/spinach-and-gruyere-quiches) several times, sometimes altering the filling to include variously bacon, ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Good techniques for stirring dough

Is there any particular technique for stirring dough (particularly cake dough) that is to be recommended? When I stir dough, I find that I develop too much gluten (i.e. it gets too chewy) and don't ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Can vegetable juices stop bread from rising?

I used vegetables juice for the additional liquid ingredients in milk bread, and it didn't rise. I think there is something in vegetables juice that killed the fermentation of dough. This is a study, ...
2
votes
3answers
321 views

What causes a cake to sink in the center?

I just pulled an Italian specialty cake out of the oven and was disappointed to see that it has sunk badly in the middle. It's not to be frosted or layered, so it might still be quite good, but what ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How do you make Paillets Feuilletine?

Paillets Feuilletine, dried caramelised crepes. I have looked and cannot find any method for the making of this product. As it is in many of my books and recipes but not readily available in ...
2
votes
3answers
17k views

How to convert a muffin/cupcake recipe to a large muffin recipe

I'm looking at the side of my "breakfast - O - meal" box at a recipe for 12 muffins. The kind you would use with a standard muffin tin. What kind of variation should can I use to make the recipe work ...
1
vote
2answers
661 views

Substitute for Pastry Flour from Limited Traditional and Alternative Flours

I have a recipe for sponge cake that calls for either all white pastry flour or an equal mix with whole wheat pastry flour. Unfortunately, the only pastry flour I have is whole wheat. The recipe ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

How to create a muffin recipe

I would like to experiment more with muffin recipes, but I don't want to stray too far and end up with inedible product. Are there basic parameters I should follow in creating my own muffin recipe? ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

How do you decide what temperature to bake at?

What is the logic behind the choice of temperature for baking? Obviously if you're following a recipe it will say what temperature to use, but I'd like to understand the reasoning behind it. Is it a ...
14
votes
10answers
31k views

How can I get my bread to be more fluffy and less dense?

I've been making bread for a while now, but I can never get it to rise enough. The bread comes out really dense, so it's not very useful for sandwiches. I give it ten minutes after kneading, bash it ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Trouble with Baked Chicken Wings

I do not have a deep fryer (and do not plan to purchase one), but I have made chicken wings successfully in the oven. (My mom, --from Buffalo, NY-- even approves of this method.) The problem is that ...
10
votes
10answers
19k views

How do you make Yorkshire Puddings rise reliably?

Has anyone got a foolproof method for Yorkshire Puddings? With the recipe I have they never seem to rise properly.
23
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prepare butter for baking when time is limited?

From my experience, the best way to use butter when baking is to let it soften to room temperature. However, sometimes one is short on time and must use the microwave to soften the butter. I always ...
9
votes
3answers
195 views

What are convenient and reliable ways to make the starter for rye bread?

The biggest issue with make good rye bread is to make the starter since it needs to rise in a very controlled temperature for some time. What are good and reliable ways to achieve this?
17
votes
6answers
12k views

Why do my brownies end up so hard?

When I make brownies, I sometimes end up with really hard thin brownies instead of thick fudgy soft brownies. I bake them the same amount of time, use the same ingredients, and use the same equipment ...
15
votes
1answer
16k views

Why is there a difference between softened and melted butter when baking?

I once tried to make some cookies and assumed that melted butter would be the same as softened butter. It didn't work out... Why does it make a difference if you use softened or melted butter? ...
13
votes
3answers
15k views

What should I do if power goes out while I am baking cake/cookies?

If I am baking cake or cookies in the oven and I lose power, what should I do? Does it make to sense to leave the cake/cookies in the oven until the power comes back on, or should I take them out? ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

Baking bread … without crust?

My fiancee doesn't like to eat the crust of bread. I like to bake bread. But she ends up cutting off like half of each piece in the process of de-crust-ifying it. What are some suggestions to make ...
12
votes
2answers
18k views

Why should I boil pretzels in baking soda water before baking?

This weekend I made pretzels from Alton Brown's recipe. This recipe, and others I've seen, call for dipping the pretzels one by one in boiling water with baking soda for 30 to 60 seconds. I assume ...
8
votes
2answers
20k views

Why doesn't my bread rise in the oven? (Not first rise)

I've been trying to work on nice bread but am having issues with the bread not rising in the oven. The first rise after kneading seems to go well, as does a short rise after shaping but before going ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Why did my Crème Fraiche split?

I have made a recipe where I take a number of ingredients and cover them with Creme Fraiche and then bake it in the oven for a while. I have been making this recipe for a few years. Recently the ...
24
votes
3answers
34k views

Does it matter what kind of sugar is used in baking?

The baking recipes I use specify many kinds of sugar e.g. caster, raw, white, soft etc. Generally, I always just use raw sugar, mainly for convenience. Does it really make a difference?
19
votes
2answers
18k views

When baking a cake that calls for butter, should you use salted or unsalted?

I'm baking a cake using a cake mix and extra ingredients. It calls for 5 tbsp of butter, but I'm not sure which to use, salted or unsalted. What difference would it make??
17
votes
5answers
28k views

What happens if I use vegetable oil in a cake?

I want to bake a cake out of baking mix bought at a shop. The mix already contains flour, baking soda, vanillin, other minor components. The manual says I need to add butter. I'd like to use ...
16
votes
3answers
18k views

What role do eggs play in baking?

Why do we use eggs in cake baking?
14
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I keep a cheesecake from cracking?

I've been making cheesecakes for a while and they always end up cracking on the top. I was told to try putting a pan of water in the oven with it to keep the humidity up, which might help a little, ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

What does “spooned and leveled” mean?

I'm looking at a recipe that lists the following as an ingredient: 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) What exactly does this mean? Is this literal - i.e. spoon it into the measuring ...
11
votes
3answers
850 views

Thick, moist, fluffy, flavorful pitas

Are there tricks for baking thick and fluffy pita bread? The ones I make come out fine, with an even puff and nice pockets, but they are on the thin side. I would really love to be able to make ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I keep meringue pie-topping from falling?

Nothin' better on a hot summer afternoon than a slice of cold pie... And nothin' says "summer" like a great big fluffy meringue topping over that slab of rhubarb/lemon/banana custard. Unfortunately, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to achieve great baguette crusts

I have baked baguettes a few times, the recipe I used was something from the net which might or might not be good. It went like this: 13 dl wheat flour 5 dl clean, cold water salt, some olive oil ...
8
votes
2answers
535 views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I successfully bake previously-frozen bread dough?

I prefer my bread freshly baked (who doesn't?), but my mixer prefers kneading two loaves at a time to just kneading one. I have tried to freeze the second loaf before baking it, but when I thaw it, it ...
8
votes
2answers
620 views

Proper Technique for Rolling Sugar Cookies

I have an old recipe of my grandmother's for sugar cookies and I'd love for them to turn out just like hers. However, whenever I try to roll out the dough, I find I either can't get it thin enough, it ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Cook Time vs. Cook Temp trade off

So I've always thought of cooking this way: Higher Temp & Less Cook time = crispier vs. Lower Temp & More Cook time = softer Now obviously this doesn't apply to everything, but generally. ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Tripling a baking recipe

I have a cupcake recipe that I've doubled successfully in the past. I'd like to triple it for an upcoming party but I seem to recall reading that some ingredients don't work as well if tripled. Is ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What Kinds of Recipes Should I Sift/Aerate The Flour?

We've talked about methods for sifting flour (http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/5364/how-to-make-sifting-palatable), and the purposes of sifting ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

where can I purchase a “wonder pot”?

The "wonder pot" is a type of stovetop bakeware that seems to have been popular in Israel during a period of austerity. I'm looking for a (preferably USA based) supplier for a new one. Here's a link ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to brownies from a box/mix with a flaky top?

I buy and make box brownies all the time, but the top crust always ends up looking more like the topping of a cake, rather than the flaky top shown in the picture on the box. It's pretty easy to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I intensify the orange flavour in orange cake?

The ingredients I followed are: 2 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup white sugar 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup oil 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Factors affecting meringue crispness

I've read the other questions on meringue but didn't find the answer I'm looking for. When making meringue, there are basically three types that form: Crisp shells will a uniform texture throughout. ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

What is the name of this dish involving fruit & sugar - blended and baked thin and flat?

I don't know what it is I'm doing (IE, the name of the technique or dish) I can't research it. I cook either rhubarb or passion fruit with a few tablespoons of sugar, blend until very smooth, ...