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

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11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does soda bread call for buttermilk?

I've been looking for a soda bread recipe to try and I notice that most of them contain buttermilk. Buttermilk is not a standard part of my pantry. Part of the appeal of soda bread is that it's ...
10
votes
5answers
36k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How long and at what temperature do the various parts of a chicken need to be cooked?

I'm interested in baking thighs, legs, breasts and wings. How long do each of these items need to bake and at what temperature?
9
votes
14answers
13k views

Is it possible to bake a cake without an oven?

I don't have an oven; is there any way to simulate what an oven does with any other tools available at my home? In particular I would like to be able to bake cakes.
4
votes
3answers
993 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
19k 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
9k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
982 views

Can active dry yeast be substituted for a compressed yeast cake in baking?

A "compressed yeast cake" is called for in each of my great-grandmother's bread recipes. Can I use active dry yeast as a substitution for one? If so, how much active dry yeast should I substitute per ...
6
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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, ...
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
6k 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
1answer
258 views

How do I bake chocolate chip cookies like Subway?

I want a chocolate chip cookie like the ones Subway has. Those cookies have a smooth top and chewy texture. I have a recipe for 3/4 cup fat, 0.5 cup sugar 0,5 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1 egg, 2 ...
4
votes
1answer
531 views

My meringue forms syrup beads on top

Every time I make a pie , topped with meringue , little beads of sugary syrup form on the top of the meringue a few hours later. Why?
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
730 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
2answers
898 views

What can I use hard, crunchy, leftover cookie-mistakes for?

My husband made some chocolate chip cookies. He changed the recipe (mistake) and they turned out flat and crispy. They taste good, but do not look nice. What can we use these for? I hate to throw ...
2
votes
1answer
7k 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
2answers
7k views

Substituting oil in baking?

I have a cake recipe which calls for 1 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. What are the essential properties of vegetable oil in baking? What changes would be expected if I were to substitute peanut or canola ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

Choux pastry (Chocolate eclairs) doesn't cook properly

Last time I tried to make Chocolate eclairs (similar to cream puffs), the choux pastry just sat in the oven and basically fried. It didn't rise/grow and so I couldn't hollow out the shells. Any ...
1
vote
2answers
840 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
12k 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
6k 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
37k 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 ...
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
203 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
14k 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
18k 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? ...
14
votes
3answers
20k 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
4k 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
20k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Advice for gingerbread houses?

I'm considering entering a gingerbread house contest with my mom this year. I might've done a few as a kid, but I've only done one before in my adult life, more than 10 years ago, and I remember ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
23k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
32k views

How does the number of eggs affect a cookie recipe?

If a chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for two eggs and I add three eggs, what will the effect be on my cookies? Likewise if it calls for two eggs and I only put in one egg what will the effect be?
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 ...
25
votes
3answers
47k 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
21k 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
32k 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
20k views

What role do eggs play in baking?

Why do we use eggs in cake baking?
12
votes
3answers
9k 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
946 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
5k 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
606 views

What kind of cookies can be shaped?

I was wondering what to look for in a cookie recipe if I want to cut it out into shapes using a cookie cutter. Some cookies tend to spread out much more than others and so would not retain any ...
8
votes
2answers
920 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
4k 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 ...