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

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8
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5answers
686 views

How do I incorporate chiles into a chocolate cake recipe?

One of the traditional combinations of chilies and chocolate is a Mole sauce or the Aztec hot chocolate drink, it has also made a reappearance in the modern confectionery scene. How can I incorporate ...
18
votes
3answers
23k views

What role do eggs play in baking?

Why do we use eggs in cake baking?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How much fresh yeast should I use if I want to use it instead of dry yeast?

I have a recipe that lists the quantity of dry yeast I need, but I have only fresh yeast. How much fresh yeast should I use, knowing the quantity of dry yeast?
13
votes
13answers
542k views

Butter substitute for 1 cup of butter for baking

What can I substitute for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes (e.g. cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.)? I'm looking for something that has less saturated fat (and also doesn't have trans fat). Update: ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there certain kinds of salts that work best for baking (cakes, bread, etc)?

As there are different kinds of salts which contain different minerals, is there a kind of salt that is better to use when baking? Does the kind of salt depend on what I am baking?
6
votes
4answers
593 views

Can I filter out vanilla bean seeds?

When I scrape out the seeds out of my vanilla beans and simmer them with milk or incorporate them into batter, they always leave little tell-tale black dots in the finished product. Is it possible to ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a way to prevent my Fruit Pie from getting runny?

Is there a way to firm up the consistency of a fresh fruit pie (like peach or apple) - sometimes it gets too "runny"?
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Microwave Crust

I've done a lot of microwave baking (and have created some delicious treats!), however I've never found a way to get a crust with the microwave. Now I understand the science behind a microwave and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Make crispy rice noodles without frying

Everywhere I've read about cooking puffed rice noodles says that the soaked noodles need to be fried. I need a less messy alternative to frying. Is there a way I could bake them to get the same or ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Making cookies on a pizza stone

Years and years ago, I had a pizza stone, and discovered that it was great for making thin and crispy cookies. That pizza stone cracked in half, and it was only this year that I bought another one. ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How to keep thin sponge bases moist

I enjoy making multi layered sponge cakes (specifically chiffon sponge), but I find that when cooking a much thinner base than for a normal sponge (around 1cm height), I am faced with a decision of ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Bagels: Alternative to cornmeal on the baking sheet?

I'm making bagels for the first time ever and I assumed I had cornmeal... I don't. I have corn muffin mix but no cornmeal. The instructions say to sprinkle cornmeal on the baking sheets. Is there ...
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 ...
8
votes
8answers
9k views

Do I need a bread maker?

I'd like to try my hand at baking my own bread. Do I need a bread maker to get decent bread? Are there any advantages to using a bread maker vs. my normal oven?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

What is Zwieback toast and where can I find it?

I am baking a black forest cake and it calls for zwieback toast. I cannot find this anywhere. Does anyone know what this is or where I can find it?
8
votes
4answers
14k 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? ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What considerations should be taken into account when adding any fruit to any cake?

I have a pineapple-orange cake recipe that is very good, but is from a relative - I didn't develop it. I am curious how to adjust a typical cake recipe or even a box cake mix so that I can add fruit ...
7
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
21k views

Can I substitute quinoa flour for bleached flour in a baking recipe?

I wanted to substitute Quinoa Flour for bleached in an apple nut-bread recipe - will it work, any adjustments for similar substitutions in general?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Yeast Aftertaste

When trying to bake white bread, I use yeast to make it rise. The problem is that I always get a sour yeast taste with my bread. How do I avoid this "sour bread" effect?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the Effect of Browning Butter

From a taste perspective, I love the nutty flavor of browned butter. From a culinary perspective, I'm curious what the process does to the butter. I used browned and cooled butter in cookies ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Dutch oven instead of oven?

I'm moving into a small apartment with no oven. Before, I had a 16" oven stone to bake my bread and I'm looking for something to keep baking. Would a duch oven over a gas kitchen work? I can't use ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

What additions can I make to my basic white bread recipe to increase its fiber content?

These are my ingredients for a one-loaf white bread recipe: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 4 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp sugar 1 1/4 tsp salt 1 packet active dry yeast I'd like to add an ingredient that ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Can I add unsweetened cocoa to a store-bought white cake mix to make chocolate cake mix?

I know that buying a chocolate cake mix would be the easiest, but there is a white cake mix whose flavor I like...
9
votes
5answers
63k views

What Kind of Frosting Doesn't Need To Be Refrigerated?

I'm looking for a frosting that I can leave on the counter (under a cover of some kind) for a few days. What kind of frosting (for a cake or cupcakes) would stand up to this? Update: Ideally, I ...
4
votes
5answers
694 views

Preparation Techniques for Tilapia Filets

In my freezer, I have two thin tilapia filets that need to be eaten. I realize that I can: wrap them in foil with seasoning and cook bake or broil them with butter, wine, lemon juice, and/or other ...
11
votes
3answers
25k views

How can you make “All Purpose Flour” using home ground wheat?

We grind our wheat at home. Many recipes call for "All Purpose Flour" and we have been trying to find how to make our own "All Purpose Flour".
16
votes
4answers
104k views

What does it mean to “fold in” an ingredient into a mix?

I see this in baking recipes, but I've never been quite clear on the difference between mixing and "folding."
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Pan-frying Salmon before baking it

I'm trying to prepare a fillet red salmon which comes frozen. Many times after I bake the salmon, it becomes really dry. I once heard that you need to pan-fry a meat before cooking it so that the ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Optimal Cheese Melting Bagel Baking Temp/Time

So i'm putting a bagel with cheese and ham on it into a conventional oven to toast it a bit. My end goal is for the cheese to be completely melted and the bagel not too crisp/dry. What time and ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do my muffin tops lean?

I'm getting close to (my idea of) muffin heaven with this recipe which after trying a few others I've found to work consistently and well. One small thing I don't understand is why my muffin tops, ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What can I use in place of allspice?

I have a recipe for Dutch apple raisin cake that calls for a half teaspoon of allspice, which I don't have. Would ground cloves or nutmeg or a combo of both work? I know that allspice is a spice unto ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a non-penetrative method for checking cake doneness?

Is there some way to check a cake is done without using a toothpick or other penetrative device? I like the thermometer idea, but no one seems to know how the heck to use them.
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do fresh mandarin oranges get very bitter when baked?

Why do fresh mandarin oranges get very bitter when baked? What compound in mandarin oranges turns bitter when heated?
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Can I substitute Soy Milk when a recipe for baking calls for regular milk?

If a baking recipe calls for regular milk, can I substitute Soy Milk...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Baking zucchini bread without egg yolks

I'm trying to reduce cholesterol in my diet and have switched to using egg whites (from a carton) instead of whole eggs. This substitution usually works out OK, but when I make zucchini bread -- and ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

Can I substitute Molasses for Honey in Baking Recipes?

Can I substitute one for the other in baking recipes?
6
votes
4answers
23k views

Is it possible to make fudgy brownies without oil?

What can I substitute for oil in brownies and still get fudgy brownies? I've tried yogurt and sour cream (individually) and only replacing half the oil with one of those, but the brownies always end ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does adding extra flour help with high altitude baking?

When baking at high altitude it seems that most recipes advise to include a little more flour to the mix. Is it related to boiling point?
13
votes
7answers
16k views

In baking, can yoghurt replace butter?

By baking, I mean cakes / muffins / biscuits. This is mainly to cut down on fat. I've tried replacing butter with yoghurt in all of these and the results were OK. Are there any cases where it's not ...
9
votes
7answers
24k views

How do I keep my enchiladas from getting soggy when they cook?

I love enchiladas. I almost always order them at a Mexican restaurant. I've made them at home a few times with a recipe that's delicious, but it's not the same as what I'm getting at a restaurant. The ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

What are the differences in bleached/unbleached flour for baking?

I've heard various rumors suggesting that using unbleached [wheat] flour is better than bleached [wheat] flour when baking (cakes, squares, cookies...). Is this true? If so, why?
10
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible to make cookies without creaming the butter?

I love to make some cookies but have limited kitchen appliances. I don't want to cream the butter and sugar by hand -- I did that before and it was not fun! Is it possible to make good cookies ...
30
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the purpose of creaming butter with sugar in cookie recipes?

I got distracted while assembling the dry ingredients for a cookie recipe and added the sugars, which were supposed to be creamed with the butter first. Fortunately, the sugar was added last and I was ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Standard weight conversions for converting cups of flour to grams of flour?

I hate the idea of measuring flour using something as imprecise as measuring scoop. What numbers do you treat as definitive/authoritative/canonical for doing weight conversions for different types of ...
5
votes
3answers
22k views

How can I get my puff pastry to rise?

When I made chicken pot pie, the filling was fine but the puff pastry on top didn't puff up though it did cook through. How can I remedy this? The pastry was the store-bought frozen variety. The ...