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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

14
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?
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
227 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?
8
votes
1answer
652 views

What happens with bread at >= 94˚C/201˚F? Or: Is temperature a reliable indicator of doneness?

So I baked a rye bread last night (in a bread pan). It was a new recipe for me and I had to adjust some things in it due to missing ingredients, so I could not fully rely on the time and temperature ...
7
votes
6answers
106k views

What is the lowest and slowest way I can bake pork ribs?

I am leaving for about 7-8 hours and I was wondering if it's possible to pop the ribs in the oven before I leave and have them come out super tender. Ive seen some recipes that suggest 250 for three ...
4
votes
1answer
835 views

What is the rule of thumb for mixing doughs?

Without delving too deeply into specialty doughs, but addressing more than just cakes and bread, what concerns can I evaluate when calculating the technique for approaching a dough? For instance, ...
19
votes
4answers
25k views

Why do my brownies inconsistently end up hard and thin?

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 ...
17
votes
5answers
60k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
27k 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? ...
15
votes
4answers
42k 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? ...
14
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
34k 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
9k 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
3k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
28k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

Create my own high-gluten flour by mixing vital wheat gluten and bread/AP flour?

Has anyone had success with giving their bread or all-purpose flour an extra gluten kick by adding vital wheat gluten? I would like to know what ratio to mix the the two ingredients with, or perhaps ...
3
votes
1answer
12k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
12k views

Having trouble getting gluten free bread to rise

I am new to gluten free baking and I am having much trouble getting my breads to rise. I have tried several recipes, with no luck. Can anybody give me some fool proof suggestions? I am desperate. ...
23
votes
7answers
82k views

When baking, is it better to use a gas or electric oven?

I'm looking for an oven and wanted to know if there is any difference between a gas or electric oven when it comes to baking things like cakes, biscuits and scones?
19
votes
2answers
32k 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
64k views

Why don't my cookies flatten?

I have baked Betty Crocker's Giant Honey and Oat Cookies three or four times now, and every time, my cookies do not spread out, I just get thick cookies. Is there something I am doing wrong? As far as ...
16
votes
5answers
143k views

When is it necessary to cover food with aluminum foil during baking/roasting?

Often a recipe calls for covering a dish while it bakes. I understand that this can help to trap steam. How do you know when it's necessary to use aluminum foil when baking a dish without a recipe? ...
14
votes
3answers
371k views

Is it okay to use aluminium foil instead of parchment paper while baking cookies?

I don't have access to parchment paper or even butter paper for that matter. I just read on a website that it'd be okay to use aluminium foil as long as I apply a coating of grease on it. And also ...
12
votes
3answers
14k 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
1k 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
8k 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

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I get brownies to bake evenly?

I can never get the middle of my brownies "done" without overbaking the outsides. The middle is tasty, but gooey. What is the secret?
8
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
804 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Kneading before or after rising?

I've found a pita bread recipe (that turned out well) that indicates to knead after rising the dough (for about 3 hours). What's the difference between kneading before or after rising? It's even ...
7
votes
6answers
7k 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...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I reliably bake pizza with no temperature control or pizza stone?

How do I make a pizza in a gas oven, with no temperature control and no pizza stone? I have all ingredients to make pizza without actually knowing how it's made and baked. So I did some research ...
7
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Baking 'Master' Recipes

I have a question for the seasoned bakers out there. In a nutshell, I'm wondering if there are 'master' recipes for cakes, muffins, etc. Perhaps it's a little bit complicated, but here goes the ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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
13k 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
2k 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 (http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/...
6
votes
8answers
5k 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
2answers
20k views

Baking time difference in pyrex versus metal

What baking time is optimal for recipes that are done in pyrex for banana bread versus metal baking dish?
4
votes
3answers
301 views

How to replicate this bakery's bread

A local bakery is going out of business and they sell the most delicious bread. The pretzel bread is my favorite. All of their loaves tend to be heavy and dense, they stand up well to slicing, and the ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
697 views

Can I make cakes in a tagine?

I am living in Marrakech and in our new place I don't have an oven, and don't really want to buy anything expensive as we will only be here for a few months. I would like to make cakes/biscuits (and ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How to make a non-salty cheesecake?

There are lots of American cheese cake recipes which call for cream cheese. And I don't know about cream cheese in the USA, but in Europe, cream cheese is salted. It may be not as salty as, say, feta, ...
3
votes
1answer
431 views

Effect of undutched cocoa on baking

I'm trying to add unsweetened non-dutched cocoa powder to a biscotti recipe (this one). I've read that this type of cocoa is strongly acidic. Will I need to make any changes to the quantities of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are Good Resources for Baker's Percentage Ranges?

I would like to try to apply the baker percentage concept to create my own baked good recipes (cakes, cookies, muffins, etc.). However, I can't seem to find any resources that indicate appropriate ...
2
votes
4answers
16k views

How to minimise sugar in meringue

My wife just complained that she can't eat my meringue because they have too much sugar in them. She suggested I cook them with less sugar. However, without sugar the meringue won't work right. What ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Technique to bake donair meat in an oven

Every time I cook Donair at home, it seems to dry up a lot faster than when I do it in the restaurant. Granted I use the same spice mix and meat mixing method. The difference is that at the ...
2
votes
1answer
373 views

Can I make any modern improvements to this Russian cake recipe from 1971?

I found a recipe in a 1971 Russian booklet on holiday recipes, (see it below). I translated it to English. My questions about the recipe will be these: are there any advancements known to culinary ...