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

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0
votes
1answer
992 views

Can't I just grease the Baking Sheet instead of using Parchment Paper

Recipes such as http://paleoleap.com/avocado-banana-chocolate-cookies/ say to line baking sheet with parchment paper. Why can't we just grease the baking sheet?
16
votes
10answers
70k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
17k 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
8k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
26
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 ...
23
votes
8answers
51k views

How warm must dough be in order to rise?

While making some focaccia this afternoon, my wife said, "sure the house is 'warm'; it'll be fine." One hour later, no rising. It may be worth noting that our house is 66F. So we stuck it in a warm ...
15
votes
4answers
17k views

Why does my bread collapse in my bread machine?

I have a bread machine and when I follow the recipes in the included booklet that came with the machine, the bread rises for about an hour, but the collapses back on itself and comes out rock hard ...
9
votes
2answers
33k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
225 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
566 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
797 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
24k 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
56k 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
26k 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
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
11k 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. ...
19
votes
2answers
31k 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??
16
votes
5answers
60k 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
10answers
16k views

Is cheesecake a cake or a pie?

Is cheesecake technically a pie or a cake? I'm curious as to why. Are there solid definitions of what makes a dessert a cake or a pie?
16
votes
5answers
131k 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
351k 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
13k 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 ...
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
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
784 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
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. ...
7
votes
6answers
6k 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...
6
votes
7answers
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
18k 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
291 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
5answers
6k views

Does spoiled milk make any ingredient?

Bear with me here, My roommate insist that she wants to keep her spoiled 2% milk in the fridge, it's been 1 month! That thing look disgusting. To my knowledge, you don't use rotten milk for ...
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 ...
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. ...
3
votes
1answer
404 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
3answers
4k 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
340 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

How can I prevent my honey cake from splitting open? [duplicate]

I've made honey cake pretty often, and it almost always splits open in the middle. Why does that happen and how can I prevent it? Edit: attaching a picture of the cakes I just made Basic recipe ...
2
votes
4answers
15k 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
3k 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 ...