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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

19
votes
2answers
23k 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
3answers
22k views

What role do eggs play in baking?

Why do we use eggs in cake baking?
14
votes
5answers
41k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
10k 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
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
709 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
1k 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
682 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. ...
7
votes
6answers
3k 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
3answers
9k 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
1answer
1k views

Azuki Bean Substitute for Anpan

I want to try to make anpan and I was planning to use this recipe for koshian for the anpan's filling. However, I do not have access to azuki beans. Is there another bean that I can use as a ...
5
votes
7answers
4k 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
4k 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
5answers
3k 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
3k 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
1answer
217 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
328 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
9k 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?
2
votes
1answer
184 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
154 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
7k 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
9k 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
3answers
3k 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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
381 views

Substitutes for wheat flour and their challenges in baking

What are the flours that can be substituted for wheat flour in baking, specifically for breads, pastries and cakes? I found a few here: Top 10 alternatives to wheat What sort of challenges have you, ...
15
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I identify dutch process cocoa?

I have a hard time finding "dutch process cocoa" in the store sometimes. What other names might dutch process cocoa be known as? Is there something else in the ingredients that might identify ...
15
votes
10answers
152k views

Is granulated sugar (American) the same as caster sugar (UK)?

I have an american cake recipe which includes 'granulated sugar', would this be uk caster sugar? It is for the stage when you beat in with the butter?
15
votes
2answers
78k views

Can I always use butter instead of margarine when baking?

Some recipes says use butter or margarine, some say use butter and some say use margarine. My question is, can I always use butter or does margarine have some property that butter doesn't when baking? ...
12
votes
3answers
206k 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
6answers
13k views

Why is there vinegar in the bread recipe?

Yesterday I made bread based on a recipe I found on the flour bag. It contained both rye and wheat flour but also three tablespoons of vinegar. I've never seen it used in bread before, why is it ...
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"?
10
votes
1answer
5k views

When adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe, should one reduce the amount of flour equal to it?

I've always thought that the rule of thumb for adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe was to add one tablespoon of it per cup of flour called for. A friend is telling me that rather than do that, ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What differences, practical and aesthetic, are there between egg washes?

An egg wash can be done in six major variations: [with | out egg white] mixed with [water | milk | cream]. My first hit when searching 'egg wash ratio' My Persian Kitchen where the use was for ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What are good techniques for getting gluten free bread to rise?

I make gluten free bread in a bread maker, however I can never get it to rise as much as 'regular' bread and is usually a little heavy. What techniques/recipes/substitutions can I try to get my gluten ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

How to make pizza crust thin and elastic at the same time?

For the title: I'm not sure if "elastic" is the perfect word here, so is anyone knows better one - put it in the comment. I like thin pizza crust, but when I've made it myself it was hard and stiff - ...
8
votes
1answer
495 views

What is the best technique to put icing on plastic?

I'm going to attempt to do is bake a cake for my daughter's first birthday. The cake is going to be based on this recipe, but I want it to look more like this one. Now if you look at the 2nd link, it ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some pie crust recipes include vinegar?

I experiment some with pie crusts and have seen recipes that include vinegar as well as eggs. What does the vinegar do and what does the egg do. I have heard the vinegar promotes tenderness but have ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is blind baking?

I am making a quiche. The recipe tells me to "blind bake" the crust at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. What is "blind baking"? Is it anything more complicated than baking something partially? To avoid ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I avoid windswept muffins in a convection oven?

I have a very small multi-function oven (about the size of a microwave) and for baking, the recommended setting is the "convection" one. Things bake fine in terms of taste, but muffins and cupcakes ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

converting pure chocolate to “bittersweet” chocolate

A chocolate cookie recipe I'm looking at calls for melting down a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. However, I happen to have a brick of completely unsweetened cooking chocolate in the fridge. Can I ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Why and what kind of breads should be scored?

Inspired by this question How can I score wet bread dough more easily?, I am quite keen to know why and what kind of breads should be scored? What will happen if we don't score the breads?
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Baking naan without an oven?

Is it possible to make eggless naan without an oven?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Cooking Chemistry: lemon juice/soymilk buttermilk substitute turning bitter and 'rising'

I made a soup recipe the other night (mainly potato, spinach, and veggie broth) that called for buttermilk. I substituted soymilk and lemon juice, reading online that that was a good substitution for ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

What are macaron “feet”?

This question mentions macaron "feet". What are macaron feet?
7
votes
1answer
24k views

Fan bake vs bake

Are there any general rules to follow when choosing between bake and fan bake to cook something in the oven? What effect does each have and what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
7
votes
3answers
5k 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?