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

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1answer
4k 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
5answers
33k 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 ...
9
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13answers
11k 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.
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votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
524 views

Do bakeries generally knead dough for bread by hand or use a machine?

Question is in the title - if anyone has experience working in a bakery that would be great. Thanks!
9
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2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
19k views

What is the glaze on a bakery-style fruit tart?

I am looking to re-create a bakery-style fruit tartlette. I was wondering what the glaze on top of the fruit tarts you find in US bakeries is and how you can create it at home. I have heard that it's ...
9
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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
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4answers
2k views

My bread is tasteless

I'm in the middle of trying to tackle making baguettes without all the fancy equipment of a typical bakery. I'm getting closer and closer to a perfect texture on the inside and out, but I have yet ...
9
votes
3answers
34k views

Can cheesecake be cooked without a spring-form pan?

I don't have a spring form pan but I watched a show where they seemed to cook their cheesecakes in regular pans. Is this possible or did I just not notice that they were in fact spring form pans? I ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

What does an overnight chill do to cookie dough, that a 4 hour chill doesn't?

I have a high-fat cookie dough (see What ingredient changes will make this cookie dough more workable?) which wants to be chilled in the refrigerator overnight before shaping. I tried to cheat by ...
9
votes
5answers
44k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How to cut a crumbly baked item (e.g. cereal bar) without it disintegrating?

When baking something which needs to bind - like a (British) flapjack / cereal bar - I have mixed results when it comes to cutting it, even if I repeat the same recipe. Sometimes it binds really well, ...
9
votes
2answers
302 views

What is the proper usage of a pie bird?

I have one of those ceramic pie birds that vent steam from a pie while it bakes. What benefit does using this provide to the end result? Also, in what types of pies should it be used?
9
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
4answers
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 - ...
9
votes
3answers
22k views

What is the correct ratio to make self-rising flour?

I have a recipe that I've used a couple of times that asks for self-rising flour. Unfortunately, I only have regular AP flour where I am right now. I know self-rising flour is a mixture of AP flour ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does bread taste raw if you stop baking it and continue after it has cooled?

Unlike, for example, almost anything that is made on the stove and even cakes (of course, as long as your cake doesn't fall as you take it out of the oven), if you stop baking a loaf of bread for some ...
9
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3answers
379 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

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 ...
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
3answers
9k views

When should I use convection when baking?

I think I understand what convection does, and (some) of the benefits, such as eliminating hot/cold spots, and being more efficient overall. Does this mean that I should always take advantage of it? ...
9
votes
1answer
374 views

How to store bagels?

I've seen conflicting advice on how to store bagels. I make 6 at a time, for use over the course of a week (or less). Should I store the ones I'm planning on eating tomorrow and the day after ...
9
votes
3answers
197 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?
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votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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6answers
66k views

Difference between Maida and All purpose flour

I'm baking tonight and I'm out of All purpose flour. I'm lazy to run out to the grocery store. Can I replace All purpose flour with Maida (Maida is better known to Asian Indians - we use it for making ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

What kind of flour is needed for strudel/fillo dough?

In Hungary, they sell "rétesliszt", strudel-flour. What makes it better for strudel? Is it higher gluten? Lower? Softer? Harder? Which flour in a typical (USA) supermarket comes closest to rétesliszt? ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Where can I buy borosilicate (Pyrex) bakeware in the U.S.?

Because of the shattering dangers of the apparently inferior lime glass that Pyrex uses for manufacturing in the U.S. as exposed by Consumer Reports, I'd like to replace my Pyrex with borosilicate ...
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votes
8answers
7k 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?
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do baking recipes call for instant coffee instead of fresh ground coffee?

I have seen many recipes for cakes, cupcakes, coffee buttercream, etc. that call for instant coffee than the freshly ground/brewed coffee because the instant coffee produces much better flavour. Why ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to cook pancakes without spreading that horrible smell of burnt oil?

I live in a region where pancakes are considered traditional food and it's typical to cook them on some special occasions. For example, right now someone has decided to throw a party in the office ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Adding lemon to cookie recipe

What is the best way to add lemon flavor to a cookie recipe? I know lemon juice is highly acidic, I don't want to throw off the PH of the dough. Is lemon extract the same way? Lemon zest? Is there a ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Spritz cookies not sticking to pan when pressed from cookie press

We're having a good deal of trouble getting our spritz cookies from our cookie press to separate from the cookie press and stick to the cookie sheet. Is there something we can add to the cookie batter ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What makes a chewy brownie?

I've tried many different brownie recipes and most of mine bake to a cake-like consistency. The brownie holy grail for me is crusty top chewy brownies. What can I add/remove/do that will make my ...
8
votes
2answers
624 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
2answers
501 views

How to bake burger buns so that they expand horizontally instead of expanding vertically?

We are trying to bake burger buns and we usually play the rounded individual dough on the baking tray and use another baking tray to press it down to flatten it. Now our hands are so sore after ...
8
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4answers
5k views

Why should I wrap a cake tin in newspaper?

I have a Christmas Cake recipe which instructs me to "wrap the outside of the [cake] tin with a few sheets of newspaper, securing with staples or string". What is the reason for doing this, and is it ...
8
votes
2answers
601 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
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6answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I prevent cream puff shells from deflating?

Every time I try to bake cream puffs the shells deflate before I can fill them with the cream. I have tried poking a hole in the shell with a toothpick in the last few minutes of baking. I have ...
8
votes
5answers
622 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
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5answers
5k views

What is the difference between roasting, baking, and broasting?

For example, when making a turkey for Thanksgiving, I generally place it in the oven (covered in foil or a turkey bag), and cook it for many hours at the recommended heat setting. I can crock-pot a ...
8
votes
2answers
21k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What happens when you bake Winesap apples?

In researching the answer to a question of why the apples in a pie became mushy, I noticed that two of my cookbooks contradicted each other on the Winesap apple, on whether it remains firm upon ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

How much difference does the placement of the shelf in the oven make to the final outcome of a cake?

Unknowingly, I used to keep the cake on the center shelf in the oven, then I realized that the shelf can also be placed at the bottom of the oven. Does this make a huge difference in the final ...
8
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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
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1answer
5k 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...
8
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5answers
7k views

How do I ensure my deep dish crust gets cooked

I've made a couple of deep dish pizzas over the last several months and I occasionally get either a soggy or a not cooked crust. I've been pushing the dough into a cast iron skillet and then putting ...
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 ...