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

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3answers
7k 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?
9
votes
4answers
14k 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
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3answers
13k views

Using skim or low-fat milk in recipes

When a recipe calls for milk, does using skim or low-fat milk over whole milk matter? Even though the difference between whole and skim milk is about 2 percent fat, will it affect the result? Is ...
9
votes
1answer
427 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
3k 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 ...
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?
9
votes
7answers
153k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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? ...
8
votes
9answers
165k views

Are there any substitutes for Shortening?

I was specifically thinking about the Crisco shortening that is used in baking.
8
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8answers
12k 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
4answers
21k 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
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? ...
8
votes
4answers
208k views

What is the difference between corn flour and corn meal?

I have a recipe that calls for a mix of corn and wheat flours, but my local grocery stores (in the south east US) only carry corn meal. What is the difference between corn flour and corn meal? Can ...
8
votes
3answers
42k views

Is it possible to substitute Wax Paper for Parchment Paper during baking?

If I don't have parchment paper, can I substitute wax paper for baking recipes. What is the difference between the two?
8
votes
3answers
14k views

How to keep a high hydration bread loaf from becoming flat

Yesterday, I made a sourdough loaf with a high hydration (80%) and as usual, when I turned it out of its banneton, it simply couldn't hold its shape and became very flat; only about 1 1/2 inches at ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

What are macaron “feet”?

This question mentions macaron "feet". What are macaron feet?
8
votes
4answers
4k 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
15k views

What is the purpose of baking soda in chocolate-chip cookies?

I thought baked goods which include baking soda should be put into oven immediately, otherwise they won't rise. But some cookie recipes call for cooling the dough in the fridge or even freezing it, ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Techniques for making sourdough starter in cold/altitude

I want to try my hand at making sourdough starter but live in high altitude and cold weather. I'm not sure if the altitude is an issue but I don't think my house is warm enough on its own to allow a ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I make granola that clumps?

I am trying to make granola that holds together in small clumps. I have had limited success. Any hints or suggestions? I have used rolled oats, but had better luck with instant or cut oats along ...
8
votes
5answers
19k 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
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
57k views

How to convert a recipe calling for active dry yeast into rapid rise yeast?

I have a recipe for rolls where the first stage calls for 2 packages active dry yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water to be mixed until the yeast is proofed, and then 1/4 cup cubed butter is ...
8
votes
2answers
10k 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?
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3answers
7k 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?
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
10k 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
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 ...
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8answers
82k views

How to adapt brownie recipe to cook well in a mini-muffin tin?

I've got a great brownie recipe that works awesome in a 9x11 pan. The top comes out crunchy, the bottom cake like and the middle nice and fudgy. I figured I would try to make them in a mini-muffin ...
8
votes
2answers
28k views

Can you use just egg yolks when recipe asks for eggs?

Having just made a batch of meringues,I am now left with lots of egg yolks, can I use them in recipes that ask for "eggs" i.e cakes and tray bakes. Is the white of the egg needed in the baking process ...
8
votes
6answers
7k 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
19k 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
1answer
2k views

How does halving a bread recipe impact rising time?

I'd like to try an English Muffin Bread recipe, which makes two loaves, but I only have one pan. I assume that I can simply cut the ingredients in half, but the one thing I'm unsure of is rising time. ...
8
votes
5answers
774 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
2answers
2k views

What does “until fork tender and the juices run clear” mean and how do I tell?

Many texts I see say that chicken is done when it is "fork tender and the juices run clear". What does that actually mean and how do I tell? I found Is "until juices run clear" a valid test ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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
2answers
6k views

How to halve a cake recipe?

An entire cake is too much food (and temptation!) for me and my husband. Generally speaking, how do I halve a cake recipe? I have heard you can't just cut everything in half due to the way baking ...
8
votes
2answers
347 views

Why are my macarons cracking on top?

I've tried to make macarons eight times in a row and I failed. I used this recipe (text version is in the description below the video). They all cracked on top and the surface collapsed as you see in ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I clean this silicone tray?

I use this silicone muffin pan to cook things in the oven. It's supposed to be non-stick, but actually food sticks to it quite a lot. Often I can just scrape dried food off with my fingers, but it's ...
8
votes
1answer
9k 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
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

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
4answers
457 views

Is aluminum foil porous?

When cooking certain items in the oven, I line the baking pan or sheet with aluminum foil. Without fail, when cleaning up, I find oil or juices from the food between the foil and the pan. I always ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
1k views

How do you get 'ears' when baking bread?

When slashing bread, how can I produce crusty 'ears' on the places where the slash opens up? Most of the time they open up, but just end up flush with the rest of the crust.
8
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is room temp Butter

Many of my baking recipes call for room temp butter. In general this just means butter soft enough to be creamed with sugar, but is this a specific temp range? My kitchen stays cold enough in winter ...
8
votes
1answer
248 views

How does baking temperature affect kale chips?

My ideal for kale chips would be to have the kale remain as green as possible, be crispy, but not have a burnt flavor. In kale chip recipes around the internet, the cooking temperature varies ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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
3answers
6k 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 ...