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

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1answer
2k 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
2answers
434 views

Why would a baking recipe call for both cake and bread flour?

I recently encountered a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that mixes both cake and bread flour. Why would a baker want to do this? Cake flour, after all, is typically used for its low gluten content, ...
7
votes
2answers
205 views

Why does my Wonder Pot now bake unevenly?

I've been using a Wonder Pot for a year and a half, mainly making cake and the occasional bread. Recently my cakes have started baking unevenly, with one half of the pot completing the baking before ...
7
votes
1answer
459 views

How do Crispbread manufacturers use so few ingredients?

I'm curious if anyone is familiar with how the major Swedish crispbread manufacturers like Ryvita, Wasa, Finn Crisp, etc., manage to produce those crackers with ingredients lists as short as "rye ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
7
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1answer
193 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 ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the proper way to bake meat balls in the oven?

I tried baking meat balls with various temperatures and meat mixtures (regular to extra lean); however, every time, I end up with lots of water oozing out of the meat ball. How can I cook them with ...
7
votes
2answers
495 views

How can I make this very low hydration bread more home baker friendly?

The recipe is something like that: 400g of flour 180g of water 2g of yeast 7g of salt Part of the flour and water can be used to prepare a biga or a poolish, let's ignore that to keep it simple. ...
7
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2answers
3k views

yeast subtitution in a recipe with no water

I have found this recipe, but I want to use dry active yeast, rather than easy blend. My question is can I proof (right word?) the yeast in the milk? and how much should I use?
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3answers
1k views

Adjusting cookie recipes for high altitude

When baking cakes, I often find that there are instructions for high altitude, which usually is just a matter of adding some extra flour. I understand the concept of high altitudes having less ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How to bake a chicken?

I've been using a rotisserie oven to bake my chickens for a while now. However, it's no longer available to me. My first attempt at baking a chicken in a long time: Purchase a chicken that's ...
7
votes
1answer
863 views

Can active dry yeast be substituted for a compressed yeast cake in baking?

A "compressed yeast cake" is called for in each of my great-grandmother's bread recipes. Can I use active dry yeast as a substitution for one? If so, how much active dry yeast should I substitute per ...
7
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1answer
288 views

Hamantaschen just wouldn't pinch and hold tight

I made a pretty simple and easy hamantaschen recipe last night, and it came out really well. The only substitution I made was to flex 3 eggs for 3 tablespoons milled, gelled flax seed in 9 ...
7
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2answers
25k views

How does the number of eggs affect a cookie recipe?

If a chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for two eggs and I add three eggs, what will the effect be on my cookies? Likewise if it calls for two eggs and I only put in one egg what will the effect be?
7
votes
1answer
311 views

How do I adjust a baking recipe for fruits of different PH?

I just cooked some apple bread, and I'm curious about adapting it to other fruits. I'm led to believe that the acidity of a fruit will cancel out some of the effect of baking powder or baking soda by ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How can vanilla essence and vanilla extract be used interchangeably?

This question has answers which explain the difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract, and which tell you when you may want one over the other - if I am correct in thinking that "vanilla ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What's causing the metallic aftertaste in my Nutraloaf?

Thanks to all of the wonderful help thus far, I've finally been able to make my Überfood. It's called "Nutraloaf", and is kind of like a meatloaf with a bunch of other stuff in it. It has no real ...
6
votes
5answers
28k views

Are there any substitutes for Shortening?

I was specifically thinking about the Crisco shortening that is used in baking.
6
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2answers
769 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 ...
6
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5answers
8k views

Getting rid of a commercial/plastic taste in icing?

I have been taking a cake decorating course that requires me to make this buttercream icing because, being Wilton, they claim that no other icing gets stiff enough to make their decorations, and that ...
6
votes
4answers
508 views

Can I filter out vanilla bean seeds?

When I scrape out the seeds out of my vanilla beans and simmer them with milk or incorporate them into batter, they always leave little tell-tale black dots in the finished product. Is it possible to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Tips for cooking something “bacon wrapped”?

Whenever I cook something "bacon wrapped" the bacon comes out a little undercooked for my taste. Should I be half-cooking my bacon before I wrap it onto something that I'm going to bake?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Correct way to join two halves of sponge cake?

When you join two halves of sponge cake (as in this photo) which way round are you supposed to do it? The instructions I've used seem to assume what comes out of your two cake tins are two fairly ...
6
votes
3answers
95k views

What can be used as an alternative for Applesauce?

This banana bread recipe calls for applesauce and it's not something that's available at the stores here. Will it be okay if I just leave it out or can I use any other common ingredient to replicate ...
6
votes
3answers
428 views

How do big companies make sure their product always looks and tastes the same?

When professional bakeries or companies such as Dunkin' Donuts or Panos create their dishes, how do they make sure the end product has the same look and taste as always? Do they just premake huge ...
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3answers
7k 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
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3answers
26k 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 ...
6
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4answers
19k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why doesn't my conventional-oven Naan bread taste authentic?

I recently tried this recipe for Naan bread in an oven, and followed it diligently, but the product that came out did not have that characteristic flavor of Naan. It was more like a pizza bread ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Cinnamon Roll Filling

There seem to exist two different camps of people when it comes to cinnamon rolls and their filling. Some say to use regular granulated sugar, cinnamon, and butter while the opposing view states that ...
6
votes
4answers
12k views

How can I make the tops of my macarons smooth?

After a recent trip to France, I have become mildly obsessed with making macarons (using this recipe). I have made a couple of batches so far - the first didn't turn out well, more like cookies than ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

When and why would one infuse flavor into sugar for baking?

Listening to The Splendid Table today, the first caller asked how to infuse flavors into her marshmallows. The answer provided was essentially to infuse the sugar, by placing herbs, tea, lemon rind, ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the 'best' flour to use for brownies?

Cake, Bread or AP? My goal is a 'chewy', 'moist' brownie. I have always used AP in the past, but am wondering if an alternative flour might improve the final result.
6
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3answers
2k views

What would be the difference between frying vs baking meatballs?

I'm sure the two techniques impart slightly different flavor profiles, but what are they? What are the circumstances where you would choose one method over the other? Would the recipe need to be ...
6
votes
3answers
614 views

What makes the Pillsbury canned biscuits puff up?

What is it in canned biscuits that makes them puff up immediately upon opening the can yet stops them from raising further? What kind of food voodoo is at work here? Please explain the food science ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Converting stand mixing time to hand mixing

For each minute of using a stand mixer on high, approximately how long (or how much effort, quantified) should a mixture be mixed (whisked/beaten) by hand to achieve similar results? Baking recipes ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I clean, or care for, a banneton (brotform, proofing basket)?

How should I care for a rattan (cane) banneton? It would seem that washing it in water would eventually warp or ruin the basket since the wood can easily absorb moisture. I've seen people suggest ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How to make cookies less crumbly?

I baked cookies last night and they came out rather crumbly. It felt like I put in quite a lot of flour - would that affect the crumbliness?
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votes
5answers
2k views

When to spray or when to use olive oil?

So what's the basic rule of when to spray with PAM etc or when to use olive oil? For ex, for making an omelet, I usually use the spray.
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Why shouldn't I bake on scratched silicone mats?

My Silpat baking mat came with very clear instructions to throw out the mat as soon as it becomes scratched. It now has a few very light surface scratches that don't seem to have penetrated the first ...
6
votes
1answer
263 views

Will double-action baking powder lose potency if not baked immediately?

I use double-action baking powder to make waffles. If I bake the waffles immediately, they rise nicely. However, if I bake the waffles more than 3 hours after making the batter, they don't rise as ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How accurate is the window pane test? (breadmaking)

I recently bought Michael Ruhlman's Ratio and started trying out baking. I knead my bread for about 10 to 15 minutes, but the window pane test (pulling a chunk of dough so that it's translucent ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I partially bake a pie?

I am planning on making a pie for my dad for father's day. I know when you buy most pies at the grocery store, you have to pop it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up. Is it possible to do a ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I make my own small pie dishes and still cook pies effectively?

I need to make individual pies this week. I would usually use pre-bought tin foil containers, approximately 10cm diameter, 3cm high. I can't buy these anywhere near me and have left it too late for ...
6
votes
2answers
583 views

Do I really need pastry flour in my molasses cookie recipe?

I have a recipe for molasses cookies that calls for 3 parts regular flour to 1 part pastry flour for the flour component. It mentions that you can use whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour if ...
6
votes
2answers
426 views

When macerating apples to use in a pie, what should you do with the liquid?

Because the liquid is so full of apple flavor, I usually cook it down into a caramel and put it into the pie filling. I'm not sure this is good or even if I should be macerating my apples at all. ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

What is meant by “place 4 inches apart on cookie tray”?

Does this mean place some cookie dough every 4 inches (i.e. 4 inches center-to-center), or have a 4 inch gap between each cookie?
6
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3answers
654 views

Baking bread with spelt flour, without using a bread pan

I ran out of "normal" wheat flour a few days ago, so I had to bake my bread with the closest thing - spelt flour. I noticed the dough was a lot stickier than when using wheat flour, and when baked, ...
6
votes
6answers
32k views

I'm baking an acorn squash. How long should I bake it for?

I'm baking an acorn squash. How long should it bake for and at what temperature? I also noticed on the spaghetti squash question that those are baked sliced face down. Should acorn squash bake face ...