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

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2answers
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What will happen to my cake if I don't cream the butter enough?

I am preparing for a cake decorating party for some 8-year-olds and was testing a simple butter cake recipe. I made a small-ish batch of batter (just over a stick of butter, just under 1/2 lb of ...
7
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2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
732 views

Can I use a stoneware 9x13 pan instead of a metal 9x13 pan for Caramel Rolls?

I decided to make some caramel rolls for treats for work and realized I only have one metal 9x13 pan. I have a couple 9x13 stoneware pans, but I've never used them for something like caramel rolls ...
7
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2answers
5k 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k 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
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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?
7
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2answers
16k views

How do I bake chicken breast?

The kitchen queen marinated three whole chicken breasts in the refrigerator today. She left a note saying to bake them. I have no idea what I'm doing. Should I slice them in half to make them thinner? ...
7
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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
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6answers
9k views

How do I get my chocolate chip cookies to turn out thick and soft?

How can I get my chocolate chip cookies to come out thick and soft? I always use real butter; is this a problem?
7
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2answers
597 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
226 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
543 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
610 views

Cake with an impenetrable crust?

I recently baked the golden vanilla cake from King Arthur FLour's website. It baked nicely, and looked really nice. However, when I was at my cake decorating class, I had to level and torte that cake, ...
7
votes
2answers
524 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. ...
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votes
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?
7
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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
votes
4answers
3k 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
965 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
votes
1answer
308 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
votes
2answers
31k 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
324 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 ...
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7answers
2k views

Burned Cookies - Now what?

I made Cookies and they are burned at the bottom. What can I do to remove the burned layer without destroying the cookies and keeping as much as possible from the good parts? I was thinking of sand ...
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 ...
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5answers
43k 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
930 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
9k 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
3answers
1k views

Is our oven at work powerful enough to bake pizza?

Do all thick based pizzas require an oven temperature of at least 300°C (575°F) to cook better as per our reference manual?
6
votes
4answers
532 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
3k 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
452 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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
31k 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
20k 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
3answers
465 views

Why is supermarket bread soft?

Nearly all "good" bread (from a traditional bakery, made at home by a competent baker) comes with a thick, hard crust. However in every supermarket there are shelves and shelves full of soft (white, ...
6
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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
13k 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
573 views

Can I substitute powdered walnuts for all-purpose flour in a cake?

I saw a recipe where ground-up walnuts were a substitute for flour but this was for a cake that you do not cook (it was a recipe for chocolate cake made out of zucchini. Can powdered walnuts ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How to get my croissant flakier and bigger? Is it possible to get a hollow inside?

I am slightly new to the puff pastry process and have gotten the layers and and folding. I use a three fold, and the temperature remains at a cool degree so the butter does not melt or seep out of the ...
6
votes
2answers
324 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
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2answers
7k views

What purpose does coffee serve in a chocolate cake recipe?

I have a recipe for a chocolate buttermilk cake. It's not constructed like most cakes, but it's always turned out OK. I've always wondered what does the coffee in the recipe do? Is the coffee ...
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
votes
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
789 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
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
9k 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?
6
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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
282 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 ...