23
votes
8answers
35k views

How warm must dough be in order to rise?

While making some focaccia this afternoon, my wife said, "sure the house is 'warm'; it'll be fine." One hour later, no rising. It may be worth noting that our house is 66F. So we stuck it in a warm ...
23
votes
12answers
106k views

How to quickly soften brown sugar

I had some brown sugar that didn't get properly sealed and so now it's solid as a rock. What's the quickest way to soften it up and get rid of the clumps? Folks have suggested leaving an apple with ...
23
votes
8answers
528 views

Cues to a reliable or unreliable recipe?

Over on this question about measurements we got into an interesting discussion about recognizing reliable recipes. What cues do you look for to recognize one you would trust? This is a community wiki ...
23
votes
9answers
53k views

Expiration Date on Milk

What does the expiration date on milk cartons mean? I have different experiences with the date: There is still about a week before the expiration date but the milk has gone bad It is 1-2 days ...
23
votes
7answers
55k views

When baking, is it better to use a gas or electric oven?

I'm looking for an oven and wanted to know if there is any difference between a gas or electric oven when it comes to baking things like cakes, biscuits and scones?
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Does resting the dough for a long time reduce the need to knead the bread?

In this article by Chef Michael Smith, he mentions a recipe where leaving the dough to rest for 18 hours removes the need to knead the bread. Is this a viable alternative? I've tried the recipe and ...
23
votes
2answers
14k views

How does a Miracle Thaw work?

Miracle Thaws are utensils for rapidly thawing foods. Put an ice cube on one and it melts before your eyes, yet the whole thing stays cool to the touch. How do they work? (Inspired by this ...
23
votes
4answers
903k views

How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

My wife is obsessed about not leaving uncooked meats in the fridge longer than a day (esp. Chicken). If we buy chicken breast and we're not going to use them the next day, she'll put them in the ...
23
votes
1answer
6k views

Egg yolks vs Whole eggs

I'm about to make cinnamon rolls & one recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. The other recipe calls for 3 egg yolks. Which one will give me a moist, soft, cinnamon roll?
23
votes
10answers
4k views

How do I make soft chapattis?

I have been trying to make chapattis (an Indian flat unleavened bread, somewhat like a wheat tortilla), using the following recipe for the dough: 300ml water, 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white wheat ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the purpose of using ping pong balls on top of a Sous Vide Bath?

I recently saw a picture of expert Douglas Baldwin with his sous vide equipment in this article. One of his immersion circulator baths was covered with ping pong balls. What is the purpose of ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What research is there on tea preparation?

I'm a fan of modernist cooking, and its emphasis on precise measurements and consistency. I'm curious how to apply this to tea preparation - in particular, several things: It seems to be well ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

I bought Mainland's vintage cheddar, it tastes… stale?

Normally I bought a cheddar slice, which I've been eaten since child. It has a smooth and milky taste. This time I wanted to try something premium so I bought the pricier, but same kind of cheese. ...
22
votes
11answers
38k views

transfer pizza onto stone without sticking

After I have made my pizza and put the toppings onto it, I find that I am unable to transfer the pizza on to the pizza stone in the oven. When I try to do it the pizza goes out of shape, gets folded, ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Why doesn't mayonnaise taste like pure oil?

The mayonnaise I tried making myself today (first try ever) wasn't entirely bad but there was something off-putting to the taste too, as if eating a spoon of pure oil. Now if I had never had ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

How can you melt chocolate without it getting wet?

I've tried a (few times) to melt chocolate but am obviously doing something wrong: Put a pot of water onto the boil Place a metal bowl over the pot Put chocolate into the bowl Wait for chocolate to ...
22
votes
3answers
41k views

What happens when you mix whiskey and water?

It is sometimes said that to best experience the flavor and aroma of a good whiskey (or whisky), one ought to add a bit of water. This practice is said to release flavors somehow. Is there any truth ...
22
votes
11answers
4k views

What can I cook for Indian guests without trying to mimic Indian cuisine?

I am raised in Belgium, with the Belgian cuisine related to the French and (to a much lesser extent) the German. I'm having Indian friends over for dinner and I don't know what to cook for them. Last ...
22
votes
10answers
16k views

Is there any difference between chopped and crushed garlic in cooking?

Often recipes say to chop garlic, but I usually cheat and just crush it as it's quicker. Is there any difference in doing this? Will it have much of an effect on the flavour of the dish?
22
votes
4answers
4k views

How does one invent a cookie recipe?

My cookbook has dozens of cookie recipes and I can find hundreds more online. But... If I want to invent my own cookie recipes how can I go about doing it, without wasting tons of ingredients on ...
22
votes
10answers
12k views

How do you cook grass-fed beef so it is not tough?

I recently went to a farmers market and bought some grass-fed beef. I went with what we normally buy, and got a couple of bone-in thick cut ribeye. I typically prepare this by liberally applying ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

How to make ice cream without a machine?

I recently made a poor-man's ice cream by making an egg custard and freezing it in the freezer in a metal bowl, stiring about every half hour. I was expecting it to freeze it 2 hours, but three hours ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

Coca Cola's Secret Recipe

If only two executives know the secret recipe of Coca Cola at any one time, and it is so well guarded, then how do they manufacture Coca Cola in plants without giving away this secret to the workers?
22
votes
7answers
16k views

Does adding salt help water boil faster?

I've always heard adding salt to water makes it boil faster. Is this true? If so, why? If not, why do people do it?
22
votes
3answers
648 views

Pizza baking order

First few times I thought it was coincidence but now I'm puzzled. I'm baking two pizzas, one after another, made from the same dough and with the same ingredients. Every time, the second pizza base is ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do drinks drunk from a glass instead of a bottle taste differently?

Cola drunken out of a glass instead to a bottle/can taste differently to me; it is much better. Is this due to more aroma smelled by your nose when drinking out of open glass changing the kind of ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it safe to eat freshwater fish raw?

According to this question freshwater fish should not be used in Ceviche--why not?
22
votes
5answers
22k views

Does microwaving destroy nutrients in food?

After answering this article, I did some research on microwaving killing vitamins and nutrients in food. I very quickly learned that this is a touchy subject, even among nutritionists, and nobody (at ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

Dishwasher safety - “top shelf” vs. “bottom shelf”

The instruction manual for some of my kitchen equipment says "Dishwasher safe (top shelf)". What difference is there between what an object on the top shelf of a dishwasher experiences, and what ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I make this antique ginger wine recipe using ingredients available today?

I have this old family ginger wine recipe, but some of the ingredients are hard to find or may not exist any more... Essence of Ginger 12mls Tincture of Capsicum 9mls Essence of Lemon 5mls ...
22
votes
2answers
42k views

Why doesn't Bailey's go bad?

I realize it can go bad after a long time, but why does it take so much longer than other dairy products? Does it have to do with the alcohol content? If so, what is the process that is happening?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I ensure that pita forms a nice big, even pocket when baking?

I have the opposite problem as Amir's question about thick, fluffy pitas. Whenever I make pita, it's nice and thick and fluffy, but the pocket is small or nonexistent. I would like to use my pita for ...
22
votes
4answers
50k views

How much to reduce salt when using salted butter in place of unsalted butter

I normally don't keep unsalted butter on hand since I use it so seldom. So when a recipe calls for salt and unsalted butter among its ingredients would it be alright to use salted butter and reduce ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Does water that's been left to sit and then reboiled taste different from fresh water boiled once?

This may sound like a silly question, but I've always wondered: If I boil some water and use some of it and leave the remainder in the kettle, and then a few days later boil that same water again, ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Shaken, not stirred…but why?

Most people are probably familiar with the line from James Bond, "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred." What I have never figured out is "why would it make a difference?" I have tried making martinis ...
22
votes
2answers
944 views

What is the chemical process behind the way you cook a risotto?

Cooking risotto seems to differ from regular rice in two important ways: you stir the risotto regularly you only introduce liquid a little bit at a time What is the effect of these two steps ...
21
votes
8answers
7k views

Will spoiled food technically make you sick?

Kind of a strange question, but say something has spoiled IE: Smells Bad, Tastes Bad.......etc... Will it technically always make you sick? Like for instance spoiled dressing, lets say it tastes sour, ...
21
votes
13answers
14k views

How do I flip an egg when preparing it “over easy”?

I tend to break a lot of yolks when preparing eggs over easy. I also can't do it too fast, making it hard to cook multiple eggs at once (they tend to overcook). Sometimes the spatula I'm using ...
21
votes
5answers
10k views

How do you coat perfectly round truffles with melted chocolate?

How do you coat perfectly round truffles with melted chocolate. Preferably with the least amount of mess. Normally, I just dip the truffle into a bowl of melted chocolate and remove the truffle with a ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

How might I roast coffee at home without investing in an expensive roasting machine?

Tired of the bland supermarket beans and too poor to sate my thirst at the local roaster, so I've ordered 20lbs of green coffee beans online... But, now what do I need to do to turn them into The ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Honey changing into unusable, hardened clump

I buy raw, unfiltered honey from the grocery store in jars sold/packed directly by the farmer. When I had used the last jar to about half, I noticed the honey beginning to dry(crystalize?) to the ...
21
votes
10answers
24k views

What can you surmise about coffee beans that have oil on them at the time of purchase?

I find myself favoring the purchase of coffee beans that have visible oil on them. My inference was that this bean had some extra flavor or awesomeness. Am I right, are beans 'better' if they are ...
21
votes
6answers
12k views

Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil?

So, I foolishly ignored advice about wearing gloves while handling hot peppers. I thought since they were "just" anaheim peppers I'd be fine... I was wrong, and I repent. Does anyone know of a way ...
21
votes
5answers
16k views

Ways to learn to season food correctly?

What is a good way of learning how to season food correctly? Are there some foods which are particularly bland until seasoned correctly that can be used to 'educate' your palate as to what is ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a clove of garlic?

If a recipe calls for 8 whole cloves of garlic, does it mean 8 whole garlics? Or does it mean 8 of the wedges?
21
votes
9answers
30k views

Why is it necessary to preheat an oven?

Just about every recipe advises to preheat the oven before using it. I often forget this, but luckily this doesn't seem to matter all that much. Hence my question: why would it be necessary to preheat ...
21
votes
11answers
135k views

How long should I keep a cut onion?

Since I only cook for one or two, I will tend to buy an onion and only use part of it, and then keep the rest in the fridge. Sometimes it will be a while before I use the rest. Is there any guidance ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

In peanut butter cookies, what is the criss-crossed pattern on the top good for?

I've been making peanut butter cookies, but skipping the step of pressing the top of the cookie down with a fork. What does this step do for the cookies?
21
votes
4answers
102k views

Substituting garlic powder for garlic salt?

I love using garlic powder but I also see recipes call for garlic salt. I thought that you could just add garlic powder instead of garlic salt (which of course is sold separately!) and then just add ...
21
votes
6answers
7k views

What are the different applications for differently shaped wooden spoons?

A while back I got a set of wooden spoons that contained 5 differently shaped wooden spoons. Take a look at the following photo to see the different shapes. I have mainly been using wooden spoon #1 ...

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