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51

Fundamentally, the reason for this substitution is that applesauce contains pectin. In baking, the role of oil is to coat the flour, preventing it from combining with the water (or other wet ingredients) and developing gluten. Gluten is what causes dough to rise, and also gives elasticity to the final product - what most people think of as "chewiness." ...


42

Why the doming happens When you heat leavened dough, two things happen: leavening agent creates bubbles, causing the soft dough to rise. For chemically leavened doughs (baking powder or baking soda), the amount of lift mostly depends on the time the bubble creating reaction goes on and the concentration of non-spent leavening agent. The gluten in the ...


32

I like my chocolate chip cookies chewy too and I do it all the time. Here is what I do: Flour: I use a higher gluten flour instead of AP, such as Bread flour. Eggs: An additional egg yolk will help Sugar: A bigger Brown Sugar to Sugar ratio helps but not vital if you do not have brown sugar at hand. Butter: Butter should be melted. I think this is the key ...


32

Essentially, the exterior crust and the interior evenness are both side effects of the distribution of water. The Maillard Reaction - the chemical reaction responsible for the brown crust - happens at about 150° C. Generally you're baking at a much higher temperature than this - say 200° C. The first question one might ask is, why is the crust only on the ...


26

Creaming puts the air bubbles into the mixture. The baking powder only helps enlarge the bubbles, not make them. In cookies the creaming plays another essential role, which is to help dissolve the sugar. To cream the butter keep it cool and do it for a few minutes (at 65°F, harder in the summer). It has recently been discovered that cookie dough is ...


25

I think it might be the humidity inside the oven that's making the difference. After cooking one pizza, the oven is filled with the steam given off by the cooking dough, sauce, etc. The humid air in your oven is probably heating the pizza up faster and more evenly (which is what you want for pizza). Try putting a pan of hot water in your oven for a few ...


24

Yes! Sugar is often used as a "wet" ingredient in baking. That means it needs to be dissolved in the water in order to prevent too much gluten from being produced (making the result fluffy/flaky, and not chewy). Different sugars hold different amounts of moisture (for example, brown sugar holds more than white) and using sugar with crystals that are too ...


24

Generally, you'll want to use unsalted. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary, so most recipes call for unsalted, and then have you add the exact amount of salt. Cake mixes have salt in them, so this would still apply.


24

You can reuse parchment paper several times for your cookies (it also works for other dry dishes), depending on cooking time and temperature, with no problem. Change the paper when it gets dirty, dark and/or brittle as it may crumble beyond this point. I always do so with no difference in the results, saving both on money and waste.


23

First of all- yeast is not nearly as complicated to use as your question would seem to imply. Yes it is a living organism but it is a very simple one. Active dry yeast will stay viable for years in the freezer and it is easy enough to avoid adding it to water that is too hot for it. It can be inconvenient to wait for yeast products to rise but there are two ...


23

Baking powder, especially if too great a quantity is used, adds an unpleasant flavor to a baked good. Even in an appropriate quantity it can be noticeable and it certainly doesn't do anything to enhance the flavor. Many baked goods traditionally don't use a chemical leavener at all, but instead rely on technique. Creaming butter and sugar together or ...


22

I went into some detail with this in my answer to What are the factors that affect the chewiness, softness, moisture of bread based desserts like cinnamon rolls? To summarize my points there and add some more (simplified) detail on the chemistry: Gluten is responsible for elasticity of dough, which is perceived as chewiness. The difference between bread, ...


22

Is it more accurate? ABSOLUTELY Does it mean that you can still follow a recipe by weight exactly and expect perfect results everytime? No You're right in that humidity will vary the weight, but if you're consistently working in the same area with a small change in humidity - its not something to worry about. You'll adjust your recipe once and then ...


21

Sugar is not really a wet ingredient, it's just treated as one in certain types of baking (i.e. cakes). When making a cake or other "fluffy" baked good, you want a fairly small amount of gluten to be produced, otherwise you'll get a chewy texture instead, and you definitely don't want a cake to be chewy like bread. Dissolving sugar in the water inhibits ...


21

"Folding" is a more gentle mixing technique than "stirring" and "mixing". Stirring and mixing both denote a more vigorous action. Folding is usually used for items where something has previously been whipped (such as egg whites or cream) or where tenderness is desired and thus less mixing is advisable (muffins & biscuits). Folding is usually done with ...


21

A cooling rack serves two primary purposes. First, it allows the cookies (or other baked good) to cool faster by letting air circulate completely around the cookie. Second, it prevents the steam escaping from the cookies from soaking the bottoms, and other cookies placed on top.


21

Removing things from the oven halfway through is not very friendly to baked goods. In general, they'll collapse as they cool off since the structure isn't cooked and set, and the leavening (baking soda/powder in these cases) will be spent, so there's no way to get what you originally wanted. It might be something like what'd happen if you forgot the ...


20

There really isn't another name for Dutch processed cocoa. You could perhaps look at the ingredients or label and search for some reference to alkalization. Cocoa powder, Dutched or natural, consists of a single ingredient: cocoa. The difference is that Dutched cocoa has an extra step in the manufacturing process. Normal cocoa powder is created from cocoa ...


20

If you want soft and moist, you need egg yolks. Their emulsifier and fat content makes dough pliable, soft and smooth, and retains moisture. Egg whites dry out a dough. This is sometimes desirable, e.g. in pate a choux. Eclairs made with whole eggs often have wet planes in the middle, resulting in an underbaked impression. If you remove some yolks from the ...


19

I don't see anything in the question that is peculiar to pizza dough. Anything I answer will apply to any kind of yeast-risen, glutenous dough. The goal with any such dough is a well hydrated protein matrix that has been arranged in sheets that will trap the gas produced by yeast. If the yeast is dead it won't be able to produce gas and your bread will be ...


18

Unglazed quarry tile. Preferably 3/4" to 1" thick.


18

If it calls for tightly wrapping it, they're trying for steam. More than likely, they're just trying to shield the top from radiant energy, so the top doesn't brown before the whole thing is cooked through. If you're ever baking a cake, and it's starting to brown, but a toothpick is still coming out wet, I'll move it to a lower rack, and put a sheet pan on ...


18

I've used yeast that was even older than yours and although the taste of the resulting bread was fine, and it foamed up properly when tested, I found I had to use about 50% more of it to get the same density of the bread. In the end, I threw it out because it was too much trouble to experiment with it every time.


18

To make a good baked cheesecake, I was taught the following, and it has ALWAYS worked: Start with room temperature ingredients. DO NOT over-mix. This is a significant cause of cracking, as the incorporated air tends to souffle. When baking, always bake in a bain-marie (put your cake into a water bath for insulation). Bake half an hour at 300° F / 150° C. ...


18

To get your butter up to room temperature faster, you can slice it into very small pieces or grate it with a cheese grater and then leave it out in a single layer. It will get where you want it in around 10 minutes that way. You cookies taste better with room temperature butter because they have more air in them. When you mix the butter, sugar and eggs in ...


18

Peanut butter cookies don't spread as they cook, so you have to flatten them before hand. This ensures that the middle will cook through before the outside burns. As for the pattern created, it actually creates slightly more surface area, so you'll get more browning at the extra edges that you create. Think of it like a meringue, or the top of a shepherd's ...


17

A non-exhaustive list of ways to get your bread to rise when it's cold includes: Just let it rise slowly over a long period of time, which does give you good flavour but requires serious patience Put it in the airing cupboard, assuming Australian houses have such things, but in the winter the hot water tank will keep it nice and warm If it's still in the ...


16

There are actually quite a few differences between the different types of flour. The number of different types you store will really depend on your particular requirements. All purpose (or plain) flour is a blend of different types of wheat and has a relatively low protein content. Bread flour is typically made from a single, high protein wheat. It also ...


16

Cookies really only spread out because of their fat content: when it gets warm it flows, and if it flows too much before the glutens start binding to give it structure, you get flat cookie. So, in this case, if the dough is colder at the start the fat stays stable longer, and lets the cookie set up. You can try experimenting with your fats: maybe butter ...


16

It's there to increase the pH (make it more basic), which gelatinizes the crust. This in turn leads to a brown one, desirable in pretzels. If you hunt up the transcript for the episode ("Pretzel Logic", which can be found here: link, Scene 8) Alton goes into some detail about why this is, and why commercial makers get a browner crust than home bakers ...



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