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19

The main purpose of beating an egg is to "denature" the protein within the egg. Proteins are long chains of amino acids and they have lots of internal chemical bonds, which hold them together into tightly contained units. When a protein is denatured, those internal bonds break and the amino acid chains unravel and become elongated. At the same time, atoms ...


14

Using a mixer is not "a must". You should be able to whisk 1-2 egg yolks together quite easily which a whisk and some elbow grease. How do you think we beat egg yolks for the centuries prior to electricity?


13

Fix Compacted Flour. Flour will compact over time (and during shipment). You could sift the flour to fluff it back up. Or, you could just stir it before measuring and be sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup in order to get a correct volume measurement. Remove Unwanted Material. Yes, sifting would also remove larger pieces or bits of chaff. It ...


10

Sifting aerates the flour. This alters the texture of the finished good, resulting in a lighter, airier texture. This still has relevance today, and should be done when the recipe calls for it, but you can experiment freely on your own. Generally there is no need to sift when making bread, biscuits or scones. Delicate sponge or chiffon cakes using pastry or ...


9

There isn't really a technical reason for this in most cases. It is for the convenience of the cook, to get things mixed thoroughly with a minimum of mess and hassle. However, with meat loaf, once you add the egg, it gets even more sticky and messy. When I make meatloaf or meatballs, I actually do it in three stages: Mix all the onions, herbs, spices ...


8

The main reason behind the claim is that muffins don't want gluten formation. Gluten in a chemical leavened product like a muffin would make it tough, rather than light, since the protein strands are so sturdy. The sturdy structures that are desired in crusty bread are a problem for muffins and other chemical leavened products. Gluten is formed when dough ...


8

The easiest way to tell if you've over stirred muffins, quick breads or cakes is the texture when it's baked. Correct, and it's all even. Over stirred, and you'll have a series of larger bubbles in the cake, called 'tunneling', where it looks like worms have burrowed their way through your cake or muffin. Stirring develops gluten, which is essential to ...


8

I've got one of the professional series Kitchen Aids (and my parents have the traditional version to compare and contrast). If money isn't a huge deal, then getting the professional series comes with a more powerful motor and a heavier base that will stop the mixer from "walking" around the counter if you put dough or something dense in the mixer. One ...


8

Many, many things happen when flour flour is mixed into batter. From your description, though, it sounds like you are interested in what leads to and relieves clumping. When water (whether it is just plain water, in milk, in juice, or whatever) and flour are mixed, the water will begin to expand and penetrate the starch granules in the flour. The starch ...


7

It means mix until the 2 things are evenly mixed, so that they are 1 thing now. You want to just mix enough so they are evenly mixed and no more as sometimes mixing more than necessary can spoil the recipe


6

If you do most of the kneading while the dough is very wet (like Jeff Varasano recommends for his pizza dough here http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm), you should be able to do most of it with even a comparatively weak hand mixer and not have too much trouble holding it steady enough (see link - gluten IS working even though the dough is still only ...


6

I don't even bother with a whisk for something that small. (the only wisk I have is medium sized balloon whisk, I don't have any small ones). I find a fork and a small bowl work well for up to about 3-4 eggs. I tip the bowl towards hand with the fork so I can get a better angle on it, and it keeps the eggs from spreading out too much across the bowl.


6

Mixing bread with a stand mixer will normally take 10-12 minutes, depending on speed. A lot of this smaller mixers will tend to 'walk' if they are not anchored. Look for the dough to be smooth and supple, but not shiny. If it is shiny, and appears wet, it is over mixed. To start, it will look choppy and rough, sometimes you will have to pull all of the ...


6

I've never heard of any two things which are safe to eat separately, but poisonous when combined. When you consider everything gets mixed in the stomach anyway, I find it unlikely to ever find things like that. Daniel's question about your food safety knowledge is an important one. Make sure to use separate tools for raw meats, clean your tools, cook to ...


6

It shouldn't be a problem, since their cooking times are similar.


6

By mixing the dry ingredients separately and whisking them a bit before adding them to the liquid, you are making sure that the baking soda/powder/salt, gets evenly distributed throughout the flour. Also, the flour will be able to absorb the liquid easier and more uniformly without the flour becoming over-worked. From my personal experience, when I didn't ...


6

Once you start thinking in terms of techniques, it shouldn't be that hard. The book Ratio has an excellent overview of different methods for cakes. The blog pastrychefonline.com does as well. You can see an overview of the: Creaming method in which softened but not melted butter and sugar are whipped together first to create a network of air bubbles for ...


6

If there's leavening in the cake (baking soda or baking powder) that gets activated once incorporated with the rest of the ingredients, and you substantially overmix, you may lose some of its power as you help the gas escape from your batter. Unless you're whipping it vigorously, you're not going to be bringing enough air into the batter to make up for it. ...


5

Keep in mind that whipping cream or egg whites by hand may take longer than you expect. That said, there is a proper way to whisk egg whites, and it is quite likely that taking breaks due to your fatigue is interfering. See this site for detailed instructions. In particular, see below for an excerpt on one possible problem (although there are numerous ...


5

I ruined a handmixer like that. I was kneading breaddough with it and indeed the engine couldn't cope and overheated/stressed out. I had to buy a new one. So be carefull. And indeed, it wasn't easy at all to hold the mixer or the bowl with the dough..


5

As long as you are following food safety rules, any standard grocery store ingredients should be fine. I can't speak for exotic foods. Possible problems: You may have digestive problems if you have too much/little fiber or if you overload it with chile. Nothing dangerous though, assuming you are in good health. You may have long term troubles if you ...


5

I think a great option for beating small amounts, if you don't just use a whisk, is a hand-cranked egg beater. They're cheap and easy to use. I have one I got from my Mom many years ago, and it works great. If you get one, don't let batter or egg or whatever dry on it--wash (or at least rinse) as soon as you're done using it. They're hard to get dried-on ...


5

Getting it uniformly mixed is kind of the real reason. You want to get it all mixed as much as possible before you get the flour wet and it starts to develop the gluten. Regardless, you have to mix enough to make it uniform. For cakes (mentioned in the question), its largely about avoiding 'over-working' the batter. You want a small, even crumb so ...


5

Perhaps I am not entirely qualified to answer this post, but as someone who was taught to cook (by my mother) mostly without recipes, when it comes to dishes like curries or stews, salt is simply 'to taste.' This, however, is always with the added note that you can always add more salt later, but taking it out of a dish that has been over saturated with it ...


5

I remember when cake mixes included the number of strokes needed to mix the batter by hand. The Betty Crocker FAQ website (a U.S. baking mix company) suggests 150 strokes per each minute of electric mixer time recommended. Note: that is not 150 strokes per minute! So if the directions call for 2 minutes of mixing, that translates to 300 strokes. Betty ...


5

Assuming you are making what I'd know as batter (for pancakes, waffles, yorkshire puddings, or batter for deep-frying): Don't add flour to batter..... it goes lumpy due to the reasons @SAJ14SAJ has stated; you should be starting with flour and making batter. If you need to add extra flour to thicken batter I'll address that at the end. To make lump free ...


5

No, you can use the blender. Use the slowest speed and manually do short pulses (1 second on, 2 seconds off). You may have to use a spatula and mix it to get an even result. The pauses are so that the food doesn't get too hot (friction from the blades can actually boil things). Stop early, it's easy to make an unrecognizable paste in the blender.


4

You can replace the granulated sugar with confectioner's sugar, but due to that starch, you'll end up with an icing-like consistency. In fact, royal icing is just egg whites and confectioner's sugar. There is actually a surprisingly large number of variables when it comes to beating egg whites, with the amount and type of sugar being just one of them. I'm ...


4

One factor not on your list is orbital motion. I have a kitchen aid and a bosch. The kitchen aid is orbital and the bosch isn't. The orbital motion makes a huge difference when kneading bread doughs. The size of the bowl matters a great deal. It should be big enough to do what you need it to and not bigger. A big bowl will struggle to beat a single egg ...



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