Questions tagged [baking]

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

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52 votes
10 answers
282k views

How do you make a cake lift equally and minimize doming?

Some time ago, I baked a cake (Sachertorte to be exact). The taste and texture was fine, so my recipe is okay. My biggest issue was the shape. In the middle it was really a lot higher than on the ...
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  • 13.1k
26 votes
8 answers
144k views

Why are there no recipes combining both yeast and baking powder?

I've never seen anything with both yeast and baking powder. What's the reason for that? Shouldn't e.g. muffins get even more fluffy by adding some yeast? Or bread by adding baking powder? I know there ...
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  • 271
59 votes
11 answers
52k views

How can I get chewy chocolate chip cookies?

My chocolate chips cookies are always too crisp. How can I get chewy cookies, like those of Starbucks? Thank you to everyone who has answered. So far the tip that had the biggest impact was to chill ...
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  • 4,603
56 votes
2 answers
135k views

Why can applesauce be used in place of oil?

In many recipes, mostly desserts, it is suggested that you can substitute oil with applesauce to reduce the fat content. But why applesauce? Is there something special about applesauce or are there ...
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  • 1,179
37 votes
3 answers
24k views

What is the purpose of creaming butter with sugar in cookie recipes?

I got distracted while assembling the dry ingredients for a cookie recipe and added the sugars, which were supposed to be creamed with the butter first. Fortunately, the sugar was added last and I was ...
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  • 7,032
23 votes
25 answers
152k views

How do you raise your dough in cold seasons?

It is winter down here in Australia and I find it challenging to find a warm spot to raise my bread dough. What I have been doing is placing the dough in the oven (not switched on) with a pot of hot ...
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  • 2,389
2 votes
3 answers
18k views

Adjusting the baking time for large cakes?

How long should I bake a 13" (330 mm) sponge cake? Which gas mark should I use?
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10 votes
3 answers
37k views

What does an overnight chill do to cookie dough, that a 4 hour chill doesn't?

I have a high-fat cookie dough (see What ingredient changes will make this cookie dough more workable?) which wants to be chilled in the refrigerator overnight before shaping. I tried to cheat by ...
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  • 7,849
12 votes
6 answers
73k views

Gummy residue from baking spray/oil

I'm sure everyone's seen this - that brownish stuff left behind when you grease an area of a baking dish that gets left exposed to the heat. Soap doesn't bother it too much, and it likes to gum up my ...
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  • 57.3k
16 votes
17 answers
33k views

Is it possible to bake a cake without an oven?

I don't have an oven; is there any way to simulate what an oven does with any other tools available at my home? In particular I would like to be able to bake cakes.
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15 votes
5 answers
43k views

Over-stirring muffin mixtures

In muffin recipes, the instructions often say to stir the mixture till "just combined". Why does over-stirring the muffin mixture result in tough muffins? And how do you know if you did too much ...
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  • 2,389
18 votes
2 answers
35k views

What does gluten "do" in baking?

I saw many questions regarding converting baking recipes towards gluten-free, and it seems it's not an easy process. But none of the questions I came across helped me understanding what gluten ...
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  • 1,072
10 votes
4 answers
44k views

Choux pastry (Chocolate eclairs) doesn't rise

Last time I tried to make Chocolate eclairs (similar to cream puffs), the choux pastry just sat in the oven and basically fried. It didn't rise/grow and so I couldn't hollow out the shells. Any ...
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22 votes
18 answers
148k views

How do you make Yorkshire Puddings rise reliably?

Has anyone got a foolproof method for Yorkshire Puddings? With the recipe I have they never seem to rise properly.
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17 votes
4 answers
44k views

What makes a chewy brownie?

I've tried many different brownie recipes and most of mine bake to a cake-like consistency. The brownie holy grail for me is crusty top chewy brownies. What can I add/remove/do that will make my ...
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  • 173
19 votes
5 answers
170k views

Substituting butter for oil: Does it matter for baked goods?

When a recipe (like for muffins) calls for vegetable oil, does it matter if I substitute the oil for butter because I want that buttery taste in the muffins? Do I need to compensate for the ...
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  • 2,389
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Cup measurements: shake or scrape?

When you are measuring out your flour, sugar, etc with the measuring cups, is it better to scoop and then shake the cup to get a leveled cup, or scoop and then use a knife to scrape off the excess. ...
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  • 2,389
4 votes
7 answers
85k views

What is the best way to making a great pavlova base?

What is the best way to making a great pavlova base?
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13 votes
13 answers
72k views

Create my own high-gluten flour by mixing vital wheat gluten and bread/AP flour?

Has anyone had success with giving their bread or all-purpose flour an extra gluten kick by adding vital wheat gluten? I would like to know what ratio to mix the the two ingredients with, or perhaps ...
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34 votes
7 answers
18k views

What is the difference between various types of flour?

Is there a difference between the various types of flour that you see in the stores (i.e. Cake, Bread, and All-Purpose? Is it really necessary to stock 3 types of flour in my pantry or is this just a ...
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  • 1,703
19 votes
10 answers
439k views

Difference between Maida and All purpose flour

I'm baking tonight and I'm out of All purpose flour. I'm lazy to run out to the grocery store. Can I replace All purpose flour with Maida (Maida is better known to Asian Indians - we use it for making ...
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43 votes
15 answers
658k views

Does active dry yeast really expire?

I was cleaning out my spice cabinet and deep in the back I found two packages (e.g., six envelopes) of active dry Red Star yeast that expired in March 2009, 15 months ago as of writing this question. ...
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12 votes
2 answers
13k views

Should you add some salt to flour when baking?

I was always taught to add a pinch of salt to flour when baking (mainly cakes / muffins and puddings). I have recipes that specifically mention adding salt and others that don't. Is there a ...
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  • 2,292
11 votes
10 answers
331k views

Are there any substitutes for Shortening?

I was specifically thinking about the Crisco shortening that is used in baking.
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  • 7,456
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are good references for Gluten free baking

I have several members of my family who are GF. Baking for them has become a real challenge. I'm looking for good references to learn to understand how to work with this limitation in my baking. What ...
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  • 1,073
17 votes
4 answers
54k views

How can I keep a cheesecake from cracking?

I've been making cheesecakes for a while and they always end up cracking on the top. I was told to try putting a pan of water in the oven with it to keep the humidity up, which might help a little, ...
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  • 418
14 votes
5 answers
6k views

What determines the shape-holding ability of cookies?

What things can you vary to make cookies hold their shape better during cooking, and not spread out like a pancake? From my experimenting, the initial temperature of the dough before cooking seems to ...
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  • 2,637
7 votes
2 answers
33k views

Is it possible to prevent a japanese cheesecake from deflating or sinking?

A japanese cheesecake is basically like a cheesecake fused with a spongecake. When i beat the egg whites they peak perfectly then i am required to get 1/3 of the egg white mixture and fold it into ...
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  • 101
14 votes
8 answers
187k views

Substitution for baking soda in pancakes

I attempted to make pancakes this morning, only to discover that I was out of baking soda. I tried substituting baking powder, but it didn't work at all. The pancakes didn't bubble on the griddle, and ...
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  • 7,432
10 votes
3 answers
133k 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 ...
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  • 7,849
9 votes
3 answers
17k views

Bread doesn't split at the score

I've got to the point where my bread springs beautifully (I can see it grow). Unfortunately, no matter how I score it, the score always spreads open gently, then hardens along with the rest of the ...
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  • 352
22 votes
3 answers
88k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
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42 votes
3 answers
195k views

Why use yeast instead of baking powder?

Both yeast and baking powder are used to gas-fill the pastry, make it expand and thus make it soft and fluffy. Using yeast is rather inconvenient - it can be dead already or if the yeast is submerged ...
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  • 1,263
21 votes
9 answers
120k views

Techniques to get a nice golden-brown crust on bread

How do I make sure the crust of a baguette, etc. turns out a nice golden-brown when baking?
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  • 13.1k
31 votes
10 answers
137k 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 ...
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  • 18.8k
12 votes
3 answers
7k views

Standard weight conversions for converting cups of flour to grams of flour?

I hate the idea of measuring flour using something as imprecise as measuring scoop. What numbers do you treat as definitive/authoritative/canonical for doing weight conversions for different types of ...
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  • 528
15 votes
13 answers
799k views

Butter substitute for 1 cup of butter for baking

What can I substitute for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes (e.g. cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.)? I'm looking for something that has less saturated fat (and also doesn't have trans fat). Update: ...
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  • 1,071
11 votes
3 answers
187k 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?
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  • 111
13 votes
4 answers
430k views

Can I refrigerate bread dough after the first rise and bake it later?

I do not have enough time to bake my bread. Can I refrigerate it or let it sit on the counter and bake it later in the day?
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  • 141
11 votes
3 answers
149k views

Why are my macarons cracking on top?

I've tried to make macarons eight times in a row and I failed. I used this recipe (text version is in the description below the video). They all cracked on top and the surface collapsed as you see in ...
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  • 1,713
29 votes
6 answers
204k views

When to use convection/fan bake vs bake

Are there any general rules to follow when choosing between bake and fan bake to cook something in the oven? What effect does each have and what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
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  • 393
7 votes
5 answers
80k views

Baking in gas oven does not brown the top

I need advice from those who bake in gas oven without fan. I bake on the middle rack and have an oven thermometer(my oven is -20 deg off). My cakes get baked darker on bottom and paler on top. Cookies ...
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  • 137
6 votes
12 answers
116k views

Baking cakes in the Microwave ovens as compared to Electric ovens

Is there a difference in the output or in the procedure when baking cakes in the Microwave ovens as compared to Electric ovens? What are the basic and crucial differences found among cakes baked in ...
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5 votes
1 answer
24k views

Why do my pizzas get such hard crusts?

I usually buy ready made pizza base and use it for baking pizzas. All of my pizzas get a very hard and crispy outer crust. Why so? I thought of brushing some oil on the pizza base before I bake it but ...
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  • 766
21 votes
4 answers
221k views

What does it mean to "fold in" an ingredient into a mix?

I see this in baking recipes, but I've never been quite clear on the difference between mixing and "folding."
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  • 425
11 votes
5 answers
21k views

Is it possible to make cookies without creaming the butter?

I love to make some cookies but have limited kitchen appliances. I don't want to cream the butter and sugar by hand -- I did that before and it was not fun! Is it possible to make good cookies ...
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  • 2,389
9 votes
3 answers
10k views

Can I successfully bake previously-frozen bread dough?

I prefer my bread freshly baked (who doesn't?), but my mixer prefers kneading two loaves at a time to just kneading one. I have tried to freeze the second loaf before baking it, but when I thaw it, it ...
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  • 1,466
8 votes
2 answers
9k views

My meringue forms syrup beads on top

Every time I make a pie , topped with meringue , little beads of sugary syrup form on the top of the meringue a few hours later. Why?
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  • 81
7 votes
7 answers
25k 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?
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15 votes
6 answers
49k views

How can I bake normally fried foods?

A lot of frozen, convenience foods are foods that are traditionally fried can be prepared by baking. I'm thinking of, fish sticks, french fries, tator tots, jalapeño poppers, etc. I'm lousy at deep ...
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  • 46.8k

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