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Questions tagged [baking]

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

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61 votes
11 answers
54k 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 ...
Wizard79's user avatar
  • 4,623
57 votes
2 answers
139k 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 ...
Brian Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,219
53 votes
10 answers
287k 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 ...
Mien's user avatar
  • 13.4k
52 votes
15 answers
17k views

How do I get something sticky like honey or Golden Syrup off measuring spoons or measuring cups? Is there a better way?

When I put honey in a spoon or measuring cup, the residue stays and it’s hard to get all of it out. How do I make it all come out? Is there a way to measure honey without leaving honey on a spoon?
ushna saeed's user avatar
44 votes
15 answers
763k 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. ...
Michael Pilat's user avatar
43 votes
4 answers
198k 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 ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 1,283
38 votes
2 answers
133k views

What are the impacts of common pizza dough errors?

I'm diving into the world of making pizzas from scratch, and I'd like to take a systematic approach to the possible mistakes I could make with regards to the dough. What impact do each of the ...
anon's user avatar
  • 769
37 votes
3 answers
8k views

How did replacing flour in muffins go so wrong?

I had a whole bag of Cocoa Puffs that had gone stale, and thought it would be fun to mess around and see if I could bake something with them. So I aimed for muffins. I more or less based it on a ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
25k 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 ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 7,062
35 votes
7 answers
19k 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 ...
Covar's user avatar
  • 1,703
35 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why are baking measurements such nice round numbers?

I've heard over and over that when it comes to baking, measurements cannot be ignored, and you need to be very precise. This question covers how precise a measurement of flour should be, for example. ...
Tesserex's user avatar
  • 1,780
34 votes
4 answers
206k views

Does it matter what kind of sugar is used in baking?

The baking recipes I use specify many kinds of sugar e.g. caster, raw, white, soft etc. Generally, I always just use raw sugar, mainly for convenience. Does it really make a difference?
rbrayb's user avatar
  • 2,322
34 votes
3 answers
3k views

Theoretical: why there's no gradient of doneness in bread?

I was always wondering, why there's no gradient of doneness visible on the cuts of bigger breads. For example: This one was made in the baking form, it has a thin visible crust, but after that the ...
Sergey Mikhanov's user avatar
33 votes
10 answers
147k 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 ...
yossarian's user avatar
  • 19k
33 votes
5 answers
31k views

Why would you place potatoes on salt when baking in the oven?

Several of my recipe books call for baking potatoes on a layer of (rock) salt, e.g. I'm currently following one for gnocchi that has this very instruction. Searching yields many recipes, but I can't ...
Jeroen's user avatar
  • 3,001
32 votes
7 answers
15k views

Can one bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one?

This recent question about a person who wanted to bake a cake but only had a cooked egg left suggested me an even stupider one: is it possible to bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one? ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
8k views

Why does my glaze soak into my doughnuts?

I fried up some yummy doughnuts and let them cool. Shortly after glazing them, I noticed that the glaze has soaked into the doughnuts. How can I prevent this from happening?
MegaMark's user avatar
  • 601
29 votes
7 answers
26k views

How can I tell the difference between unmarked sugar and stevia?

My wife just started back on her doctor-recommended ketogenic diet (due to a medical history of high blood pressure and Crohn's disease in her family). She's to have reduced carbohydrates and sugars, ...
Zibbobz's user avatar
  • 1,227
29 votes
8 answers
4k views

How can I curate ingredients for my child to do foolproof self-directed sensory play + baking?

My 6 year old child really likes to play "spices" where we put various herbs, spices, flour, and other ingredients into small jars, set those on a baking sheet, and give her a mixing bowl. ...
Steve V's user avatar
  • 533
29 votes
6 answers
401k views

When is it necessary to cover food with aluminum foil during baking/roasting?

Often a recipe calls for covering a dish while it bakes. I understand that this can help to trap steam. How do you know when it's necessary to use aluminum foil when baking a dish without a recipe? ...
Jacob R's user avatar
  • 2,500
29 votes
6 answers
231k 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?
ajbeaven's user avatar
  • 393
27 votes
14 answers
11k views

Is there a trick for softening butter quickly?

I often don't realize a baking recipe requires softened butter until after I start adding in the other wet ingredients and it's too late to wait for butter to soften the normal way (with time). So, I ...
JMann's user avatar
  • 413
27 votes
15 answers
399k views

How can I get my bread to be more fluffy and less dense?

I've been making bread for a while now, but I can never get it to rise enough. The bread comes out really dense, so it's not very useful for sandwiches. I give it ten minutes after kneading, bash it ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 1,564
27 votes
4 answers
107k views

Shiny side or not for foil?

Does it make any difference when you wrap food with aluminum foil for grilling or baking or making a steam pouch whether you put the shiny side in or the shiny side out? I've seen at least one answer ...
Jay R.'s user avatar
  • 513
27 votes
4 answers
16k 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 ...
Curry's user avatar
  • 1,804
26 votes
7 answers
27k views

What to use instead of cling film to wrap pastry

I'm trying to stay away from single use plastics for the environment. The only kitchen thing I have not yet managed to find a substitute for is wrapping pastry in cling film to let it rest in the ...
user141592's user avatar
  • 10.6k
26 votes
8 answers
160k 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 ...
cee's user avatar
  • 271
26 votes
4 answers
14k 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 ...
Laura's user avatar
  • 5,219
26 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to prepare butter for baking when time is limited?

From my experience, the best way to use butter when baking is to let it soften to room temperature. However, sometimes one is short on time and must use the microwave to soften the butter. I always ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is there any way to bring an egg to its natural state (not boiled) after you cook it?

This is probably a stupid question, but I'm curious now after I opened the refrigerator looking for eggs to make a cake and there was only one and it was cooked. Is there any way to undo that, whether ...
Suhany's user avatar
  • 687
25 votes
9 answers
124k 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?
lomaxx's user avatar
  • 5,518
24 votes
9 answers
130k 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?
derobert's user avatar
  • 13.2k
24 votes
6 answers
24k views

What is the criss-cross pattern on top of peanut butter cookies used 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?
KatieK's user avatar
  • 7,940
24 votes
4 answers
32k views

Why is sugar a wet ingredient?

The last time I checked, most sugar is really dry (unless it's something like brown sugar). So why is it categorized as "wet"?
Dave DeLong's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
56k views

Can you re-use parchment paper when baking batches of cookies?

I just finished making cookies. The dough was enough to make multiple batches. I only have one baking sheet. Every time a batch was ready, I used new parchment paper on the baking sheet. Is this ...
Mien's user avatar
  • 13.4k
24 votes
1 answer
31k 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?
B. Eaton's user avatar
  • 297
23 votes
25 answers
167k 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 ...
zachary's user avatar
  • 2,409
23 votes
1 answer
12k views

How much salt can I safely add to bread dough?

I recently made ciabatta, which turned out very well, with a good crust and nice open crumb. However, I felt it could use more salt to give extra flavour. I'm aware that salt and yeast do not make ...
ElendilTheTall's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
3k views

Which measuring scale should I buy?

I am trying to buy a measuring scale so that I can stop using cups and start measuring by weight. I’m personally not sure which to buy. Here are two options: Can some experienced bakers out there ...
Alpha's user avatar
  • 221
22 votes
18 answers
154k 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.
Martin Brown's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Miroslav Zadravec's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
93k views

What ensures big holes in my bread?

Is it a high hydration rate? Minimal kneading? High-protein flour to hold hydration?
Industrial's user avatar
21 votes
13 answers
13k views

For Pizza cooking at home. What is the best alternative to the pizza stone?

For Pizza cooking at home. What is the best alternative to the pizza stone?
Zepplock's user avatar
  • 416
21 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why not make sourdough bread from young starter?

I made my own starter 3-4 days ago, and it has been growing well; I have fed it twice so far. As far as I know, it is recommended that you feed starter for about 7-0 days before you use it to make ...
Ovi's user avatar
  • 591
21 votes
4 answers
224k 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."
Sam Hoice's user avatar
  • 425
21 votes
3 answers
12k views

What is the point of a baking rack?

I notice when I bake cookies (usually chocolate chip or peanut butter) the recipe often says "place on baking rack to cool". Because I don't have one, I just place them on a plate after removing them ...
Dorrene's user avatar
  • 1,091
21 votes
2 answers
731k views

Is it okay to use aluminium foil instead of parchment paper while baking cookies?

I don't have access to parchment paper or even butter paper for that matter. I just read on a website that it'd be okay to use aluminium foil as long as I apply a coating of grease on it. And also ...
Uday Kanth's user avatar
  • 1,063
21 votes
5 answers
44k views

How can I identify dutch process cocoa?

I have a hard time finding "dutch process cocoa" in the store sometimes. What other names might dutch process cocoa be known as? Is there something else in the ingredients that might identify ...
KatieK's user avatar
  • 7,940
21 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to get threads in a yeast dough?

I think I may make some traditional food for Easter this year. What I love most is a type of rich sweet bread called kozunak. The perfect kozunak is defined by many qualities, but what I find hardest ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
21 votes
10 answers
475k views

Is granulated sugar (American) the same as caster sugar (UK)?

I have an american cake recipe which includes 'granulated sugar', would this be uk caster sugar? It is for the stage when you beat in with the butter?
user3909's user avatar
  • 211

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