Questions tagged [baking]

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

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30
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
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 ...
19
votes
3answers
44k views

Where can I buy borosilicate (Pyrex) bakeware in the U.S.?

Because of the shattering dangers of the apparently inferior lime glass that Pyrex uses for manufacturing in the U.S. as exposed by Consumer Reports, I'd like to replace my Pyrex with borosilicate ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
17
votes
5answers
109k views

Order of combining wet and dry ingredients when baking

I've always learnt that you add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Looking at some recipes: "Combine the dry ingredients, the flour ... Add the other wet ingredients, melted butter ..." "Pour wet ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

How to achieve great baguette crusts

I have baked baguettes a few times, the recipe I used was something from the net which might or might not be good. It went like this: 13 dl wheat flour 5 dl clean, cold water salt, some olive oil ...
9
votes
3answers
105k views

Why is milk powder used in bread machine recipes?

In a bread machine bread recipe, why is milk powder included? And is milk powder needed? I have baked several loaves without milk powder. When the bread is baking sometimes the loaf ...
9
votes
3answers
268 views

What are convenient and reliable ways to make the starter for rye bread?

The biggest issue with make good rye bread is to make the starter since it needs to rise in a very controlled temperature for some time. What are good and reliable ways to achieve this?
7
votes
6answers
194k views

What is the lowest and slowest way I can bake pork ribs?

I am leaving for about 7-8 hours and I was wondering if it's possible to pop the ribs in the oven before I leave and have them come out super tender. Ive seen some recipes that suggest 250 for three ...
5
votes
3answers
486 views

What's the best approach to baking bread with whole grains?

I have a plethora of whole grains (barley, rye, wheat berries, kamut, spelt) sitting around my kitchen, and I'm getting bored with soups and salads. Is it possible to use these in bread (yeast, ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Mystery ingredient in cookies with cream tartar

The attached picture is of a cookie recipe from my grandmother who passed a year ago. I would like to make the cookies, especially since they share my daughter's name, but there is one ingredient that ...
19
votes
4answers
43k views

Why do my brownies inconsistently end up hard and thin?

When I make brownies, I sometimes end up with really hard thin brownies instead of thick fudgy soft brownies. I bake them the same amount of time, use the same ingredients, and use the same equipment ...
19
votes
6answers
109k views

What happens if I use vegetable oil in a cake?

I want to bake a cake out of baking mix bought at a shop. The mix already contains flour, baking soda, vanillin, other minor components. The manual says I need to add butter. I'd like to use ...
17
votes
7answers
147k views

baking bread with all-purpose flour

I'm a bread-baking novice and have acquired a vast quantity of all-purpose flour. If I follow a typical bread recipe, for example one of these, but use all-purpose flour instead of the recommended ...
16
votes
1answer
38k views

Why is there a difference between softened and melted butter when baking?

I once tried to make some cookies and assumed that melted butter would be the same as softened butter. It didn't work out... Why does it make a difference if you use softened or melted butter? ...
16
votes
9answers
9k views

Baking bread … without crust?

My fiancee doesn't like to eat the crust of bread. I like to bake bread. But she ends up cutting off like half of each piece in the process of de-crust-ifying it. What are some suggestions to make ...
15
votes
4answers
87k views

What should I do if power goes out while I am baking cake/cookies?

If I am baking cake or cookies in the oven and I lose power, what should I do? Does it make to sense to leave the cake/cookies in the oven until the power comes back on, or should I take them out? ...
9
votes
3answers
146k views

Are coffee mugs oven safe?

Is a coffee mug oven safe? I'd like to make French Onion soup au gratin in a mug. My concern is the mug shattering while the food is being served. I currently bake the french onion soup at 450°F, but ...
9
votes
4answers
44k views

Is it possible to make fudgy brownies without oil?

What can I substitute for oil in brownies and still get fudgy brownies? I've tried yogurt and sour cream (individually) and only replacing half the oil with one of those, but the brownies always end ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

How frequently should I feed my sourdough starter?

I am growing my first sourdough starter. It is a week old, but it isn't very active. My concern is that I might be feeding it too frequently or too infrequently. I could see it going either way. The ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Baking in drinking glasses — heat vs. logo paint, other issues

I've made this chocolate Guinness cake (Nigella Lawson) before. It's delicious and looks good. But it would look even better baked in pint glasses (or half pint). It's a moist, slow-baking cake so ...
4
votes
6answers
29k views

Having trouble getting gluten free bread to rise

I am new to gluten free baking and I am having much trouble getting my breads to rise. I have tried several recipes, with no luck. Can anybody give me some fool proof suggestions? I am desperate. ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Making a 2 ramekin recipe into an 8 ramekin recipe: Do I change the cooking time?

I've read answers about doubling a casserole recipe in a larger container, or putting two cake pans in the oven instead of one. But what about a recipe that asks you to put your ramekins into a ...
3
votes
1answer
22k views

Why did my Crème Fraiche split?

I have made a recipe where I take a number of ingredients and cover them with Creme Fraiche and then bake it in the oven for a while. I have been making this recipe for a few years. Recently the ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How to bake a cake in a microwave oven

I wanted to bake a cake and I have a microwave oven. Can someone please let me know if I can bake a cake in it and how?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

What do the base ingredients in pancakes do?

So here are the ingredients for "Dutch" pancakes (which are much like French crepes, quite flat): Flour Milk Eggs Pinch of salt And for more "American" style I guess you also need: Baking powder ...
25
votes
9answers
109k 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?
22
votes
6answers
321k 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? ...
20
votes
3answers
38k views

What role do eggs play in baking?

Why do we use eggs in cake baking?
19
votes
2answers
42k views

When baking a cake that calls for butter, should you use salted or unsalted?

I'm baking a cake using a cake mix and extra ingredients. It calls for 5 tbsp of butter, but I'm not sure which to use, salted or unsalted. What difference would it make??
18
votes
6answers
172k views

Why don't my cookies flatten?

I have baked Betty Crocker's Giant Honey and Oat Cookies three or four times now, and every time, my cookies do not spread out, I just get thick cookies. Is there something I am doing wrong? As far as ...
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Can a microwave oven cook chicken?

The other day I was looking for chicken steak recipes, and most of them suggested to use an oven. They mentioned particular temperatures and times. But the problem is, I am in Japan and I have a ...
14
votes
10answers
144k views

Best way to cleanly cut brownies?

So, I'm on a brownie kick, and am currently playing around with baking batches of brownies in 9"x13" pans. I want each batch to yield 15 brownies (so I'm aiming for brownies that are around 3"x2.5") ...
12
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I keep meringue pie-topping from falling?

Nothin' better on a hot summer afternoon than a slice of cold pie... And nothin' says "summer" like a great big fluffy meringue topping over that slab of rhubarb/lemon/banana custard. Unfortunately, ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Thick, moist, fluffy, flavorful pitas

Are there tricks for baking thick and fluffy pita bread? The ones I make come out fine, with an even puff and nice pockets, but they are on the thin side. I would really love to be able to make ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

What does “spooned and leveled” mean?

I'm looking at a recipe that lists the following as an ingredient: 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) What exactly does this mean? Is this literal - i.e. spoon it into the measuring ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

When adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe, should one reduce the amount of flour equal to it?

I've always thought that the rule of thumb for adding vital wheat gluten to a bread recipe was to add one tablespoon of it per cup of flour called for. A friend is telling me that rather than do that, ...
11
votes
5answers
83k views

How does the order of mixing ingredients affect the resulting cake?

I wanted to bake a Devil's cake yesterday. I got my recipe from a trusted book and I was surprised to see that the order of mixing was as follows: sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, ...
9
votes
8answers
8k views

where can I purchase a “wonder pot”?

The "wonder pot" is a type of stovetop bakeware that seems to have been popular in Israel during a period of austerity. I'm looking for a (preferably USA based) supplier for a new one. Here's a link ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I get brownies to bake evenly?

I can never get the middle of my brownies "done" without overbaking the outsides. The middle is tasty, but gooey. What is the secret?
9
votes
4answers
15k views

converting pure chocolate to “bittersweet” chocolate

A chocolate cookie recipe I'm looking at calls for melting down a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. However, I happen to have a brick of completely unsweetened cooking chocolate in the fridge. Can I ...
9
votes
4answers
21k views

How to brownies from a box/mix with a flaky top?

I buy and make box brownies all the time, but the top crust always ends up looking more like the topping of a cake, rather than the flaky top shown in the picture on the box. It's pretty easy to ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I make granola that clumps?

I am trying to make granola that holds together in small clumps. I have had limited success. Any hints or suggestions? I have used rolled oats, but had better luck with instant or cut oats along ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What kind of cookies can be shaped?

I was wondering what to look for in a cookie recipe if I want to cut it out into shapes using a cookie cutter. Some cookies tend to spread out much more than others and so would not retain any ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Kneading before or after rising?

I've found a pita bread recipe (that turned out well) that indicates to knead after rising the dough (for about 3 hours). What's the difference between kneading before or after rising? It's even ...
9
votes
3answers
64k views

Glass Dish Baking Temparature

Generally I have heard that most recipes are designed for baking in metal dishes. I have also heard that glass will get hotter than metal, and thus I should cook it at a lower temperature for longer. ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I reliably bake pizza with no temperature control or pizza stone?

How do I make a pizza in a gas oven, with no temperature control and no pizza stone? I have all ingredients to make pizza without actually knowing how it's made and baked. So I did some research ...
8
votes
3answers
837 views

Baking with Whey Protein

I wanted to experiment with baking with Whey Protein and I found recipes for baking online. I was wondering if any whey protein off the shelf can be used? Or do I need to find a specific type of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Proper Technique for Rolling Sugar Cookies

I have an old recipe of my grandmother's for sugar cookies and I'd love for them to turn out just like hers. However, whenever I try to roll out the dough, I find I either can't get it thin enough, it ...
7
votes
9answers
24k views

Omiting salt in baking recipes that use chemical leaveners?

I'm trying to reduce my salt intake. I've noticed in baking recipes where baking powder is used they add salt. Can I omit the salt or would the recipe fail?

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