Baking Basics

Baking involves patience and exact measurements. Being prepared helps avoid last minute trip to the grocery and makes it enjoyable.

PREPARING TO BAKE

  • * Read and mentally prepare yourself.
  • * Make a list of the ingredients and equipments required. Gather them.
  • * Keep a weights and volume conversion chart printed out and handy, to avoid last minute mess-up. A copy of the conversion chart is available to print in my Baking section.
  • * Give a final read of the recipe.
  • * Prepare pan.
  • * Measure ingredients as per recipe, do not guess.
  • * Mix ingredients, step-by-step as mentioned in the recipe. Avoid short-cuts.
  • * Pour the dough in the Pan and Bake.
  • * Clean the Kitchen.

PREPARING THE PAN FOR BAKING

It is best to prepare the pan before mixing the ingredients as most recipes require immediate baking. Secondly, Baking Powder and Baking Soda tend to release there leaving powder as soon as it is wet.

Preparing the pan.

  • * Apply a thin even coating of Melted Butter or Oil using a Pastry brush.
  • * Melted Butter adds a lot to the final taste when compared to Oil
  • * You could also use a cooking spray.
  • * Do not leave any blind-spots.
  • * Take little All Purpose Flour and spread evenly by tapping your pan all-around until the Flour spreads all around. Dump the excess flavor.

MEASURING THE INGREDIENTS

  • * Do not measure the ingredients over the mixing bowl, spilling will throw of the measure.
  • * Place measured ingredients in separate piles, to identify what's left to measure.
  • * Do not press down ingredients in the measuring cup

3 STEPS TO GET A LEVEL CAKE

  1. Half fill the pan, leaving space for the cake to rise and expand during baking. Use a wide end spatula and spread around leveling it.
  2. Take a moistened bath towel strip and wrap it around the depth of the cake pan. Pin it at the ends.
  3. If still you are not satisfied, take a dry towel, fold it in half, spread over the Cake as soon as it taken out of the pan, press it gently with your hand.

COMMONLY REQUIRED TOOLS FOR BAKING

  • * Apron – Dealing with Dough mixing and Icing jobs can be messy
  • * Towels
  • * Skewers – to check if cake is done. Using Toothpicks could burn your hands
  • * Weighing Scale
  • * Cake Mixer or Hand held blender
  • * Measuring Cup
  • * Icing Tools – Icing bags (Piping Bag) with Nozzle sets
  • * Spatula – with a broad end to
  • * Pastry Brush
  • * Turn Table – works best when you are decorating a Cake
  • * Cooling Rack – to rest the pan once out of oven
  • * Cookie Cutters
  • * Rolling Pin
  • * Muffin Cases
  • * 9 "Angled Spatula – helps best when spreading the icing, as the angle protects your fingers from touching the icing.
  • * 10 "knife – best used when levelling cakes, to get a perfect shape
  • * Round or Square Cake Drums – perfect for Cake presentation
  • * Air-Tight containers – Air is the biggest enemy of Cakes
  • * Oven Glove – to prevent your hands from burning

HOW TO MAKE SURE THE CAKE IS DONE

  • * Take a skewer, pierce it through the middle, if it comes out dry or with dry crumbs, then it is done.
  • * If the skewer returns with moist dough, then it needs at least 10-15 minutes morE

RECIPES:



Source of Baking Basics by Abraham Chacko – author of Baking Basics article

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