A Guide to Basic Baking Terms
So, you are new to baking but are enthusiastic to bake your first masterpiece! You managed to buy all the confusing ingredients that were prescribed in all the oh so confusing cook-books. Now is the easy part, right? Time to get in the kitchen and conjure up some delicious bakes for you and your family! So you look at the recipe and, you understand NOTHING! The recipe is encrypted by these super specific baking terms like “Dock the pastry...”
Well, Me:ette to the rescue! Here is our guide to the basics of Baking terms for the beginner bakers out there!
Q: What is blind baking?
Blind baking is a technique where unfilled tarts or pie crust is baked while being weighed down with baking weights, like rice or beans for 10-15 mins. This technique prevents the pastry from shrinking, puffing up or having a soggy bottom.
Q: What is “cutting in” or to “cut in” in baking or pastry making?
A: Cutting in is the technique of mixing cold butter into flour as quickly as possible. This ensures that the butter does not soften or incorporates into the flour. This is done using a fork or a bakery blender. Why? It helps to develop a flaky texture by lightly coating (rather than absorbing) the flour proteins with butter, reducing gluten formation. Small pieces of butter will remain whole and melt to create delicious flaky pockets in the dough. You might find it useful to refrigerate your flour and even your mixing bowl.
Q: What is meant by “docking” or to “dock” the dough when baking?
A:Docking is the fancy word used to say poke holes in the dough. This helps steam to escape and results in a fuller fluffier dough.
Q: What is a crumb coat?
A: A crumb coat is a term often used in cake decoration, it basically helps seal any stray crumbs that would get in the way of a perfect buttercream finish. A “dirty icing” also forms the foundation and shape of the final cake.
Q: What is creaming and what does it do?
A: Creaming usually refers to incorporation of air into butter and sugar. This aerates and increases the volume of the butter, making it light, smooth and fluffy. It is crucial to follow this step with patience as it forms the basis of most baking!
Q: What is reverse creaming?
A: Reverse creaming is exactly what it sounds like! Instead of creaming butter and sugar, the butter is added to the dry ingredients to create a sandy consistency. The wet ingredients are then added to this mixture and incorporated completely. The butter coats the flour particles, minimizing gluten formation. This results in smaller bubles, resulting in a tighter and tender crumb.
Q: What are soft peaks?
A: When you lift your whisk, your cream or egg whites will form peaks that are just starting to form. They should be soft enough and melt back into themselves in a few seconds.
Q: What are firm peaks?
A: When you lift your whisk, your cream or egg whites will hold peaks that are firm enough to just fold over on themselves.
Q: What is a bain-marie?
A: A bain marie involves placing a bowl or pan over (but not touching) simmering water or where a tin is placed in a tray filled with boiled water for further cooking. It’s often used for melting chocolate and cooking with a gentle, even heat on the stove top or in the oven.
We hope this article helped the beginner bakers out there!
Huge shoutout to the good folks over at queen.com.au for the content inspiration.
Tired of a long day baking, but still want to enjoy some scrumptious bakes? Head over to www.meette.in and enjoy from our wide range of freshly baked goods!