Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Baking 101


  • Please log in to reply
330 replies to this topic

#31 Beanie

Beanie
  • participating member
  • 414 posts
  • Location:Mohawk Valley, upstate NY

Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:25 PM

these are my favorite recipe reviews on sites like epicurious.com:

"i tried to make this hazlenut torte with burnt sugar buttercream. but i was out of hazlenuts so i used peanuts. and i didn't have the amount of all purpose flour it called for, so i made up the rest with cornstarch and talcum powder. for the frosting i only had half the butter necessary so i made up the rest with bacon fat. and my cake pan was in use, so i baked the whole thing in an old running shoe i found in the basement. and my family hated it! i would definitely NOT make this recipe again, and i rate it one fork, but only because it won't let me give it zero!"

uh... ok....

View Post



This is hilarious.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


edited to say the above is a quote from the previous post. I screwed up the reply.

Edited by Beanie, 12 February 2006 - 05:28 PM.

Ilene

#32 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:50 PM

these are my favorite recipe reviews on sites like epicurious.com:

"i tried to make this hazlenut torte with burnt sugar buttercream.  but i was out of hazlenuts so i used peanuts.  and i didn't have the amount of all purpose flour it called for, so i made up the rest with cornstarch and talcum powder.  for the frosting i only had half the butter necessary so i made up the rest with bacon fat.  and my cake pan was in use, so i baked the whole thing in an old running shoe i found in the basement.  and my family hated it!  i would definitely NOT make this recipe again, and i rate it one fork, but only because it won't let me give it zero!"

uh... ok....

View Post



This is hilarious.

:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:


edited to say the above is a quote from the previous post. I screwed up the reply.

View Post



:laugh: Half the reviews really do read like that.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#33 Sugarella

Sugarella
  • participating member
  • 612 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 12 February 2006 - 06:07 PM

^^ But at least those people are intelligent and have a sense of humour.
Then you get ones like: "I have always hated liver, my husband hates liver and our kids have always hated it too, so I made this liver recipe and......."
Now those people are stupid! And then they wonder why they didn't like liver this time.... again!

#34 lcdm

lcdm
  • participating member
  • 490 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 13 February 2006 - 11:52 AM

Okay - my name is Tracy and I am a complete baking dumb ass!

I bought Peter Reinhart's Baker's Apprentice book.  In it, he discusses in great detail the various types of yeast available, and states he prefers instant to active dry yeast.  He also says one can use either form - but he does not tell me what to do in the method if I am using active dry yeast.

Sadly, I was not able to find instant yeast at my local grocer or at Sur la Table.  What  I do have is SAF brand "Bread machine Yeast" , which they claim can be used in traditional bread baking.  The label says the water must be 120-130 degrees F, while the recipe I want to try first (the focaccia) says the water must be at room temp.  I also have a couple of packets of active dry yeast - Fleischmann's brand.  This must be proofed prior to adding it to the dry ingredients.

What should this dumb ass do?  Do I mix the yeast in with the flour and add the water at the label's recommended temp or do I follow Peter's directions and add the water at room temp?  Also, my house is cold - maybe 68 degrees.  Now, I can put the dough in the laundry room to proof, where it is much warmer b/c of the dryer.

Don't tell me I have to wait until summer to make bread!

View Post


I am far from an expert but here's what I did:
Proofed the yeast (mixed the required amount of yeast w/about 1/2 cup of warm water, I think the package say 115 degrees) after it was nice and frothy I made the recipe as written (but deducted 1/2 cup of the water from the original recipe.
My house is also cold, I either increase the proofing time (look at the dough until it's doubled) or put in the microwave with a cup of hot water (increases the surrounding temp) or you could put it in the luandry room:).

#35 skyflyer3

skyflyer3
  • participating member
  • 248 posts
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:28 PM

To address one question that came up...flour.  The basic difference between flours is the protein content.  The more protein in a flour, the more gluten you will develop.  Simplistically, you want gluten development in something like bread, you don't want it something like cake.  So while you can use AP when cake flour is called for (i.e., substituting a higher protein flour where a low protein is called for), you will end up with a denser, heavier product.  But you cannot substitute willy-nilly. 

View Post


Respectfully, I disagree - sometimes you want a little gluten in your cake, it just depends on what kind of structure you want your cake to have. I've done chiffon cakes with cake flour and gotten fluffy, light cakes, and I've done chiffon cakes with AP flour and gotten firm, dense, moist cakes, and both have turned out great - but they serve different purposes for me.

I gotta ask - do some people have different types of AP flour for different types of baking? For example, I use King Arthur AP for a lot of my stuff, including cakes that ask for AP, but am wondering if I should use a bleached one like Gold Medal for cakes.

#36 Sugarella

Sugarella
  • participating member
  • 612 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:47 PM

I gotta ask - do some people have different types of AP flour for different types of baking?  For example, I use King Arthur AP for a lot of my stuff, including cakes that ask for AP, but am wondering if I should use a bleached one like Gold Medal for cakes.

View Post

Now I'm confused. Does bleaching break down the protein or gluten too? Otherwise, what difference would it make, bleached or unbleached, save taste or quality considerations?

Edited by Sugarella, 13 February 2006 - 02:47 PM.


#37 SweetSide

SweetSide
  • participating member
  • 513 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:00 PM

Bleaching can, depending upon the bleaching agent used, weaken the gluten structure of a soft wheat flour and allowing the starch to absorb water more quickly. Chlorine is used on cake flours for just this effect. Benzoyl peroxide is used on all types of flours and mostly just whitens and matures the flour.

Bromating is a maturing agent that strengthens the flour.

So, yes, they do have an impact of the strength of the flour. And, you may notice that cake flours are hard to find in natural food stores because those stores won't sell bleached flours. The softest you can usually find is pastry flour.
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#38 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:07 PM

And soft means less gluten, whereas hard means more?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#39 SweetSide

SweetSide
  • participating member
  • 513 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:22 PM

And soft means less gluten, whereas hard means more?

View Post



Generally, soft means less protein and hard means more protein. More protein means more gluten.

But, it also depends upon the region where the wheat was grown. And, it depends on whether it is spring wheat or winter wheat. Or, whether it is a red wheat or a white wheat... And because I am now going beyond my realm of comfort, I'll stop. It also goes way beyond Baking 101. A bread baker would run circles around me!
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#40 WhiteTruffleGirl

WhiteTruffleGirl
  • participating member
  • 208 posts

Posted 13 February 2006 - 04:22 PM

To address one question that came up...flour.  The basic difference between flours is the protein content.  The more protein in a flour, the more gluten you will develop.  Simplistically, you want gluten development in something like bread, you don't want it something like cake.  So while you can use AP when cake flour is called for (i.e., substituting a higher protein flour where a low protein is called for), you will end up with a denser, heavier product.  But you cannot substitute willy-nilly. 

View Post


Respectfully, I disagree - sometimes you want a little gluten in your cake, it just depends on what kind of structure you want your cake to have. I've done chiffon cakes with cake flour and gotten fluffy, light cakes, and I've done chiffon cakes with AP flour and gotten firm, dense, moist cakes, and both have turned out great - but they serve different purposes for me.

I gotta ask - do some people have different types of AP flour for different types of baking? For example, I use King Arthur AP for a lot of my stuff, including cakes that ask for AP, but am wondering if I should use a bleached one like Gold Medal for cakes.

View Post


Skyflyer,

That is why I said "simplistically." As pointed out in a later post (and rightfully so) flour is a complex thing. But this is "Baking 101" so I was attempting to give a rather basic view of the properties of why one would choose cake vs. AP vs. whatever else kind of flour.

But to answer your question, it's definitely worth experimenting with. I do use different APs (although KA is my "go to" flour), because KA is such a high protein AP and I don't think it's always the best choice for some of the things I'm making, e.g., certain cakes and pastries. Occasionally, I'll make a batch of something with two different flours side-by-side to test the difference.

#41 freddurf

freddurf
  • participating member
  • 136 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:15 AM

Bleaching can, depending upon the bleaching agent used, weaken the gluten structure of a soft wheat flour and allowing the starch to absorb water more quickly.  Chlorine is used on cake flours for just this effect.  Benzoyl peroxide is used on all types of flours and mostly just whitens and matures the flour.

Bromating is a maturing agent that strengthens the flour.

So, yes, they do have an impact of the strength of the flour.  And, you may notice that cake flours are hard to find in natural food stores because those stores won't sell bleached flours.  The softest you can usually find is pastry flour.

View Post



And soft means less gluten, whereas hard means more?

View Post

Not long ago, my grocery store ran out of cake flour. I stopped at a health food store and the only kind they had was pastry flour. Since I was unfamiliar with this type of flour, I didn't buy it. Is this a comparable substitute? What is the difference in protien content?

#42 RuthWells

RuthWells
  • participating member
  • 671 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:06 AM

Not long ago, my grocery store ran out of cake flour.  I stopped at a health food store and the only kind they had was pastry flour.  Since I was unfamiliar with this type of flour, I didn't buy it.  Is this a comparable substitute?  What is the difference in protien content?

View Post


Pastry flour is softer -- lower in protein -- than A/P flour. It may even be softer than cake flour; I would use a mix of 75% pastry flour, 25% A/P flour to sub for cake flour.

Or, you could probably make some killer biscuits with the straight pastry flour.....

#43 EllenC

EllenC
  • participating member
  • 296 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:38 AM

I think it would be helpful for all of us if those of you who think of yourselves as "baking dumbasses" would share what you have baked lately. Or maybe what you want to bake. We can direct you to some recipes tips, techniques.

I personally think that one of the most fun things you can learn to bake is cream puffs. I use a basic recipe:

1 stick butter
1 cup water
bring to a boil

1 cup flour
stir in until it forms a big lump and then stir for one minute more

beat in 4 eggs one at a time until fully incorporated

I then use a small ice cream scoop to put these on a baking sheet an bake them at 400 for 30 minutes. Mine come out perfect every time. You can also use the two teaspoon trick people use for cookies.

YMMV And you will definitely find some people on this board who use different recipes or techniques or both. I give you this recipe because it's easy to follow, it doesn't require any special equipment, and people are always impressed.

While these are cooling, make your favorite pudding then whip some heavy cream until it's almost stiff and fold it into the cooled pudding. When the puffs are cool, slice the tops off and use the same ice cream scoop (clean of course) or two teaspoons to fill the puffs with the pudding mixture. Put the tops back on and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle melted chocolate on top. Serve these to your friends. They will not think you're a dumbass. They will think you rock as a baker.

If you don't understand any of the terms I used, please ask. We will all be glad to help.

What types of things are you working on?

#44 cakewalk

cakewalk
  • participating member
  • 1,573 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:51 AM


Then you have to have a sense of accuracy. We'll be searching for the best cake (in threads here at eG) and someone will test the core recipe we are working with and pronouce it shit because it wasn't great when they made it. But then as they write more they reveal that they didn't have the correct ingredients, didn't follow the method of mixing and then put it in the wrong pan in too hot of an oven.




these are my favorite recipe reviews on sites like epicurious.com:

"i tried to make this hazlenut torte with burnt sugar buttercream. but i was out of hazlenuts so i used peanuts. and i didn't have the amount of all purpose flour it called for, so i made up the rest with cornstarch and talcum powder. for the frosting i only had half the butter necessary so i made up the rest with bacon fat. and my cake pan was in use, so i baked the whole thing in an old running shoe i found in the basement. and my family hated it! i would definitely NOT make this recipe again, and i rate it one fork, but only because it won't let me give it zero!"

uh... ok....

View Post


:laugh: :laugh:

Readers' reviews on epicurious are often like that, and depending on my mood I find it either hilarious or terribly frustrating.

Sugarella: thanks for all that information, it's great.

I love to bake. I'm getting much better at it. This thread is a wonderful idea.

#45 freddurf

freddurf
  • participating member
  • 136 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:36 PM

I think it would be helpful for all of us if those of you who think of yourselves as "baking dumbasses" would share what you have baked lately.  Or maybe what you want to bake.  We can direct you to some recipes tips, techniques. 

I personally think that one of the most fun things you can learn to bake is cream puffs.  I use a basic recipe:

1 stick butter
1 cup water
bring to a boil

1 cup flour
stir in until it forms a big lump and then stir for one minute more

beat in 4 eggs one at a time until fully incorporated

I then use a small ice cream scoop to put these on a baking sheet an bake them at 400 for 30 minutes.  Mine come out perfect every time.  You can also use the two teaspoon trick people use for cookies.

YMMV  And you will definitely find some people on this board who use different recipes or techniques or both.  I give you this recipe because it's easy to follow, it doesn't require any special equipment, and people are always impressed.

While these are cooling, make your favorite pudding then whip some heavy cream until it's almost stiff and fold it into the cooled pudding.  When the puffs are cool, slice the tops off and use the same ice cream scoop (clean of course) or two teaspoons to fill the puffs with the pudding mixture.  Put the tops back on and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle melted chocolate on top.  Serve these to your friends.  They will not think you're a dumbass.  They will think you rock as a baker.

If you don't understand any of the terms I used, please ask.  We will all be glad to help.

What types of things are you working on?

View Post

I love a simple recipe that will make me look like a cooking genius. Not to make things complicated, but when you incorporate the eggs into to the flour mixture, do you do this in a mixer or by hand?

Ruth, thanks for your input on the flour!

#46 rickster

rickster
  • participating member
  • 765 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburbs

Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:45 PM

When I make cream puff (choux) paste, I beat the eggs in with a wooden spoon.

#47 Anna N

Anna N
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,161 posts
  • Location:Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:11 PM

My daughter dislikes pastry so yesterday I attempted to make some mini shells in a muffin pan using a recipe for coconut shells - coconut, egg white and sugar. All went well until it came time to remove the shells from the muffin tin - they were stuck so badly that I could only remove them by crumbling them. I soaked the tin and was able to get all the shells out but my time was wasted totally. The muffin pan is non-stick and the recipe made no mention of greasing the pan. Any one else try this? Would it work if I sprayed the pan with PAM?
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#48 EllenC

EllenC
  • participating member
  • 296 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:11 PM

I love a simple recipe that will make me look like a cooking genius.  Not to make things complicated, but when you  incorporate the eggs into to the flour mixture, do you do this in a mixer or by hand?

Ruth, thanks for your input on the flour!

View Post


I have done it both ways. It is more of a workout by hand but it is by no means impossible. If you have a mixer either a hand mixer or a stand mixer will work.

#49 rachel!

rachel!
  • participating member
  • 14 posts
  • Location:St. Louis Park, MN

Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:15 PM

While these are cooling, make your favorite pudding then whip some heavy cream until it's almost stiff and fold it into the cooled pudding.

View Post


Ellen -

I'm probably way over-pre-thinking this -- I've never worked with cream before, though, and I feel like every recipe I read warns against overbeating -- creams, batters, eggs. I'm terrified of beating anything because I have no clue how sensitive any of these things are or how you can tell when you're at the right point. I think I can figure out 'almost stiff' but I'm wondering if you could provide even a general time frame on that -- is it two minutes? Ten? I know it will vary depending on how you do the beating too. Would it be possible to whisk this by hand, or totally unadvisable? I have neither a stand nor a hand mixer, though I have an immersion blender with a few different attachments.

Thank you so much for all the help! Everyone here is so fantastic. :D

#50 sanrensho

sanrensho
  • participating member
  • 1,647 posts
  • Location:North Vancouver, BC

Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:23 PM

The muffin pan is non-stick and the recipe made no mention of greasing the pan.  Any one else try this?  Would it work if I sprayed the pan with PAM?


I never trust non-stick pans to stay, well, un-stuck. I always grease and flour (or cocoa). You could also use Baker's Joy which already has flour in it. I find it more economical to mix up some baker's grease as mentioned in other threads--equal parts shortening, flour and oil whipped together.
Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#51 sanrensho

sanrensho
  • participating member
  • 1,647 posts
  • Location:North Vancouver, BC

Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:30 PM

Ellen -

I'm probably way over-pre-thinking this -- I've never worked with cream before, though, and I feel like every recipe I read warns against overbeating -- creams, batters, eggs.  I'm terrified of beating anything because I have no clue how sensitive any of these things are or how you can tell when you're at the right point.  I think I can figure out 'almost stiff' but I'm wondering if you could provide even a general time frame on that -- is it two minutes?  Ten?  I know it will vary depending on how you do the beating too.  Would it be possible to whisk this by hand, or totally unadvisable?  I have neither a stand nor a hand mixer, though I have an immersion blender with a few different attachments.


Unless you have strong wrists, do yourself a favor and pick up a hand mixer. If anything, those recipes should warn people not to underbeat things like meringues and whipped cream. That's what I used to do and my results often suffered because of it.

When you get your hand mixer, set aside some time to purposely overbeat some egg whites and whipped cream to get a feel for the different stages it goes through. With both, I can usually hear when the motor is straining to indicate that the cream/whites are getting stiff (this is on a stand mixer, however). There is also a very helpful thread on whipping cream.

Edited by sanrensho, 14 February 2006 - 01:36 PM.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#52 EllenC

EllenC
  • participating member
  • 296 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:30 PM

Ellen -

I'm probably way over-pre-thinking this -- I've never worked with cream before, though, and I feel like every recipe I read warns against overbeating -- creams, batters, eggs.  I'm terrified of beating anything because I have no clue how sensitive any of these things are or how you can tell when you're at the right point.  I think I can figure out 'almost stiff' but I'm wondering if you could provide even a general time frame on that -- is it two minutes?  Ten?  I know it will vary depending on how you do the beating too.  Would it be possible to whisk this by hand, or totally unadvisable?  I have neither a stand nor a hand mixer, though I have an immersion blender with a few different attachments.

Thank you so much for all the help!  Everyone here is so fantastic.  :D

View Post


rachel! you're probably not overthinking this because I think about stuff like this all the time and that can't be just because I'm weird can it?

Here is the excellent demo on whipping cream. You can do this with a wire whip, but I think sanrensho is right. Even a cheap electric mixer will save some wrist time. I also agree that most of the time cream is underwhipped. Feel free to go for the gusto.

Edited to add: Depending on the attachments for your immersion blender, it might handle the whipping for you. Try it with a small amount of cream and see how you like it.

Edited by EllenC, 14 February 2006 - 02:33 PM.


#53 boulak

boulak
  • participating member
  • 181 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:56 PM

My name is Mitch and I am a baking ass. I wake up in the morning and I want to bake. I think about baking all day. I bake at work even if people are watching. So far my employer has been supportive of my obseesion. I come home from work and I bake, I look through baking books and magazines. I call friends that bake and we talk about baking. I even visit many websites about baking. I have downloaded tons of images. I have spent more than my budget on baking. The photos from my honeymoon are of baked goods. My affliction interferes with relationships and responsibilities; even finances. I have waited so long to find others with the same affliction. Oh, wait a minute...............wrong thread...........it says baking dumb asses. Well, I guess that confirms it; I am a dumb ass. But I do love to bake It's the process that gives me the rush of adrenaline. Speaking of which, would you rather bake or eat baked goods? Would you rather bake all day with your back to the wall with something on the scale, something on the mixer, something on the bench, something in the proofer, something in the oven, flour everywhere....................or would you rather walk into a bakery and eat to your little heart's content. Give me the heat, the ingredients, and the equipment and get outta the way. I will not get hungry, I will not get tired, and I will not stop. Bake, bake, bake, that is how you learn and how you continue to learn. Pray for me and BAKE ON.

#54 sanrensho

sanrensho
  • participating member
  • 1,647 posts
  • Location:North Vancouver, BC

Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:14 PM

I wake up in the morning and I want to bake.  I think about baking all day.


I resemble this comment. Perhaps we need another thread for Bakers Anonymous.
Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#55 RuthWells

RuthWells
  • participating member
  • 671 posts

Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:57 PM

Speaking of which, would you rather bake or eat baked goods? 

View Post


LOL, I've been known to bake non-stop for weeks in prepping for a party, and then not even sample one of everything! I'd much rather bake than eat.

#56 Katie Nell

Katie Nell
  • participating member
  • 471 posts
  • Location:Overland Park, KS

Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:16 PM

I never got the answer to my question on the pan sizes thread, so I'm posting it here, b/c I want to know!!

I  have a question about pan sizes too, not for an immediate problem, but just for future reference.

I have two recipes, one is for toffee, and calls for a "small rimmed baking sheet."  The other recipe is for brownies and calls for a "rimmed baking sheet."  What exactly are they referring to?  I've always used a 12x9 cake pan for the toffee and what we call our "Texas Sheet Cake Pan," which I think might be 11x17, for the brownies, and they both have always turned out fine.  But, I would like to know exactly what size they are talking about here.

View Post


Now, I know Wendy said to use my best judgement, but I'm also the same person that has no idea how many that 5 lb. roast is going to feed in the end either. I'm clueless when it comes to knowing how much a pile of ingredients is going to end up as. And toffee is certainly not something I would want to be messing around with while I'm searching for a pan to put it in. Also, I've tried the above brownie recipe in a regular 12x9 pan, and it didn't work! Does anyone have the answer to the above question? I'm sure it's a simple answer and I've just made a baking ignoramous out of myself! :wink:
"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

#57 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 15 February 2006 - 06:21 AM

I never got the answer to my question on the pan sizes thread, so I'm posting it here, b/c I want to know!!

I  have a question about pan sizes too, not for an immediate problem, but just for future reference.

I have two recipes, one is for toffee, and calls for a "small rimmed baking sheet."  The other recipe is for brownies and calls for a "rimmed baking sheet."  What exactly are they referring to?  I've always used a 12x9 cake pan for the toffee and what we call our "Texas Sheet Cake Pan," which I think might be 11x17, for the brownies, and they both have always turned out fine.  But, I would like to know exactly what size they are talking about here.

View Post


Now, I know Wendy said to use my best judgement, but I'm also the same person that has no idea how many that 5 lb. roast is going to feed in the end either. I'm clueless when it comes to knowing how much a pile of ingredients is going to end up as. And toffee is certainly not something I would want to be messing around with while I'm searching for a pan to put it in. Also, I've tried the above brownie recipe in a regular 12x9 pan, and it didn't work! Does anyone have the answer to the above question? I'm sure it's a simple answer and I've just made a baking ignoramous out of myself! :wink:

View Post


Without seeing the recipe, it won't be possible to answer that question. Most brownie recipes call for 8-9" square or a 13x9" pan. If you tell us what the recipe calls for, we can determine the volume of the ingredients and tell you which pan would be best. When you tried the recipe in the 12x9, what do you mean that it didnt work? Did it overflow the pan, was it thin as a pancake, did it not set?
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#58 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 15 February 2006 - 07:50 AM

I'm sorry sometimes I forget which questions have been answered and which haven't...........just repost to your hearts delight, we'll notice that way.

O.k. here's a tip:

Stop greasing your pans. Stop buttering your pans. Stop STOP STOP. And........don't bother with flouring the pan over the fat or using cocoa powder.

STOP ALL OF THAT NOW! We shall set you free!

Buy a can of pan spray, use it in all applications that require greasing a pan. Forget the need to flour the pan, it's totally not needed (yes that's true!)...........just spray NO flour.

There is one small thing you do need to pay attention to though: You must buy a good pan spray that does NOT include water. Many pan spray brands used to contain water as their first ingredient. Well water makes batters stick! It's the same thing with buttering a pan. If you butter a pan, butter has water in it.........and low and behold it helps your items stick to the pan, not release.

It's a big fat ole myth that you can taste some difference in a pan where butter was used as a release coating. Poppy Kock!!! That's in your head 99% of the time. Save your butter for the item being baked, not the pan. Would you really want to eat an item coated in cold butter. I'd rather eat a item baked in a super light coating of pan spray cause you can't taste or see it.

Next tip (along the same lines), line your pans with parchment paper!:

You'll never go wrong with lining your pans with parchment paper. You'll never have a item stuck in your pan again. I still spray the bottom of my pan with pan spray, that's so the parchment really sticks down flat to the pan.........so no batter can get under it.

I line all (well most of them) my baked goods with parchment. When I make a bundt cake, I bake them in tube pans lined with parchment........and they never ever stick to the pan. Well.......we also don't own any bundt pans at work..........so I can't use them if I wanted.

A word of advice with lining your pans.........you've got to cut the paper to fit the pan. You can't fold it and cram it into the pan. It MUST lie flat against the pan to work properly. In your corners, cut the paper so you don't have any folds. Or just lay the paper along one side of the pan leaving the ends unpapered, just sprayed. You really only need the paper for the bottom part of the pan. After all you can use a knive to release the sides of your item from the pan. So when I say I'm lining my pans, I'm only ever lining the bottom of my pans, not the sides.

#59 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:02 AM

My name is Mitch and I am a baking ass.  I wake up in the morning and I want to bake.  I think about baking all day.  I bake at work even if people are watching.  So far my employer has been supportive of my obseesion.  I come home from work and I bake, I look through baking books and magazines.  I call friends that bake and we talk about baking.  I even visit many websites about baking.  I have downloaded tons of images.  I have spent more than my budget on baking.  The photos from my honeymoon are of baked goods.  My affliction interferes with relationships and responsibilities; even finances.  I have waited so long to find others with the same affliction.  Oh, wait a minute...............wrong thread...........it says baking dumb asses.  Well, I guess that confirms it; I am a dumb ass.  But I do love to bake  It's the process that gives me the rush of adrenaline.  Speaking of which, would you rather bake or eat baked goods?  Would you rather bake all day with your back to the wall with something on the scale, something on the mixer, something on the bench, something in the proofer, something in the oven, flour everywhere....................or would you rather walk into a bakery and eat to your little heart's content.  Give me the heat, the ingredients, and the equipment and get outta the way.  I will not get hungry, I will not get tired, and I will not stop.  Bake, bake, bake, that is how you learn and how you continue to learn.  Pray for me and BAKE ON.

View Post

As a friend of Mitch's who regularly takes advantage of his happy affliction, I can say that all of this is true. (I've seen the honeymoon photos. "Honey, move to the left a bit. You're in the shot of the pain de campagne.") I also can say that Mitch can probably answer many of our dumbass questions along with the other kind souls here!

To that end: Wendy, can you recommend some water-free pan sprays?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#60 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:02 AM

Back to flours:

Just use the type the recipe calls for. Forget learning all about them for now. If you can't find the flour called for just start a thread and ask for help, everyone around here will help.

Back to toffee and the right pan:

Toffee doesn't need a pan with sides at all. You pour it on to you pan and it naturally spreads out free form. If you want a thinner toffee you can quickly spread it while it's very molten, spread it with a metal spatula. I pour my toffee on to a silpat pan lined with chopped salted pecans.

The 5lb roast:

No one can tell you how many that feeds either. Do your people eat like birds or pigs? You can to make a guess as some point. You can understand that it will shrink down as it cooks, you can make a questimate on how many it will feed. But how much it will feed depends on you and your guests. Cut it small and let them go back for more.

With baking recipes:

Mix up the batter first, then pick out what pan your going to bake it in. Like picking out what size box to pack your items into, judge by sight. If you wind up having too much batter for the pan, don't add all of it. Only fill your pan 3/4 of the way, never (o.k. rarely) more. If you put your batter in a pan and it doesn't even reach the sides of the pan, the pan is too big. Just scrape out the batter into another smaller pan.

If you have extra batter put it in a cupcake pan and bake it off that way, instead of over filling your pan.

It's all forgiving. There's only a few items that won't let you move the batter with-out deflating drasticly. Just don't be heavy handed and slam around a light batter, etc... treat it with respect as you change pans.