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Shavonda Delfino

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Hello Everyone!

 

I am new at this forum. First of all, I want to tell you that I am not good at cooking but have some interest in baking. Actually, I recently got married (three months ago, yes not much recent¬†ūüėĀ) and willing to learn bake and cook perfect food at home. I tried to bake bread, cakes and even cookies at home. Cakes bake easily, but according to my husband, these are not as fluffy as we get from the bakery. Secondly, if I talk about bread, then it also turns dry and hard. Sometimes, I tried to add more yeast to add some air but didn't get desired results and only got a stomachache. At the last, never I got successful in making a delicate cookie.¬†
 

Sometimes, I also thought o change my oven. I use an old Japnese oven that is only being used for baking. As I found many videos that teach how to use a toaster oven for baking with some settings, I am planning to get a smart countertop oven. Do you think is it the solution to my problem. If yes, then please suggest a good oven ( https://bestazy.com/best-countertop-oven/ ) for me that is helpful for both cooking and baking. I am not willing to get an oven for the baking purpose only. Actually, I am fed up of using my stovetop oven that why want to go with smart technology. 

I understand to learn baking and cooking is an easy job and I would try to get advice from your other posts too but just guide me with some beginner recommendations according to my problems. 

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Welcome to the forum Shavonda! What country are you in? I'd love to see a pic of your kitchen - especially your oven/stove. A very small, but important detail that I always suggest - in most cases of baking cookies and cakes, stop mixing the moment things come together and no more. Bread is different because you need to develop the gluten. As you found, yeast is not the answer. I would think that when it comes to bread having the right amount of liquid to dry ingredients is important as is being patient. Let the bread proof to the proper level before baking. Also, not fully knowing your setup, have you done any baking in your rice cooker (assuming you have one)? I am fascinated by this technique but have no experience myself.

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Welcome to the forum! Like @gfron1, I think the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients may be your issue in breadbaking. As for cookies and cakes, I would advise finding a few dependable recipes you like and sticking with them.

 

I have a Cuisinart Steam Convection countertop oven and I love it. However, it is a little bit small, and you may prefer the Breville Smart Oven, which gets great reviews on here and has more interior room.

 

We have many good bakers in here who will be happy to help you!

 

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3 hours ago, gfron1 said:

Also, not fully knowing your setup, have you done any baking in your rice cooker (assuming you have one)? I am fascinated by this technique but have no experience myself.

 

Yeah! I used the rice cooker (or just cooker) to bake cakes and cookies by putting some amount of salt on the surface and then, placed a stand on it. My cakes were Ok, but when I tried it for cookies, they were very hard to take a bite. However, for baking bread, I am using an old (very old as my grandfather purchased it from Japan) oven. Bread wasn't terrible but only was lacking softness and was hard from the surface. I know it is not only the issue of yeast that's why I came here to understand the actual problem. 

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

Welcome to the forum! Like @gfron1, I think the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients may be your issue in breadbaking. As for cookies and cakes, I would advise finding a few dependable recipes you like and sticking with them.

 

I have a Cuisinart Steam Convection countertop oven and I love it. However, it is a little bit small, and you may prefer the Breville Smart Oven, which gets great reviews on here and has more interior room.

 

We have many good bakers in here who will be happy to help you!

 

Then, I would like to ask the exact recipe of bread baking from this forum. With the right quantities. 

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5 hours ago, Shavonda Delfino said:

I am almost following the same recipe but what is the meaning of special dry milk? I use the dry milk that is being used for making tea. Am I correct?

 

Probably, I would think.

 

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6 hours ago, Shavonda Delfino said:

I am almost following the same recipe but what is the meaning of special dry milk? I use the dry milk that is being used for making tea. Am I correct?

I would think so. There are different fat levels of dry milk (non-fat, low-fat, whole milk). It really doesn't matter which you use. You can also substitute a cup of whole milk for a cup of the water, instead.

 

Just be sure your dough is moist enough to be soft, but not sticky, after you knead it.

 

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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Probably, I would think.

 

 Unless it is a non-dairy creamer!

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King Arthur Flour sells a "baker's special" dry milk that's been treated at high heat before being dried (or something like that) to deactivate enzymes that will otherwise degrade gluten. KAF claims that bread rises better with it than with normal dry milk. I've not done the test myself.

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11 hours ago, MelissaH said:

King Arthur Flour sells a "baker's special" dry milk that's been treated at high heat before being dried (or something like that) to deactivate enzymes that will otherwise degrade gluten. KAF claims that bread rises better with it than with normal dry milk. I've not done the test myself.

 

H'mmm. I make my yogurt with dry milk mixed to 2x strength the recipe calls for (thus no/little straining called for) chiefly so I don't have to mess with scalding the milk. Wonder if it's the same enzyme?

 

Also, just out of curiosity, does KA have its own storefront anywhere? My local Kroger carries KA all purpose, but that's it, and it's more expensive than on the website if you're ordering enough to get free shipping. Which I generally always do.

 

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

 

H'mmm. I make my yogurt with dry milk mixed to 2x strength the recipe calls for (thus no/little straining called for) chiefly so I don't have to mess with scalding the milk. Wonder if it's the same enzyme?

 

Also, just out of curiosity, does KA have its own storefront anywhere? My local Kroger carries KA all purpose, but that's it, and it's more expensive than on the website if you're ordering enough to get free shipping. Which I generally always do.

 

 

I've never seen free shipping on the website?  And I have a shipment coming as we speak.  And yes, King Arthur has a storefront but it is a bit of a hike for most of us.

 

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