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Baking 101


Chris Amirault
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Instant yeast is not the same as rapid rise. Mainly, rapid rise has to be activated in lukewarm water before being added to a recipe. There is also some difference in the amount you need to add but I would suggest checking a conversion table. I know a few bread baking books have them.

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  • 1 month later...
Can anyone explain the theory behind "adding eggs one at a time" in certain recipes?

If you add them too quickly, the egg doesn't get absorbed/worked into the rest of the batter properly. Then your batter/dough breaks and ends up looking curdled or chunky. Sometimes it will come together, sometimes not. And if it does come together, it can be at the risk of ruining the recipe due to over mixing.

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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can someone explain to me what the 'dip and sweep' method is when measuring flour? And how is it different from something else I sometimes read, 'scoop and level'?

thanks!

When using American recipes, I spoon flour from by big flour jar into my 3-cupmeasurer until it comes to the required level. Am I doing it right?

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Okay, taking a deep breath. I hope this is the place to ask a really lame baking question. I bought some 8 inch and 9 inch round parchment paper cake pan liners so that I would not have to cut out circles any longer. So, last weekend, I got out an 8 inch liner and put it in the bottom of my 8 inch cake pan but the liner is a little bigger than the pan. It goes up the edge of the pan a little bit. I assumed that it would just cover the bottom and not go up the sides at all. So, I got out my 9 inch pan and the 8 inch parchment paper fit that perfectly. I checked my package and pan size to be sure I was looking at the right numbers. Is an 8 inch round parchment paper meant to go in a nine inch cake pan? :unsure:

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can someone explain to me what the 'dip and sweep' method is when measuring flour? And how is it different from something else I sometimes read, 'scoop and level'?

thanks!

When using American recipes, I spoon flour from by big flour jar into my 3-cupmeasurer until it comes to the required level. Am I doing it right?

Dip and sweep and scoop and level seem to be the same to me....but in a 3 cup measure you can do neither right?

The basic idea is to stick the right sized cup into the flour and sweep along the top with a knife or something.

Now myself I only have left a 1/4 cup scoop good thing I really only bake bread.

tracey

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can someone explain to me what the 'dip and sweep' method is when measuring flour? And how is it different from something else I sometimes read, 'scoop and level'?

thanks!

When using American recipes, I spoon flour from by big flour jar into my 3-cupmeasurer until it comes to the required level. Am I doing it right?

Klary, I think dip and sweep is the same thing as scoop and level.

If I'm using volume measurements, I don't usually spoon flour into the measuring cup. I always assume that it's 'dip and sweep.'

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I've always though that scoop and level means you use a spoon (or similar object) to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then use a knife (or similar object) to level the flour.

Dip and sweep is a little different, in that you dip the whole measuring cup into the flour bin to fill it, then you level the flour with a knife (or similar object).

That's always what I've thought, but I could very well be wrong!

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I've always though that scoop and level means you use a spoon (or similar object) to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then use a knife (or similar object) to level the flour.

Dip and sweep is a little different, in that you dip the whole measuring cup into the flour bin to fill it, then you level the flour with a knife (or similar object). 

That's always what I've thought, but I could very well be wrong!

Now see, I'm with the others that scoop and level is the same as dip and sweep. What you describe I would call spoon in and level as it is called that in several of my cookbooks.

Ninth circle of hell, here we come. Let's all just go get scales!!!!!

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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Okay, taking a deep breath.  I hope this is the place to ask a really lame baking question.  I bought some 8 inch and 9 inch round parchment paper cake pan liners so that I would not have to cut out circles any longer.  So, last weekend, I got out an 8 inch liner and put it in the bottom of my 8 inch cake pan but the liner is a little bigger than the pan.  It goes up the edge of the pan a little bit.  I assumed that it would just cover the bottom and not go up the sides at all.  So, I got out my 9 inch pan and the 8 inch parchment paper fit that perfectly.  I checked my package and pan size to be sure I was looking at the right numbers.  Is an 8 inch round parchment paper meant to go in a nine inch cake pan? :unsure:

Depends on your pans. Some pans that are 9" are 9" at the top and have slanted sides, making the bottom smaller. Professional pans generally have straight sides. For my 8" pans, I have liners that are 7 7/8" that fit just perfectly.

Another thought, are you sure you didn't buy 8 7/8" circles -- someone at work bought all the wrong sizes because they were looking only at the whole number. Until we run out, we now have to trim all our circles.... :wacko:

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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New question. And a basic bread one at that...

Every time I make bread...I mean EVERY time, I don't get enough rise. I've changed recipes, proofing times, proofing methods, yeast, and eveything else I can think of. But still, a dense, tiny, pitiful loaf.

I have two thoughts. One is the proof. I have a relatively cold house (70ish) and I go by what the recipe says - to proof for an hour and a half. But, still, no vertical development. So, this weekend I threw it in the oven and turned the oven to 150 and then shut if off. Sort of a dual purpose proofing box. But, still no vertical development.

I've been using instant yeast that I keep in the freezer and don't activate (don't need to, right?). I thin I've had it for like two years, so I suppose age is a possibility. But two years shouldn't be too long in the freezer, right?

So, now I've come down to believing it's my kneading. I think I'm not developing enough gluten because I'm not kneeding enough. This weekend I used my KA stand mixer and needed it on low to medium for about 8 minutes. The dough felt light and elastic. But no....no vertical development.

It's killing me. Anything obvious?

Edited by hosinmigs (log)

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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New question. And a basic bread one at that...

Every time I make bread...I mean EVERY time, I don't enough rise. I've changed recipes, proofing times, proofing methods, yeast, and eveything else I can think of. But still, a dense, tiny, pitiful loaf.

. . .

I would most definitely check that the yeast is still active before I tried again. I would also ignore any "times" and go by the feel of the dough. If I remember correctly, it is risen enough when an impression remains if you poke it gently with a finger.

Having been there and done that too many times, if it doesn't rise properly before you bake it - don't waste the time or fuel - throw it out - it won't get any better in the oven.

I am sure other experts will jump in and offer better guidance over the next few hours.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I've been using instant yeast that I keep in the freezer and don't activate (don't need to, right?). I thin I've had it for like two years, so I suppose age is a possibility. But two years shouldn't be too long in the freezer, right?

I bet it's the yeast. I keep my instant yeast in the freezer in a little jar, and after about a year and a half it suddenly stops working and I have to get a new bag. It's happened a couple of times, and it really is sudden--one week my bread will rise as usual, the next it barely rises at all.

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ok i've got another one (chrisamirault, have i thanked you lately for starting this thread? if not, thanks!):

what happens if you let a pie dough rest too long? just a regular all-butter dough, i mean.

all the recipes say, let it sit for at least an hour in the fridge, or up to a day. what happens if you let it go two days? i made a small batch of dough yesterday and didn't get a chance to roll it out today--is it really going to be ruined tomorrow? i can't imagine why it would, but as always i await the collective wisdom of the eG pastry & baking crew, and thank you in advance.

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ok i've got another one (chrisamirault, have i thanked you lately for starting this thread?  if not, thanks!):

what happens if you let a pie dough rest too long?  just a regular all-butter dough, i mean.

all the recipes say, let it sit for at least an hour in the fridge, or up to a day.  what happens if you let it go two days?  i made a small batch of dough yesterday and didn't get a chance to roll it out today--is it really going to be ruined tomorrow?  i can't imagine why it would, but as always i await the collective wisdom of the eG pastry & baking crew, and thank you in advance.

It'll be fine. Use it and then post a picture of the results in the dessert topic! :wink:

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well, i waited another day actually, because just... well, i didn't have time, and logically i couldn't see how it would hurt. and indeed it was fine.

but it wasn't a dessert, it was a little ol' pie stuffed with beet greens and pine nuts and currants and this great local chevre, so i'll post the pic here, just to show everyone that this topic is indeed extraordinarily helpful:

gallery_7799_1601_36202.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is such a great thread. I love to bake and have been baking since I was a teenager and I think I'm pretty damn good (all my friends rave about my baking, but what do they know? :rolleyes: ). I'm entirely self-taught and now I'm learning so many things here. Thank you all!

I think I might have to pick up that Alton Brown book that was mentioned upthread. I'm really interested in learning more of the "why do we do it this way" type things.

Many things I'd learned myself over the years, like inserting a skewer at an angle to test doneness rather than straight down through the center. But using flower nails? Never heard of such a thing, but I'm going to rush out and get some and I can't wait to try them. Mixing cake batters on low speed so as not to develop the gluten in the flour? Did not know that. And the cooling the chiffon cake upside down? I remember my mom always did that, but she never explained why. And I'd totally forgotten. Good thing I've never tried to make a chiffon cake!

I've never really understood the fear many people have about baking. I guess I never really thought about it – just picked up a recipe and followed the instructions. Seems simple to me. But I have many friends who won't even attempt baking – one in particular who's a fabulous cook who's not afraid to try the most elaborate recipe, but baking just seems like crazy voodoo to her.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I want to fill some tartlets with chocolate mousse.

Should I paint them with melted chocolate first? Especially since I don't intend to serve them right away?

Excellent idea to keep the moisture from softening the pastry longer.

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I want to fill some tartlets with chocolate mousse.

Should I paint them with melted chocolate first? Especially since I don't intend to serve them right away?

Excellent idea to keep the moisture from softening the pastry longer.

That's what I thought. Thanks Kerry!

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I just made some yogurt, draining half to thicken, preserving about a cup and a half of whey which I've reserved.

I was planning to substitute it for some of the liquid when baking this week. I was wondering if anyone here has done this before.

I'm not sure it will make a discernable difference in taste, if there is anything particular it might be perfect for...

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I just made some yogurt, draining half to thicken, preserving about a cup and a half of whey which I've reserved.

I was planning to substitute it for some of the liquid when baking this week.  I was wondering if anyone here has done this before. 

I'm not sure it will make a discernable difference in taste, if there is anything particular it might be perfect for...

Anywhere you would use water, bread dough, cake batter, etc. Adds a nice flavour.

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I just made some yogurt, draining half to thicken, preserving about a cup and a half of whey which I've reserved.

I was planning to substitute it for some of the liquid when baking this week.  I was wondering if anyone here has done this before. 

I'm not sure it will make a discernable difference in taste, if there is anything particular it might be perfect for...

Anywhere you would use water, bread dough, cake batter, etc. Adds a nice flavour.

For some reason, I think they'd be fantastic in gougeres. Or anything with cheese.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I have 9 in my freezer right now after making creme brulee and I'm at a lost. How long will those egg whites be good for?

Save those egg whites -- they'll last for 6 months. You can make angel food cake or buttercream from them. That's what I usually do with mine.

There is also a thread on using extra eggs / yolks / whites Here for some other ideas for the parts of a whole.

I'm not a baking dumbass, more a new professional. And, the stuff I see others out there posting, professionals or not, shows me that I have a whole h*ll of a lot to learn still. Ask, and someone will help!

I'm not a total dumbass, just a semi-dumbass .. but you've answered one of my questions already; now that I know those egg whites will keep (without freezing) I can indulge in more of those extravagant egg yolk things guilt free!

I LOVE this site!

Lynn

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Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy shit! ....what a ride!"

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