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January 30, 2009

Baking is an art by itself.As a beginner some years ago I too used to be scared to try anything new as many would be a flop,but never did I give up and used to try out many recipes.I learnt basic baking from my mom and after marriage developed on it.I can now try any recipe confidently,as I reached this level only through a lot of trial and error methods.Today baking is not just only cakes but many more dishes are being made.I would like to share in this post some basic things to be followed which I learnt with my experience and read in many cookbooks.

EQUIPMENTS NEEDED
These help in producing baked dishes of superb perfection

SCALE-A kitchen scale as accurate weighing is an important factor in baking

MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS-Starting from 1/4 to 1

SIFTER-A fine meshed one removes lumps and unwanted particles in any dry ingredient

BOWL-A heat proof glass bowl is used for kneading,whipping and beating eggs.You can also use stainless steel bowls

SPATULA-Need a wooden spatula to fold in the ingredients.A plastic one to mix butter,flour or to scrape the inside of a bowl

EGG WHISK/ELECTRIC BEATER/SPRING BEATER

ROLLING PIN-A wooden one

PASTRY CUTTER-In different shapes and sizes

BAKING SHEET

CAKE TINS-In different shapes and size as you require,a basic round and square to start with

SKEWER-A thin long metal pin is necessary to test cakes.Usually it comes along the oven you buy

WIRE RACK-Though not an essential one but is a neat way to cool cakes

As you progess well with cakes you add on other baking equipments
Sandwich tin
Patty tins
Muffin trays
Pie dish
Paper bake cups
An icing set

HELPFUL HINTS

Adhere strictly to the measurements

Use quality raw materials

Assemble all the ingredients before starting

Check the expiry dates

Measure the ingredients accurately

Sieve the flour,the small air cells are incorporated into the flour and it will help to increase the cake volume and softness

Sieve the dry ingredients like cocoa powder,cornflour,baking powder,soda with flour as it would mix evenly

Grease the cake tin with little butter/fat and then dust with flour if you don't use a baking sheet

Dried fruit should always be cleaned.Mix a little flour with the fruits before adding to the batter.

Beat the eggs and then add

It is better to use powdered sugar instead of granulated one.Do not use icing sugar

To measure syrup,first dip a tbsp into boiling water and quickly use it and the syrup will fall off the spoon easily

Follow the recipe in the given steps

After adding the flour use only the spatula and mix and that to in one direction only

It is required to preheat the oven for 10-15 mins or as given in the instruction

Fill the tin 3/4 level to allow for rising,for larger cakes make a slight depression in the middle so that they rise flat and level the batter

If it is necessary to open the oven door while the cakes are being baked,open gently as an onrush of cold air may prevent the cakes from rising or cause a risen cake to sink

To test when the cake is cooked either press lightly with the finger in the centre of the cake,the impression should spring back immediately or insert a fine skewer,it should leave the cake clean

Always let the cake cool slightly before removing from tin

When arranging biscuits on the tray always leave 1 inch gap between as the biscuits spread while baking

COMMON TERMS IN RECIPES
Bake-cooking by dry heat usually in an oven

Batter-a combination of dry and liquid ingredients to form a pouring consistency

Beat-to use a stirring motion with a spoon or mixer to make the mixture smooth

Blend-to mix two or more ingredients till smooth

Brown-allowing the dish to turn golden

Caramelize-burning sugar until it obtains a dark brown colour

Cream-to beat with mixer or spoon until mixture is soft and fluffy

Dough-mixing together flour and liquid to form a roll

Dust- to coat lightly with flour or powdered sugar

Line-to cover the inside with paper

Pre-heat-to heat the oven to the temperature indicated in the concerned recipe before the dish goes in

Sift-to put one or more ingredients (dry) through a sifter

Whip-to beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion

Whisk-to beat cream por eggs until stiff froth is obtained

Some of my bakes

BLACK FOREST CAKE




APPLE PIE


EGGLESS BUTTER COOKIES


ZEBRA CAKE




MUFFINS



CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE


BIRTHDAY CAKE



KNOT BUNS







I hope the above little information will be useful for beginners.HAPPY BAKING and Iam rushing this to Vandana's BAKING FOR BEGINNERS EVENT

5 comments:

Nags said...

definitely useful tips :)

Vandana Rajesh said...

Thanks Renuka...this is a mini round up in itself and thks for all the wonderful tips just what beginners would look for.

Divya Kudua said...

Such a wonderful post..thank you for all the great tips!!

Archy said...

Hey, really useful tips, specially if ur baking eggless, like me :)!!

Gayathri said...

informative one...