The Stupid Little Things That I Struggle With-Baking Issues!

Baking By carmenid Updated 20 Jul 2009 , 10:22am by Mike1394

carmenid Posted 18 Jul 2009 , 10:22pm
post #1 of 3

Ok, I have been trying to bake from scratch for years and something always go wrong! I am not giving up...so here are all my stupid questions...help, please!

What difference does it make if the eggs and butter are room temperature or not?

What difference does it make if the oven is preheated or no?

When a recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flower, sugar or whatever powder ingredient, do you measure the amount before or after it's been sifted?

what difference does it make to alternate the flour mix with the milk?

Is cake flour the regular all purpose flour?

2 replies
Win Posted 18 Jul 2009 , 10:42pm
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenid

Ok, I have been trying to bake from scratch for years and something always go wrong! I am not giving up...so here are all my stupid questions...help, please!

What difference does it make if the eggs and butter are room temperature or not?

Depending on what you're trying to make, the temperature of your ingredients can play a huge part. For piecrusts, you want your butter to be cold, since cold butter makes the flakiest crusts but if you're making a cake, you want your butter at room temperature, since room-temperature butter makes the tenderest cakes. Similarly, eggs will whip up highest if they're at room temperature.

What difference does it make if the oven is preheated or no?

From WikiAnswers:
Most cooking times are worked out for a preheated oven. This is because different ovens may have different heating up periods because of varying insulation or element sizes. For recipes to be consistent for any possible oven, they cannot take all the possible variations for preheating into account, and therefore require that the oven is already at temperature before cooking starts.

When you are familiar with how long your oven takes to heat up you can experiment with the oven not fully heated before using, but note that this will not work with some recipes that require a quick change of heat.

If not preheating, set the timer for at least an extra 2 minutes. Ovens vary in cooking time even after preheating.


When a recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flower, sugar or whatever powder ingredient, do you measure the amount before or after it's been sifted?

It depends on how the ingredient is described in the recipe. If the recipe says '2 cups sifted flour' you should sift the flour, then measure it. If the recipe says '2 cups flour, sifted', you should measure the flour first, then sift it.


what difference does it make to alternate the flour mix with the milk?

Because when you add the dry first, the fat in the creamed mixture will start to coat the flour particles and you will avoid the development of gluten. You end with dry to take up any available moisture in the batter.


Is cake flour the regular all purpose flour?
No. Binging or Googling this question will give you a detailed description of why they are different.




HTH!

Mike1394 Posted 20 Jul 2009 , 10:22am
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenid

Ok, I have been trying to bake from scratch for years and something always go wrong! I am not giving up...so here are all my stupid questions...help, please!

What difference does it make if the eggs and butter are room temperature or not?

What difference does it make if the oven is preheated or no?

When a recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flower, sugar or whatever powder ingredient, do you measure the amount before or after it's been sifted?

what difference does it make to alternate the flour mix with the milk?

Is cake flour the regular all purpose flour?




On the issue of ingred being room temp. It makes for an easier emulsion if they are room temp, but not critical.

When mixing flour, and liquid alternatly your trying to coax as much liquid into the flour as you can.

Measure before sifting UNLESS it calls for sifted flour. Even better than that buy a scale.

Cake flour has less protien than AP flour.

One of the most important steps in cake making is creaming the sugar, and butter. Make sure it is well creamed. Whne I say well creamed I mean white in color, and about doubled in volume.

Mike

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