Instinct

Lounge By Bogginboy Updated 19 Jun 2015 , 7:56am by Lizzybug78

Bogginboy Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 10:57am
post #1 of 21

How many people actually go by recipes all the time? I've heard that baking is a science but I say it's an art and like with the recipe part I've seen people asking how much of what to use for Mmf but I know I just do what feels right and it turns out fine I know some need to know that for covering cakes but I've seen some talking about using it for modeling so what I'm asking is how many go by recipes or by what feels right

20 replies
costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 11:48am
post #2 of 21

Making MMF isn't baking, that's mixing. You can adjust ingredients based on the humidity or whatever and it will come out a different texture, but that's not baking.

 For fondant and other things that aren't baked, like gumpaste etc you can increase or decrease the balances of wet and dry to adjust the firmness of it. That isn't really instinct, it's just adjusting based on what it's doing at the time.

If you tried actually "baking by instinct" you'll get a lot of failures. The oven is required to bake something, so that's the criterion I'd use to determine whether you're actually baking something. I adjust recipes all the time, but it's not an instinctual thing, you actually have to have some understanding of the balances in a good recipe and how different ingredients work to get a good result.

Bogginboy Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 7:50pm
post #3 of 21

I only mentioned fondant because that's what first came to mind and when I said baking I didn't just mean baking I meant cooking in general and like I said I've saw where people were using specific recipes for Mmf instead of just doing what feels and looks right

jgifford Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 8:00pm
post #4 of 21

I've always been a "little of this, pinch of that" type of cook.  I'll follow the recipe exactly the first time I make it, but rarely after that.  And after you've baked for years, you can tell when a recipe just isn't quite right and adjust accordingly.

Bogginboy Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 8:01pm
post #5 of 21

And I mean too like some people measure by weight and all this stuff for baking and I just kinda measure by what looks right still I mean with some stuff I'll still measure out cups but other stuff I just throw in what looks right and it always turns out good

Bogginboy Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 9:00pm
post #6 of 21

Yes jgifford that's exactly what I'm talking about me and my barber were talking about doing that just yesterday following a recipe the first time then making it your own

mccantsbakes Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 10:49pm
post #7 of 21

With cooking, I am more instinctual.    I will stray from a recipe somewhat to accommodate what I may have or alter it to suit my taste or what not.  The failure rate on adding too much oregano to lasagna isn't going to ruin the entire integrity of the dish.....it will STILL be lasagna....maybe yucky, but it will turn out.

With baking, not so much.   I may alter flavorings by adding or subracting amounts to suit what I want, but the basic structure of a recipe I follow to the letter.    


My favorite part about baking is the precision and the following of directions.  I love how everything is methodical and structured and rigid.   Perhaps I have some deep seeded control issues that I should have addressed by a professional ;)


I am fascinated by baking on a scientific level, knowing why things do what they do and how doing things in a specific order will yield different results.    It's nerdy, but so so so cool. I am not quite to a point where I would just start whipping something up on a whim, but maybe someday I may.....no, I would have to write it all down first so that there is a plan to follow.




SquirrellyCakes Posted 17 Jun 2015 , 11:30pm
post #8 of 21

I think that baking, for the most part, is formula-based on chemistry interaction of ingredients with a good deal of methodology and temperature reactivity thrown in.  That was a mouthful.  The quality of equipment and ingredients used also plays a role.

In other words I think that you need certain proportions of certain ingredients to form the texture, mouth-feel, structure, taste and appearance that is considered desirable.  Temperature that items are baked at, how you mix and incorporate ingredients  and what you bake them in all play a role in the end product.

I think if you want consistency in  the future results, you do need to measure, weigh and record the results.

As far as experience allowing you to make adjustments, change flavourings and create new recipes, yes experience plays a key role.  But I believe that the knowledge of key ratio proponents that work in known temperatures - is why experience breeds success with experimentation.

I agree that after awhile, you do get a feel for what recipes will be successful.  I just made a Martha Stewart recipe for a chocolate cake that I had read a good review of.  I have always had good results from her recipes. Based on the ingredients, I had my doubts but tried it anyway.  Both layers looked perfect in the pans and when they came out of the pans too.  But they felt strange to me - rather a dry feel to them.  So I baked a different recipe and saved them for home use.  I put a simple syrup on them and iced them and then we sampled them.  Sure enough the cake was dry and crumbly textured. I have since read many negative reviews of this same recipe.

I think some things like pie crust, fondant and some icings etc. - you can go more by feel.  But I think for baking for the most part - that is the exception to the rule.  That doesn't mean that you cannot have success, it just means that likely the results will not be consistent.

Jinkies Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 12:21am
post #9 of 21

I have enough trouble following actual recipes these days....

melmar02 Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 12:43am
post #10 of 21

I measure everything. How can I recreate a recipe if I'm just throwing ingredients into a bowl?  And if you sell, there is no way to give your clients a consistent product if you are just eye balling the amounts. 

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 1:07am
post #11 of 21

Cooking and baking are two different things. 

Bogginboy Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 3:26am
post #12 of 21

Like I said I'm talking about baking also my point that I'm trying to make is people are too caught up in control and doing everything perfect but somewhere in history people didn't have recipes to tell them how to do stuff they created the recipes themselves sometimes on purpose but a lot of the time on accident and then modified those accidents until they became the recipes we know today and people need to get inspired and learn to have fun with it and just create it starts with modifying a recipe but it can go to creating your own and you'll be amazed, some people have natural abilities or as I like to call it God given talent to where you can create a new recipe even with something as finnicky as baking

Bogginboy Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 3:40am
post #13 of 21

See I'm not talking about REcreating a recipe I'm talking about creating one yourself and not making a recipe your own either by adding a pinch of this and a teaspoon of that I'm talking about creating a recipe period experimenting and playing until you have something you can call your own creation

mccantsbakes Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 7:43am
post #14 of 21

Bogginboy, 

I am not sure that bakers from centuries passed were necessarily hanging out in their kitchens creating recipes for the joy of trying to come up with something new and different.  They created food from necessity and only used available goods while using available methods and long standing cultural traditions which were passed down generation to generation using the same methods and ingredients...much like a recipe, only not written down, it was learned.   Most  'recipes' that we know now evolved over centuries and centuries  and were more influenced by technological advances (harnessing fire, the invention of tools,  inventing the wheel, farming and domesticating animals)  globalization (think spice trade, availability of ingredients, influence of other cultures) social class standing (the poor ate totally different than the rich)  literacy, religious beliefs, food safety and storage (cooking meat, canning meat, using salt or sugar to preserve, pasteurization, pest control), industrialization (moving food more efficiently to other parts of the world, the invention of refrigeration, food manufacturing etc) and science  than they did from creativity or intuition.   (Which is not to say that creativity and intuition don't play into food evolution, but I just don't think it was what drove it before our modern day abundance of food.   







Bogginboy Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 8:22am
post #15 of 21

But it can be what drives us to create new things today

Lizzybug78 Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 10:33am
post #16 of 21

You're changing the goalposts every time you post. First it was baking and changing a recipe (and you didn't actually give a baking example), then it was cooking in general, then you agree about making a recipe first time and changing it to make it your own, then you're back to baking and saying you meant making up a recipe from scratch instead of changing an existing one.

The simple fact is if you are genuinely doing what you say and BAKING something you've just chucked together, it may come out great, but it's more likely that you'll have the ratios off and it will not work/will not be as good.

If you're familiar with the science of how to make a BAKING recipe that works then sure, it may well turn out great every time. I've made my own recipes from the ground up, but only after research about how things work together and what ratios I need to be sticking to, because a lot of the stuff that goes on is a chemical reaction and needs to be proportioned correctly.  If you're just blindly flinging stuff into a bowl that's just not going to happen. Again, I'm talking about BAKING here, not cooking which can be far more of a 'chuck it in and see' exercise.

As to your made up from your head BAKED recipes 'always turn out good' when you're just winging it, I'm really really dubious about that statement. I've been baking for over 20 years and I still have occasional failures with tried and tested recipes that I've used hundreds of times, but one day something will be slightly off and suddenly it's not working as I expect it to. Even stuff I cook and wing it with won't always be good, I have my fair share of disasters when experimenting. 

I felt the need to emphasise the baked bits as I think that you are confusing baking with cooking, and they are two very different things. 



costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 11:34am
post #17 of 21

 

Quote by @Lizzybug78 on 53 minutes ago

         

If you're familiar with the science of how to make a BAKING recipe that works then sure, it may well turn out great every time. I've made my own recipes from the ground up, but only after research about how things work together and what ratios I need to be sticking to, because a lot of the stuff that goes on is a chemical reaction and needs to be proportioned correctly.  If you're just blindly flinging stuff into a bowl that's just not going to happen. Again, I'm talking about BAKING here, not cooking which can be far more of a 'chuck it in and see' exercise.

 Yes, exactly. It's all well and good to be philosophical about how free and wonderful it is to just start from the ground up and make up recipes without restrictions, but baking has restrictions because it relies on chemical reactions. Unless the laws of physics don't apply to you, you're going to have to work within certain parameters to create a balanced recipe. Then there's the technique that goes along with it...If I toss a spoonful of pepper into a pot of soup it doesn't matter if I sprinkle it in or use a teaspoon to measure it, but if I don't cream the butter and sugar in a baking recipe correctly it WILL affect the final product.

People who make up their own recipes know what ingredient will give them what chemical reaction. I know that if X happened, I might need to reduce the amount of Y in the recipe. Baking isn't hit and miss.

pastrypet Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 6:09pm
post #18 of 21

Not everyone has the money or the time to develop baking recipes because of the high failure rate of winging it with "a little of this and a lot of that." It can well be an expensive and time-consuming process.

Annie8 Posted 18 Jun 2015 , 6:42pm
post #19 of 21

If you ever watched the Food Network, there used to be a show on called Good Eats with Alton Brown.  He would spend episodes going over the Science of Baking explaining how one ingredient would affect another and how it is more methodical and exact than cooking.  Fascinating information.  You have acids, leaveners, yeasts, liquids, oils, fats, glutens, etc.  They all interweave with each other, but you have to have balances to it.  If you can find some of his old episodes or even his books, it might help connect the dots.

Davidbakes Posted 19 Jun 2015 , 6:34am
post #20 of 21

Annie8 i know I've seen good eats and it is a good show but if you already know about the types of ingredients to use and are familiar with baking then you can create new recipes for baking, after reading this earlier I decided to try to make a brownie in a mug from scratch without any kind of recipe just throwing things in and at first I did add too much sugar and overcooked but I did it in a small amount so I was able to easily retry without it costing me much of my baking supplies and I just used less sugar and cut the time in half and it was delicious

Lizzybug78 Posted 19 Jun 2015 , 7:56am
post #21 of 21

If you are familiar with baking and knew what ingredients to use you didn't  just throw stuff in, you followed basic   guidelines which need to be adhered to in order to get a decent end result. Or are you really saying you just plonked a random amount of everything in and hoped for the best? 

However you spin it, the simple fact is if you don't follow a set of rules with baking things will go wrong more often than not. 


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