Why Most People Just Wing It. Part 2
Savory and Sweet
In Part 1 of the “People Just Wing It” articles, I covered kitchen jargon from a savory perspective.
I come to the kitchen from the Gourmet Food Truck Industry in Los Angeles, CA.
Street trucks are divided into 2 categories, Savory and Sweet. Obviously, “Savory” refers to main entrees like monster burgers, lobster burritos, cajun chicken. You get the picture.
“Sweet” refers to Funnel Cakes, Italian Ice, Churros and Cup Cakes.
Part 2 will provide you a list of “Sweet” terms or to put a finer point on it, “Baking” terms.
A Quick Word About Baking – Complex Reactions
Baking is as much science, as it is art. Professional bakers often refer to recipes as formulas. So, if this sounds more like a laboratory, it’s for good reason. There are complex reactions that take place during mixing, baking.
Make a big mistake in the fat content or the yeast is dead or you forgot the baking soda, your creation isn’t getting to first base. Baking is very unforgiving.
For sake of consistency, professional bakers measure their ingredients by weight, not volume. The science has to work, before they can create the art.
I want to help clear up any misunderstandings relating to your love of baking.
Here is a list of common baking terms.
- Artisan Bread– handmade bread made by traditional methods and with using natural ingredients only.
- Caramelize– heat a sugar substance until it begins to brown.
- Combine– stir ingredient together just until mixed.
- Cream– beat together sugar and butter until a light creamy texture is achieved. Sometimes eggs are added during the creaming process.
- Cut In– incorporate butter or another solid fat into flour, just until the fat is in small granular pieces resembling coarse sand.
- Fold– gently combine 2 substances together in an effort to not deflate a lofty texture.
- Bagged– a cookie make up method in which the dough is shaped and deposited with a pastry bag.
- Batter– a semi liquid mixture used for cakes and cookies.
- Bloom– a whitish coating on chocolate caused by separated cocoa butter.
- Fat– any group of compounds consisting of a chain of fatty acids, to supply body in a concentrated form.
- Fermentation– the process by which yeast changes from carbohydrates to carbon dioxide gas or alcohol.Butter Cream- an icing made of butter or shortening, blende with confectioner sugar.
- Cake Flour– a fine whit flour made from soft wheat.
- Compote– cooked fruit served in it’s cooked liquid, usually as a sauce.
- Coulis– a sweetened fruit puree, used as a sauce.
- Creaming Method– begins with blending fat and sugar.
- Chiffon Method– a cake mixing method involving the folding of egg whites into a batter made of flour, egg yolks and oil.
- Crumb– the interior of a baked item, distinct from it crust.
- Docking– piercing or perforating pastry dough to allow steam to escape and avoid blistering.
- Double Panning– placing a second baking pan or baking sheet to prevent scorching the bottom of a product.
- Dough Relaxation– a period of rest in the production of a yeast dough, which gluten strands become adjusted to their new length and become less tight.
- Drop Batter– a batter that is too thick to pour, but will drop from a spoon in lumps.
- Emulsion– a uniform mixture of two or more unmixable substances.
- Flat Icing– a s simple icing made with confectioner sugar and water, usually for danish pastries.
- Glaze– a shiny coating such as a syrup applied to food or to brown under a hot broiler or hot oven.
- Lean Dough– a dough low in fat and sugar.
- Leavening– the production of gases in a baked product to increase volume and produce a shape.
- Margarine– an artificial butter made of hydrogenated fats and flavorings.
- Meringue- a thick white foam, made of whipped egg whites and sugar.
- Meal– coarsely ground grain.
- Oven Spring– the rapid rise of yeast products in the oven.
- Pastry Flour– a wheat flour used in pastries and cookies.
- Petit Four– a delicate cake or pastry, small enough to be eaten in one or two bites.
- Profiterole– a small puff made of eclair paste.
- Puff Pastry– a very light, flakey pastry made of rolled-in dough and leavened by steam.
- Punching– a method of expelling gases from a fermented dough.
- Retarding– refrigerating a yeast dough to slow it’e fermentation.
- Royal Icing– an icing made of confectioner sugar and egg whites. Used for decorating.
- Scaling– weighing ingredients, usually for doughs and batters.
- Spread– a tendency for a cookie dough to spread out and flatten out. Usually due to not chilling prior to cooking.
- Wash– a liquid brushed on a product before baking.
- Zest– the colorful outer portion of a fruit or vegetable.
I Love Baking for My Family and Friends
Last Cinco De Mayo, an in-law requested an over the top fondant covered cake. I can’t find the pic, but it was a 3 layer (choc/white cake/choc) half sheet with a Mexican hat on top, air brushed colors. It was pretty amazing.
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