Cooking Lesson 101: Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Cooking Lesson 101: Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Basic Knowledge about Yeast Bread

  • Most bakery products are made with yeast, baking powder or baking soda. Here's what you should know if you're following a recipe that calls for yeast:
  • Yeast feeds on the sugar and starch in the dough. As it grows, it produces carbon dioxide, which causes your dough to rise with air bubbles.
  • Make sure to follow recipe instructions carefully since too much heat, sugar, or salt can kill the yeast.
  • For yeast to grow, a warm (but not hot) environment is required. Therefore many recipes often call for warm milk or water.
  • Yeast bread recipes often call for some sugar to feed the yeast and salt to add flavor and help control the growth of the yeast.
  • Bread machine yeast and instant yeast are formulated specifically for bread maker. They become more active and can be mixed with other dry ingredients.
  • When using the bread maker, add the ingredients in the order recommended by the manufacturer or in the recipe.
  • In a bread machine, mixing and fermentation take place inside the machine. Roasting can also be done in the machine. Alternatively, you can cycle through the "dough" and the machine will stop when the first rise is over. Then you can take the dough out, put it in the pan, let it rise, and bake it in the oven.

Basic Knowledge about Quick Bread

Quick breads are breads like muffins and cookies that are quick to make because they don't require kneading or any rising time. Typically, baking powder or baking soda is added to dry ingredients to create air bubbles as the batter or dough bakes.

  • Baking soda is mixed in the batter with an acid such as cream of tartar, buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar. Air bubbles are created by the carbon dioxide gas produced, which causes the dough or batter to rise as it bakes. Baking soda reacts immediately when wet, so it's usually mixed with the dry ingredients before adding the liquid ingredients.
  • Baking powder contains acid (cream of tartar) and baking soda. Once wetted, they react to create air bubbles.

To Be Continued…

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