Baking Lesson 101

Baking Lesson 101

Baking is one of the most delicate culinary arts and requires careful and precise measurements, ingredients, cooking temperatures and techniques. While the finely balancing act of baking can be intimidating to some, any home cook can also become a master baker with the right ingredients and baking supplies, a little patience, and a solid recipe.

What is Baking?

Baking is a cooking method that uses dry heat in an enclosed space. Usually done in the oven, baking occurs when heat comes into contact with the dough or batter and causes the starch in the dish to change form. This results in a firm brown surface due to the Maillard reaction and a soft interior due to moisture being trapped in the baked goods. Baking requires an enclosed space to distribute heat evenly so that baked goods are baked evenly.

Bread and other baked goods are ingrained in nearly every culture, religion and region in the world. These important cultural symbols have been the subject of legends, nursery rhymes and religious texts for millennia. Therefore, baking is an important part of human history and a form of culinary art as old as human beings themselves.

5 Different Types of Baking

Oven Baking: The most common form of baking that relies on the oven to trap the heat in an enclosed space along with the dough or batter.

Steam Baking: A common form of baking in the UK that uses a small amount of water in an airtight lid and pan to steam the heat to cook baked goods ranging from muffins to cakes.

Hot Stone Baking: A baking method that uses hot stones to distribute high temperatures evenly into bread and other baked goods.

Hot Ash Baking: A raw form of baking over hot ashes, often used to cook flat breads and cakes.

Grill Baking: A hybrid cooking method that starts on the grill and finishes in the oven - or vice versa - infuses baked goods with a slightly smoky or charred flavor.

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