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Is Roasting The Same As Baking | Baking Tips | Bake Definition
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Achieve the perfect bake with this complete glossary of essential baking terms and definitions! Learn more about all aspects of baking, from ingredients to techniques straight from the pros.
Baking Definition

Baking Definition

Baking is the process of cooking food by using dry heat, often in an oven.
This method of cooking includes cakes, breads, pastries, pies and other foods.
This type of cooking is often used to create a variety of desserts, both sweet and savoury.

The baking definition is a cooking method where the heat is gradually transferred from the surface of the food to the centre.

Baking is a type of dry heat cooking that’s done in an enclosed space such as an oven, baking is not done over a direct flame.
As heat travels through, it transforms batters and doughs into baked goods with a firm dry crust and a softer middle.

Meat and vegie dishes are often baked off in a covered baking dish to avoid the crusty top.
See also Blind Bake.

Is Roasting The Same As Baking

Baking and roasting are both dry heat cooking methods that use prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven.
The two are almost identical cooking techniques.

  • Baking
    Baking involves those foods that lack structure early on, then become solid and lose their “empty space” during the cooking.When most people think of “baked goods,” they think of breads, cakes, biscuits and pastries, all the foods you buy at your local bakery.

    These types of foods usually use common ingredients like flour, butter, eggs, sugar, baking soda, salt, oil, milk, starch, cheese, and/or yeast to form a dough or batter which is then baked in sections or as a whole.

    Breads and pastries are often flavoured with spices, syrups, and other additives to give them unique savoury flavours.

  • Roasting
    Roasting involves cooking foods that already have a solid structure before the cooking process begins.Meat and vegetables are generally associated with roasting.

These days though with recipe names like “Roast Potatoes and Baked Potatoes”.
The accuracy in the correct use of the words “roast” and “bake” has little meaning and consistency.

How To Bake

hOW TO BAKEBaking can sometimes be a tricky endeavour, but with this comprehensive glossary of baking terms and definitions, you’ll be on your way to becoming an expert baker in no time.
From flours and leaveners to techniques that will help take your baking to the next level – you’ll find all the advice and information you need here!

Baking Ingredients: Gather the items you will need for your recipe.

Gather all of the required ingredients for your recipe and make sure you have enough of each.

Common baking ingredients that you may need include flour, sugar, butter/oil, eggs, leaveners (yeast and baking soda/baking powder), milk/cream, nuts/seeds, spices or flavourings.
Also check to see if there are additional add-ins like chocolate chips that really make the recipe something special!

Mixing Techniques: Learn how to mix doughs, batters and toppings.

Understanding the different mixing techniques used in baking is key to achieving consistent results.
The best way to mix doughs, batters and toppings depends largely on the recipe you are using.

Common mixing techniques include creaming (butter and sugar), stirring (dry ingredients with a spoon), folding (whipping cream or egg whites into batter), kneading (dough by hand) and whisking (emulsify fat and liquids).
It’s important to get familiar with these techniques early so that you know how to properly mix your recipes.

Baking Equipment: Discover the tools of the trade like rolling pins, cookie cutters and cooling racks.

Every baker needs the right set of tools and equipment to be successful in their craft.

Ovens are necessary when baking however there are other tools that may be required depending on the individual recipe.
To ensure a successful bake, you’ll need to use the correct equipment for your specific recipes, such as an oven thermometer for cakes, a timer for breads and pastries, rolling pins for doughs and cookie cutters for cookies.

To finish up your finished bakes with a professional touch, you might also consider cooling racks, pastry bags, pans and more.
Investing in quality baking equipment is definitely worth it – especially if you plan to continuously level up your baking game!

Baking Temperature & Time: Find out how baking time and temperature affect your finished products.

Temperature and time are both important factors in baking.
Temperature determines how fast the flavors, moisture, and texture of your dish will develop, while time allows for an even distribution of heat to be applied to the food.

As a result, under-cooking or over-cooking can lead to baked goods with a range of undesirable characteristics – from soggy or dry crumb texture, to off-tastes caused by the Maillard reaction going too far.

When you’re in doubt about how long to bake a certain item, check your recipe.
Recipes often specify “fixed” temperature and time parameters that should not be altered without considering the effects it could have on your finished product.

Decorating & Presentation: Finish off the baked goods with delicious icings and decorations!

The final step in baking is the decorating and presentation of your dish.
Decorating techniques can be employed on baked goods prior to serving them!
Using edible decorations like piped frostings both buttercream or royal style and moldable fondant help bring an impressive presentation level that provides celebratory successes after mastering a new skill set!

Icing and decorations are commonly used to enhance the appearance and add an element of fun to a finished baked item.
Examples of these decorations can be simple, like sprinkles or nuts, or more advanced confectionary creations using melted chocolate or fondant.

When using icing or glaze, make sure to use your creativity and imagination when decorating for maximum impact!

Essential Baking Ingredients

Baking ingredientsWhat are the essential baking ingredients?
Many ingredients are used when baking such as flour, sugar, salt, butter/margarine/oil/shortening, eggs and leavening agents like yeast or baking powder and soda.
Depending on the recipe chosen some recipes may also require additional ingredients like fruits, nuts or chocolate chips

Here is our list of ingredients commonly found in the bakers pantry, and what their job is.

  1. Flour

    Flour provides the structure for all baked goods because it contains proteins that interact with liquids to create gluten.
    That said, flour is a critical component of your baking pantry.
    We recommend having plain flour/all-purpose flour on-hand because its light, fluffy texture is perfect for cookies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, and more!
    If you’re looking to expand your flour selection, add the following options to your pantry:

    • Self Raising Flour
      Self-rising flour is flour that has baking powder and salt added to it.
      It is found on supermarket shelves in Aus, NZ and the Uk.
      Recipes that call for self-rising flour usually don’t list additional baking powder or salt in the ingredients.

      You can make your own by combining 1 cup plain/all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ tsp fine salt.
      The leavening power of the baking powder is mixed evenly throughout the flour.
      You will automatically get that nice rise out of your baked goods every time you use self rising flour.

    • Whole Wheat Flour
      A denser, healthier replacement for plain/all-purpose flour.
    • Bread Flour
      The higher protein content in bread flour works great when used for chewy, yeast bread.
    • Cake Flour
      The lower protein content in cake flour works great to make light, spongey cakes.
    • Cornstarch
      Finely ground corn flour is used to thicken sauces, fillings, and puddings.
    • Gluten-Free Flours
      Nut and seed flours, like almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, and other gluten-free options are great for allergy-friendly baking.

    You can store flour in an airtight container at room temperature for several months at a time.

  2. Leaveners
    Leaveners create chemical reactions in your baked goods that cause them to expand and rise.
    You’ll need these essential leaveners for almost every recipe:
    • Baking Soda
      Baking soda is a base, so it needs to interact with an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk, lemon, or yoghurt, to create carbon dioxide and cause your baked good to rise.
    • Baking Powder
      Baking powder contains baking soda, cornstarch, and cream of tartar, an acidic ingredient.
      You don’t need an acidic ingredient in your recipe when using baking powder for your baked goods to rise.

    You can store leaveners in your pantry at room temperature.

  3. Salt
    Plain, old iodized table salt is generally the best choice for balancing the flavour of your baked goods.
    However, some bakers may prefer to use kosher salt or sea salt, depending on the recipe.
  4. Sugar
    Baked goods wouldn’t be baked goods without sugar!
    Here are the essential sugars you’ll need in your pantry at all times:
    • White Sugar/Granulated Sugar
      Basic, white sugar that’s been stripped of its natural molasses and is used in most baked goods.
    • Brown Sugar
      Dark, moist sugar with molasses added.
      Light brown sugar has less molasses, while dark brown sugar has more molasses.
    • Icing Sugar/Powdered Sugar
      Finely ground white/granulated sugar combined with starch that’s used to make frosting and icing.

    If you’re looking for other sugar substitutes, consider adding these sweetener options to your baking pantry:

    • Natural Sugars
      Such as Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and agave syrup are all-natural sweetener options that many healthy recipes will use in place of sugar.
  5. Dairy
    Although it’s not used in every recipe, having whole milk on-hand is great for adding moisture to pancakes, waffles, cakes, and more.
    Other dairy ingredients you may want to consider having on-hand include:
    • Buttermilk
      Buttermilk is an acidic ingredient that reacts with baking soda to make muffins, cakes, and pancakes fluffy and tender.
    • Sour Cream or Yoghurt
      Sour cream and yoghurt are also acidic dairy ingredients that react with baking soda to add moisture and flavour to muffins, cakes, and cupcakes.
    • Cream Cheese
      If you make many homemade cream cheese frostings or cheesecakes, this is an important dairy product to have on hand.
    • Heavy Cream
      You can make a lot with heavy cream—including whipped cream!
    • Alternative Milks
      Use almond, coconut, oat, and soy milk in place of dairy milk for a lactose-free substitute.

    Dairy products should be refrigerated—and always check the expiration date before using a dairy-based product to verify it hasn’t spoiled.

  6. Fats
    Fats help to bind your baked goods together and contribute to their moist texture.
    Here are a few fat-based ingredients you’ll always want to have in your pantry or refrigerator:
    • Eggs
      As a significant binding agent, most recipes will call for at least one large egg.
    • Butter
      Butter gives your biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, and cakes a rich, flavourful taste.
      We recommend using unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in your recipe.
    • Oil
      Oil is another staple fat that adds moisture to your baked goods.
      You can bake with coconut, olive, vegetable, canola, or other oils, depending on your preferences.

    Eggs and butter last the longest when stored in the refrigerator, but you can keep most oils in your pantry.

  7. Extracts, Spices & Add-Ins

    You can’t bake anything tasty without all the ingredients that make your desserts flavourful and fun!
    Here are some extracts, spices, and add-ins you should always have on-hand:

    • Vanilla Extract
      Pure vanilla extract adds tons of flavour and warmth to your baked goods.
    • Cinnamon
      Every baker should have cinnamon on-hand to spice up cookies, muffins, pies, and other treats.
    • Cocoa Powder
      Chocolate cake, puddings, and brownies will all require cocoa powder to create the chocolatey flavour.
    • Chocolate Chips
      You can’t have chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips!
      Most add-ins aren’t pantry staples, but it doesn’t hurt to keep a bag of chocolate chips around at all times.

Top 10 Tips on Baking

Here is a handy list of baking tips and points to remember.
These top 10 tips on baking will help you get perfect results.

  1. Always Have the Correct Butter Consistency;
    Butter is the starting point for the majority of baked goods, so it’s important to have it prepped as the recipe suggests.
    The temperature of butter can dramatically affect the texture of baked goods.

    There are three different consistencies of butter that baking recipes typically call for: softened, chilled (or frozen like in scones), and melted.

    • Most recipes calling for butter call for room temperature/softened butter.Room temperature butter is actually cool to touch, not warm.
      When you press it, your finger will make an indent.
      Your finger won’t sink down into the butter, nor will your finger slide all around.

      To get that perfect consistency and temperature, leave butter out on the benchtop for around 1 hour prior to beginning your recipe.

    • Chilled butter is butter that has been well chilled in the refrigerator or freezer so that it does not melt during mixing.
      This helps create flaky pockets in recipes for example pie crust and scones.
    • Melted Butter. Unless otherwise noted, melted butter should be liquified and lukewarm.
      If melted butter is too hot, it can cook the eggs in your batter.
  2. Room Temperature is vital;
    Speaking of temperature, if a recipe calls for room temperature eggs or any dairy ingredients such as milk cream or yoghurt, make sure you follow suit.
    Room temperature ingredients emulsify much easier into batter, which creates a uniform texture throughout your baked goods.

    Think of cold, hard butter. It’s impossible to cream cold butter into a soft consistency necessary for some recipes.
    Same goes for eggs, they add much more volume to the batter when they’re at room temperature.

  3. Read the Recipe Before Beginning;
    I’ve had a complete recipe disaster because I didn’t realise a certain step was coming up.

    Reading ahead will help you know the how, why, where, and when of what you are about to do.
    It will take you 1-5 minutes and could save you from wasting your ingredients, time and money on a failed recipe.

  4. Always Have Ingredients Prepped;
    Measure your ingredients before starting a recipe.
    Read through the ingredients, then get them prepared on your bench-top.

    There’s very little room for error when you begin recipes this way; you’re not scrambling and rushing during the recipe process.
    And avoid making ingredient substitutions. Use real butter and not margarine unless the recipe tells you to.

    Remember, baking is chemistry.
    Make the recipe as written first then if you feel confident, make substitutions as you see fit.

  5. Learn How to Measure;
    This is actually one of the most important baking tips on this page.
    As you know, baking is science. Excellent baking requires precise ratios, proven techniques, and well-tested recipes.

    Unlike cooking, you can’t just bake something by throwing some ingredients together, mess it up, then eat it anyway.
    One of the most crucial baking tips is measuring ingredients properly.

    Problems are common if measurements are incorrect. Having a firm grasp of measuring techniques is essential.

    • Measure dry ingredients in measuring cups or spoons because these are specially designed for dry ingredients.
      Spoon and level (aka “spoon and sweep”) your dry ingredients.
      This means that you should use a spoon to fill the cup and level it off.
      This is especially important with flour.

      Scooping flour (or any dry ingredient) packs that ingredient down and you could be left with up to 150% more than what’s actually needed.
      A recipe calling for 1 cup of flour and baked with 2 or more cups instead will surely result in a fail.
      And a rather dry baked good!

    • And for liquid ingredients, use clear liquid measuring cups.
      Always place your liquid measuring cups on a flat level surface and bend down to check your level is correct.
  6. Weigh Your Ingredients;
    A small kitchen scale is priceless! It is, by far, the most used tool in my kitchen.

    A gram or ounce is always a gram or an ounce, but a cup isn’t always a cup.

  7. Get an Oven Thermometer;
    I use my ovens so much that the temperatures are sometimes off.
    Yes, the actual oven temperature can be much higher or lower than what the controller says.

    No ovens are safe from this! Use an oven thermometer.
    Place it in the centre of your oven.
    While inexpensive, they’re irreplaceable in a baker’s kitchen. Place it in your oven so you always know the actual temperature.

    Unless you have a brand new or regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is likely inaccurate.

    Do you know what that will do to your biscuits, bread, cinnamon rolls, and cakes?
    While this might not seem like a big deal to you, it is a huge issue for the results of your baking.

    An inaccurate oven can ruin your baked goods, the hours spent on the recipe, the money spent on ingredients, and the results a disaster.
    If you use a convection oven or a fan-forced oven, a recipe will usually tell you to reduce the oven temperature slightly and maybe to reduce the baking time as well.

    Your eyes are the best tools for determining when a baked good is done.

  8. Keep Your Oven Door Closed;
    You now know how the oven’s temperature can ruin a recipe.
    But what can completely throw off the oven temperature is constantly opening and closing the oven door to peek inside.

    It’s so tempting to keep the oven ajar to see your cake rising, cookies baking, and cupcakes puffing up.
    But doing so can let cool air in, which interrupts the baked good from cooking and/or rising properly.
    Rely on the light feature in your oven if it has one.

    If you need to test your cakes for doneness with a toothpick or bamboo skewer, do so quickly.
    Remove it from the oven, close the oven immediately, test for doneness, then put it back in as quickly as you can if more oven time is required.

  9. Chill Your Biscuit/Cookie Dough;
    Chilling biscuit/cookie dough in the refrigerator firms it up, decreasing the possibility of over-spreading.
    Chilling your dough not only ensures a thicker, more solid biscuit/cookie but an enhanced flavour as well.

    Not only this, cold cookie dough is much easier to handle and shape.If a recipe calls for chilling the dough, don’t skip that step.
    If a recipe yields super sticky cookie dough, chill it before rolling and baking.

  10. Never Increase The Recipe;
    If you want to double the batch of your recipe, never just double the ingredients.
    Baking is a science and you may not need double baking soda or baking powder.It is way safer to make two batches separately just to be on the safe side.

Recipes For Baking

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