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14820693 Baking Recipes for Dummies

14820693 Baking Recipes for Dummies

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Published by: DHOBO on Sep 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Measuring Ingredients for Baking
You probably know someone who bakes a lot, and it seems like she just tosses this in and that in andpresto, out come cookies or a pie or something delicious. It seems like magic, so you may wonder howimportant it is to be accurate in measuring. The answer is:
very important.
Proper measuring is critical tobaking. Baking is a science, and when you mix together ingredients, you're creating chemistry, albeit ediblechemistry, so being precise is important. There is balance between flour, leaveners, fats, and liquids.Extra salt or baking soda can ruin otherwise perfect cookies. Too much flour makes muffins taste dry and flavorless. Nobeginning cook should be nonchalant about measuring. The success of your recipe depends on it.As you begin to feel more comfortable with baking, you may feel inclined to experiment a bit, maybe addsome chocolate chips to peanut butter cookies, or throw some nuts or dried cranberries into oatmealcookies, or substitute pecans for walnuts. That's all well and fine, but give it time. You're never too good or experienced to measure.
Measuring equipment
Measuring spoons
come in sets of four or six, ranging from 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. (Be sure to usegraded teaspoons and tablespoons — and not the spoons you use to eat with —for accuracy.) You can usethe same measuring tools for both liquids and dry ingredients. For liquids, fill the spoon until it's full. For dryingredients, pour or scoop into the spoon until it's full, leveling off the spoon with the straight edge of aspatula or knife.Never measure over the bowl of ingredients you're using for the recipe. If you over pour or level extra into the bowl, your measurements will not be accurate.
Measuring cups
are essential for every kitchen. You won't find many recipes that don't requiremeasurements of some kind. Measuring cups come in two basic types:
Graded cups range in sizes from 1/4 cup to 1 cup and can range from 4 to 6 cups in a set.Use graded cups to measure dry ingredients and solid fats, such as shortening.
Glass cups are available in a wide range of sizes, the most common being 1 cup, 2 cups, and 4cups. Use these cups for measuring liquids.When measuring thick, sticky liquids such as honey, molasses, and corn syrup, spray the inside of the measuring glasswith nonstick cooking spray or grease it a little with oil. The liquid will then be much easier to remove.
Measuring dry ingredients
To measure flour, sugar, breadcrumbs, and other dry ingredients (with the exception of brown sugar in manycases), spoon the ingredients lightly into the measuring cup.
Do not shake the cup to make level! 
Take thestraight edge of a knife (not the cutting edge) and level off the ingredient. Leveling it off gives you one levelcup. If the recipe calls for a heaping cup, do not level off the cup. Instead, leave a small mounded top of ingredients.Sometimes ingredients, such as brown sugar, shreddedcheeses, coconut, or herbs, are called for as lightly or firmly packed. Why pack? Generally, these ingredients are bulkier and can form big air pockets if you usethe traditional spoon-and-level method of measuring. If you apply light or slightly firm pressure to theingredients, you eliminate some of the air pockets and get a more accurate measurement. Never push theingredients in so much that you actually crush them or pack them in so tightly that you have difficulty gettingthem out the of cup measure. If you do so, you will over measure, adding too much of the ingredient. A good
visual cue that you have lightly packed something is that after you pour it out of the measuring cup, it willlose the shape of the cup it was in. If it's firmly packed, it will slightly retain the shape of the measuring cupafter it's dumped out into the bowl, but it will be easy to stir apart.To measure chopped nuts, shredded cheese, fresh herbs, and coconut, spoon the ingredients into themeasuring cup and pack down lightly.
Measuring fats and other solids
To measure shortening, spoon the ingredients into a cup and pack down firmly with a spoon or rubber spatula to eliminate any air holes. Bakers, these days, don't often have to measure fats because butter andmargarine come in conveniently measured sticks. One stick equals 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup. Two sticksequal 1 cup. You still have to measure solid shortening, but now they make shortening sticks, so even thattask has been greatly simplified.If you're measuring fats, an easy way to keep the cup clean (and save yourself time by not having to wash it) is to place apiece of plastic wrap in the measuring cup first. Then, after the shortening is measured, pull the ends of the plastic out of the cup. The measuring cup stays clean and you have perfectly measured shortening.
Measuring liquids
Always use a glass measuring cup for measuring liquids. For an accurate reading, always rest the cup on alevel surface and read at eye level.Sometimes the container in which you purchase an ingredient might be labeled in ounces when your recipecalls for cup or spoon measurements (or vice versa). Check out Table 1 for some common equivalencies.
Table 1: Measurement Equivalents
If a Recipe Calls for This Amount You Also Can Measure It This Way 
Dash2 or 3 drops (liquid) or less than 1/8 teaspoon(dry)1 tablespoon3 teaspoons or 1/2 ounce2 tablespoons1 ounce1/4 cup4 tablespoons or 2 ounces1/3 cup5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon1/2 cup8 tablespoons or 4 ounces1 cup16 tablespoons or 8 ounces
1 pint2 cups or 16 ounces or 1 pound1 quart4 cups or 2 pints1 gallon4 quarts1 pound16 ounces
When I was a working at Hyatt I loved heat and serve rolls. I wouldbeg my coworkers to show me on the first day of work how tomaking homemade items. Now that I have middle age adult.I loveto baking, I can't imagine what I was thinking when I did not trythis at home!Homemade biscuits are so easy to make, and if you follow a fewsimple rules, they will always turn out fluffy and delicious. I usewhat I call the Grandma Method. I don't use a pastry cutter, or afork, I use my clean hands to work in the butter with the flour. It'smessy, but it works for me. Whether you do this or another method,it's important not to overwork your biscuit dough. Mix until it's allmoistened, and then GENTLY fold it over rather than kneading,then roll it out, or pat into shapes. I must thank the Lord for mythird job that I took good notes to share with many others
Baking Powder Biscuits
(from a 1982 Recipe)Ingredients:2 cups sifted flour

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