BAKING

The term Baking is usually applied to Bakery / Confectionery (flour based products) but may also be used for pasta dishes, potatoes, fruits and pates. Generally, the principle of baking involves dry oven heat, any moisture being supplied by the food itself, which will modify the dryness of convected heat.

As with roasting and poeler the main heat transfer for baking is CONVECTION. As the CONVECTED HEAT comes into contact with the surface of the food heat is CONDUCTED through. Radiated heat from the source of supply will also be absorbed by the food to a certain extent. Baking therefore relies on a combination of heat transfer types. It is difficult to provide exact information regarding the temperatures involved. Some commodities require a high temperature during the initial stages of cooking reducing later to a more gentle temperature, (e.g. Profiteroles – after the initial cooking period the temperature is reduced, allowing them to dry out, therefore remaining crisp when cool). Meringues require extended baking times at very low temperatures in order to dehydrate them totally, whereas puff pastry goods require comparatively high temperatures to help the paste to rise and set.

FOOD COMMODITIES FOR BAKING:

FOOD COMMODITY

FINISHING FOR SERVICE Egg wash

WHY

SUITABLE TIME FOR SERVICE Breakfast

Croissants

To enhance appearance To gratinate to enhance appearance To enhance appearance

Lasagne

Grated Cheese

Lunch, Dinner or Buffet Lunch Sweet

Apple Pie

Egg white and castor sugar

IMPORTANT POINTS: (1) (2) (3) (4) Prime quality foods only. No liquid added. No fat added. Not usually covered.

Only foods of the highest quality are suitable for baking.

In order to achieve a high level of quality in pastry goods it is good practice to allow the pastry to rest before baking. If the pastry is either stretched during rolling or if it is not allowed to rest before baking it will shrink and lose shape in the oven. If a forced air convection oven is used it is possible to bake several trays of goods at different levels within the oven cavity. As mentioned in the section on Roasting, the convection of the hot air inside the oven is assisted by a fan and then helps to provide a more even temperature throughout. A convectional oven, also working in the principle of convected heat will inevitably be hotter at the top. It is therefore necessary to pay particular attention to this difference when baking goods. Some purpose designed pastry ovens have ‘Top Heat’ and ‘Bottom Heat’ controls to combat this problem. Temperature control requires particular attention. Higher temperatures are required when the item being baked needs to set or to rise, e.g. puff pastry and choux pastry goods, with the temperature being after this stage to complete the cooking process. Lower temperatures are used if the cooking time is extensive, e.g. large celebration cakes and meringues. The action of yeast should cease almost immediately when bread is placed in the oven. If the temperature is too low the yeast will continue to produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) and the bread may over prove and lose shape. If puff pastry goods are placed in a cool oven the pastry will not rise successfully and the goods would also lose shape. Too hot an oven would lead to a celebration cake being overcooked and dry on the exterior and perhaps wet and raw in the centre. Meringues would colour and not dry totally if the temperature was too high and when cool would simply collapse.

Source: Foundation stage OCLD: Module F101 A

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