Hi foodies and bakers,
While baking at home, there are a common skills at everyday baker needs to master. Why? Baking is very technique based, you will see repetitive methodologies throughout pastry recipes. How does one master these skills? Practice, of course! Luckily, the end result is very sweet and delicious.
Skill 1: Creaming Method
Creaming method (read more about it here) is where fats and sugars are combined and become uniform. Air is also incorporated to bring more volume to the baked good. This skill is very easily mastered and most people can easily. Most cookies, some cakes, and quick breads use the creaming method.
Skill 2: Blind Baking
Need a fully cooked pie or tart crust? Blind baking is when a raw crust is fully cooked in the oven. It is a time consuming skill because if you choose to make your own crust, you need to chill it 100% before baking it in the oven. Pro tip: Instead of buying expensive pie weights, use dried beans or rise to weight down your pie/tart crust.
Skill 3: Folding
Folding is a skill where whipped cream or egg whites are 'folded' into a base. Chiffon cakes, pies, and mousses are the most common where folding techniques are present.
The key? Fold the whipped ingredient in x3 and make a 'J' into the base. Go slow and don't rush this process. The final product should be 3x in volume before the fold.
Skill 4: Tempering
Tempering is when hot liquid in slowly mixed into whipping room temperature eggs/egg yolks. Tempering helps prevent eggs from curdling. Most likely, after tempering, the mixture is cooked again. Ice cream bases, creme anglaise, and custards are recipes that require tempering
Skill 5: Cutting fat into dry ingredients
Cutting fat (most popular, butter) is a common technique were flaky layers are made. Fat is simply rubed into the dry ingredients until pea-size shaped. The best way to do this is with your own two hands. Pie crusts and biscuits are the two most common recipes that require butter being cut in.
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