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Ethnic Cooking Article

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´╗┐Cooking Tips For The Beginner Baker

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Baking can be complicated if an individual does not know what they are doing. Here are some cooking tips and guidelines to assist these individuals.

Before an individual gets started, there are a few steps that should be followed first. These cooking tips will prevent most disasters from happening. Always read through the entire recipe before beginning. This ensures that all necessary ingredients are on hand before starting. Check expiration dates on all non perishable supplies, so that running to the store happens in the middle of baking. Preheat the oven and check with an oven thermometer. Most ovens can run anywhere from twenty five degrees to cooler to twenty five degrees warmer. This ensures that the proper temperature is obtained for the recipe. Follow directions on adjusting oven racks, prepping baking sheets, and using the right baking pan. Measure ingredients accurately this means holding it up to eye level especially with liquids. To measure dry ingredients over fill then level off with flat edge of knife. Finally bake with love, if an individual is angry or rushed the recipe may not turn out right.

These next cooking tips are about ingredients. There are many different kinds of flour, and they are not all the same. Wheat flour is important for all yeast breads. Bread flour works for yeast loaves, however put it in yeast bread and it will turn into a heavy cake. Cake flour is very fine. All purpose flour can be used for most any baking. Bleached and unbleached flours can be used interchangeably. Make sure to store flour in an airtight container, in a spot that cool and dry for up to six months.

Baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and an acid. Its leavening power works when mixed with wet ingredients and then baked into the oven. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. When it mixes with an acid ingredient like buttermilk, yogurt or molasses, it makes carbon dioxide bubbles that make baked goods light and airy.

Cooking tips for handling chocolate are important. First there are different types of chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate is chocolate liquor that has at least fifty percent cocoa butter and no added sugar. Various amounts of sugar added create bittersweet, semisweet, and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is dried milk powder, cocoa butter and added sugar. White chocolate is made with cocoa butter instead of chocolate liquor. Unsweetened cocoa is made from chocolate liquor with seventy five percent cocoa butter removed and then dried and ground into a paste. When melting chocolate it is easy to burn, so always melt it over very low heat. Individuals can choose the double boiler method, the direct heat method, or the microwave oven method.

Using these cooking tips will make almost any baked goodie turn out great.


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