Baking Terms

Baking Terms That You May Need to Know

Baking terms can be found in every cookbook in America.  If you have been baking for a long time then you probably understand most of these terms.  However, if you are new to baking, these terms may frustrate and confuse you.  Taking the time to understand these terms will help you improve your baking skills.  You will eventually feel more confident in the kitchen.  Who knows, you may even find baking relaxing once you know what you are doing.

If you find a recipe that you would like to follow it is going to be full of numerous terms that you are going to need to understand.  The first of several baking terms that are going to be defined is the term beat.  This means that you are going to mix ingredients together while incorporating air into the mixture.  You complete this task by mixing the ingredients in a rapid, circular motion.  You can use a number of utensils to beat the ingredients together.  You can use a wooden spoon, a mixer, a wire whisk or even a food processor.

Baking terms will include words such as blanch and caramelize as well.  Blanch simply means that you are going to place food into boiling water for a brief period of time in order to cook it quickly and part of the way.  Then you will remove it from the boiling water and place it into cold water.  This will stop the cooking process.  This is very easy to do and should not cause you any stress when you see the word in the future.  Caramelizing means that you are going to melt sugar down until it is brown and in the form of a liquid.  This is often done in order to give the sugar a certain type of flavor.

Baking terms may relate to the consistency of certain ingredients as well.  For example, if you see the term coats spoon, this means that you are going to place a metal spoon into a mixture that you just prepared and pull it out.  If you allow the mixture to drain off of the spoon and it leaves a thin layer on the spoon then you know you have reached the correct consistency.  Cream is defined as mixing one or more things together until it is smooth and appears to be fluffy.  This is usually done with butter, sugar and eggs.

The baking term cool means that you are going to allow something to get to room temperature.  This does not mean that you are going to place your food in the freezer or the refrigerator in order for it to cool down.  However, some recipes may ask you to do this.  If it is specified then you should follow the instructions.

A good term that is great to understand is the word proof.  This word is very important when baking and it means that you need to let the yeast in your mixture rise before you place it in the oven to bake.  It can also mean that you need to mix the yeast with water and dissolve it.  Once this is done, you will place it off to the side so that it can begin to bubble. Then it is ready for use.

Now that you have an idea of some of the common baking terms you may see when you are cooking you should feel a little more confident in your abilities.  Baking is not hard as long as you understand the common terms and how to achieve each individual step of the recipe.  The more you read and learn the better you will become.  If you start baking and you do not know what something means you can always look it up.  Do not let baking terms hold you back any longer.