Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tips on cake, bread and types of flours

When baking with butter:

  • Butter must be below 68°F to trap air molecules and build structure. Otherwise, the fat will liquefy and the cake will be flat.

  • To obtain cool butter, cut the chilled butter into chunks and let it sit in a bowl for 5 minutes before beating.

When mixing cake batter:

  • Don’t over beat the eggs, sugar and butter. Beat the flour just until there are no visible signs of dry flour, but not until the batter is completely smooth.

Cake flour:

  • Cake flour is obtained from soft wheat (by milling) that has lower gluten and higher starch contents than all purpose flour. It helps to ensure a fluffy texture in cakes and pastries. You can use all-purpose flour for cake making by reducing the amount by two tsp per cup.

  • To make bread, protein rich flour is required in order to get a decent rise out of the loaf.

  • All purpose flour is useful to make biscuits (cookies), muffins, quick breads, cakes pie crusts, etc. However, for regular baking of cakes and breads, using appropriate flour is recommended.

  • To hydrate the flour, adjust the amount of water that is added. Use more water if whole wheat flour is added to a recipe, less if bread flour is substituted for whole wheat.

  • Don't add any leavening agents to make quick breads, biscuits, muffins, and pancakes if self rising flour already contains baking powder.