World Baking Day 2020: 10 most common baking questions answered by chefs – PINKVILLA

World Baking Day 2020: Are you a budding baker and want to know some tips and tricks then read on. 3 chefs have answered some of the commonly asked questions.

Every third Sunday in May, World Baking Day is celebrated with great zeal and of course, a lot of buns, cookies and cakes are prepared on this day. People have been baking food since time immemorial and thanks to its creator we can now enjoy so many decadent sweets and savoury baked goodies.  As per some reports, world’s oldest oven is over 6,500 years old. Yes, you read it right! Bread baking was started apparently in 600 BC in Ancient Greece. Did you know Egyptians were the first ones to use yeast when baking bread? 

Baking is now a common practice and is done in almost every country. Some of the popular baked goods are apple pie, macarons, black forest cake, choco chip cookies, baklava, cannoli, Yorkshire pudding, brownies, and pretzels. Amid lockdown, many have been trying ther hands at cooking and baking. If you are budding baker and want to know more in-depth about this cooking process then read on. We asked three chefs to solve the common queries that many bakers have. So, read the answers, wear the chef hat, and prepare something delicious. 

World Baking Day 2020: Check out cost common baking questions:

Rochelle Kapoor, Owner of Chunky’s Cake Shop has answered the following questions 

Q1 : Important substitute ideas that all bakers should know?

Ans. As a baker, I am often being asked about the number of substitutes that can be used while maintaining the overall taste and texture of the cake. But the top three ingredients which I get asked about the most are Eggs, Maida (white flour), and Butter. So here are my best substitutes for the three ingredients:

People who don’t like eggs often can use buttermilk/ over-ripened bananas as a substitute to eggs to retain moisture in the cake.

Often Maida (white flour) can be replaced with Almond Flour or coconut flour for Keto cakes. Rava is also used as a substitute for it.  

If needed, Butter can be substituted with Oil at times too.

Q2: Why cake gets dark and dry and how to get smooth cakes with no cracks?

Ans. People experimenting with baking often send me images of their cakes which look a little dark and dry from the normal cakes they are used to eating. Most of the time it is due to over baking the cake that makes it lose the color and makes it appear dry. Another reason for it is if one doesn’t use the right amount of butter/ fat that the recipe calls for makes the cake look dark and taste dry too. Take care of these two reasons to have a cake with no cracks.

Q3: Sometimes cakes sunk and becomes gooey in the middle, so what went wrong?

Ans. Another issue I hear most often is that the cake looks good and tastes fine but the cake appears sunk and becomes gooey in the middle. Here is my recommendation to correct this:

We need to so sift the baking soda/ powder along with the flour so that it’s evenly distributed and the cake when baked can rise evenly at the right temperature. Also, don’t open the oven door unnecessarily during baking as the temperature is lost, air vacuum is created in the cake dips in the center and is often results raw/ gooey and unbaked cake.

Q4: How can one perfect their bake with simple tips?

Ans. Baking a perfect cake takes little time and experience but here are my 3 simple tips to have a perfect cake:

1. Preheat the oven to required temperature before baking so that you don’t put a cake into a cold oven.

2. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature, except if the recipe demands otherwise.

3. Measure all ingredients using a weighing scale, measuring cup. Don’t use inappropriate measures like a handful of “more or less”.

Aditi Handa – Co-Founder and Chief Baker – The Baker’s Dozenhas answered the following questions 

Q5:  Some hacks for people who don’t have measuring spoons and tools?

Ans. If you don’t have measuring spoons use your normal spoons at home:

1 tsp = 5 gms = use a spoon with a length of 3.5cm appx

1 tbsp = 15 gms = use a spoon with a length of 5.5 cm appx.

Q6:  What are the common mistakes that happen and how to rectify with smartly?

Ans: The first mistake is scaling, so whenever you scale rescale just to be sure. If you are following a recipe which mentions in cups and spoons then check the origin country of the book/website. Australia, UK, USA also have different cup sizes. When you are mixing the dough or the batter instead of following the number of mins of the recipe try to look at the result achieved. E.g if the recipe says whisk eggs for 2 mins until pale yellow and double in volume. In this case, you should whisk until pale yellow and double in volume irrespective of the time taken. Each mixer has a different rpm and if whisking by hand each hand has a different strength. Whilst baking, keep checking your product every 10 mins just in case you need to make alterations to the baking temperature or oven setting. Whilst baking a cake usually dry products are added in the end. At this step try using a spatula to incorporate it evenly rather than a whisk. Fast motions of the whisk may break down all the volume and structure developed

Q7:  Difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream?

Ans: The difference between heavy cream and a heavy whipping cream is usually the fat content. The higher the fat content the more structure it can hold and will be tastier.  Heavy cream is more suitable for cakes, etc. Whipping cream is lighter and can be used on top of coffee or a milkshake or ice cream.  

Chef Ishijyot Surri, Executive Chef, SJI Hospitality and Foods Private Limited answered the following questions 

Q 8: Many times frosting melts, how can one prevent that?

Ans: The frosting is buttery and creamy in texture and is used to cover the cake from outside. The ingredients that are put into making of frosting are sugar, cream, egg whites & cream cheese. While preparing the frosting it’s been noticed that frosting generally melts. The reasons can be listed from making frosting ahead of time until not applying the preparation method properly. The common reasons frosting melts could be not paying attention to the environmental temperatures. Preparing frosting in hot climatic conditions don’t allow the ingredients to come together and bind. Similarly, a very cold environment can break the frosting into pieces. This can be avoided by working at a temperature from 18 to 22degree Celsius. Another reason could be excessive use of syrups like corn syrup or maple syrup or water-based colorings or even milk can be the culprit. This could be the case while using whipped creams and fondants. To avoid this, it’s always recommended to use concentrates or gel-based colours.

Q9: Alternative to aluminum tin and ramekins?

Ans: The aluminum tins are usually used for baking bread, muffins or cakes; whereas the ramekins are used for baked soufflés and puddings. Generally, the question arises when the aluminum tins and ramekins are not available. The solution for that can be usage of Borosil glassware which is heat resistant or ceramic ware can be used for soufflés and puddings such as crème caramel or crème Brulee. Similarly, silicon baking ware can be used for cakes, muffins, and bread.

Q10: What is the difference between fermenting and proofing?

Ans: Fermenting and Proofing are procedures that are used in the process of making bread. The dictionary definition of fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and giving off of the heat. In simple words: Any energy-releasing metabolic process that takes place only under anaerobic conditions. In the bakery, the fermentation is generally deciphered as the process of an anaerobic biological process that converts sugars and starches into simpler substances. This occurs when the fresh yeast is added to water containing a small quantity of flour and sugar; it causes yeast to convert sugars into carbon dioxide. The hydration of dry yeast is also known as proofing. In a bakery, proofing is a process where the yeast dough bread is allowed to rest and rise before baking the dough.

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