Being really interested to improve my baking, I have managed to hunt for another decent read this week ( in my public library! ).
The book I will be sharing for this post will be The Baking Answer Book by Lauren Chattman. I mean since the title is so blatantly obvious, it definitely attracted my attention immediately!
As promised as well, stated under the title, it says ” solutions to every problem you’ll ever face, answers to every question you’ll ever ask”. The author was definitely not lying when she stated so! There is quite a decent spread of information shared with the readers.
After reading this, my understanding of baking in several aspects has improved. The explanation of processes in baking such as rolling techniques has been clear cut and concise. What I like most about this book is the illustrations produced as well especially since words can be inadequate in explaining information such as the various ways we can create designs on our pie pastry.
Without further ado, I shall proceed to share some of the information I have learnt from this book and you can consider purchasing or borrowing it!
1. Why do we add sugar to egg whites during whipping and when do we add it in?
Apparently the sugar coats the proteins so they don’t dry out and harden, allowing the egg white to be more stable and less likely to deflate. Since it slows down the incorporation of air, it’s better to whip the egg whites till foamy before adding in the sugar. We also won’t want to add the sugar too late or the whites would have dried out.
2. Why do some recipes call for the mixing of cocoa powder with boiling water?
By doing so, it actually allows us to get rid of lumps without whisking. On top of which, it even amplifies the chocolate flavour of the powder.
A personal note I made to myself is that if you’re doing so to a recipe that doesn’t require you to do so, do adjust the liquid and dry ingredients ratio to ensure the recipe will still work out! The extra amount of boiling water can be sufficient to tilt the recipe off balance.
3. When shaping hand formed cookies, the dough can get sticky and sticks to our hand. How can we solve this?
1. The author suggests letting the dough rest 10 minutes with the best to refrigerate for 10 to 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate too long or it will cause the dough to be dried out.
Personally for me I will definitely refrigerate it especially since I live in a tropical country that is really humid and warm. This will allow the butter to be less soft and hence less sticky.
2. You can also wet your hands with tap water. The coldness and dampness of your hands can prevent it.
There’s many other information such as what are the properties to make pastry flaky! I won’t elaborate much on this page ( as I don’t want to infringe copyright) but I would recommend you to get this book to find out! It was worth the read.
There were definitely parts that weren’t relevant to me such as the comparison between organic and normal flour. However, if you’re interested in these information, this book is definitely for you! Here are the other information presented as well:
I won’t rate the book anymore because I realized they all present information from different bakers that are useful. In addition, many different bakers have different ways to things. Being exposed to their respective reasons will definitely broaden our scope of knowledge in baking!
With that, all the best in baking!- Bakeomaniac, Javier Tan!