Baking might actually be a hidden hobby for almost everyone, including for you who consider yourselves amateurs. Oftentimes, you want to try to make your very own cakes at home. But, just by looking at the recipe, you’re already confused by its meanings. No need to worry! Here, we will explain 8 common baking terms to be understood by beginners.
When you find a ‘mixing’ instruction on a recipe, it means you have to mix the ingredients of the cake using a tool, in the form of a mixer or whisk. Both tools can be used to mix the mixture during a process which allows a lot of air entering it. Mixing must be done intensely and quickly.
2. Mix until Soft Peak
‘Mixing’ instructions on a recipe usually come in two forms. The first one is soft peak. This means there is a process of inserting air bubbles into the solved eggs by using a high-speed mixer. When the mixer is lifted, the mixture will form a blunt peak that can easily fall, known as a soft peak.
3. Mix until Hard Peak
Different from the previous term, hard peak is a stage in mixing when the texture feels stiff and that when the bowl is turned over, the mixture will not spill. The process of mixing until ‘hard peak’ requires a longer duration than ‘soft peak’ since it has to collect a lot of air to make the texture stiff.
Stirring means mixing all ingredients of a cake by using tools, such as a spoon or a spatula. The movements are not as fast and as intense as ‘mixing’. When you stir a mixture, you don’t let too much air entering the mixture. A stirring process is not too long, as long as the mixture becomes even. In fact, if it takes too long, stirring process can make a dough become clot.
Many recipes warn you to be careful so that the cake mixture doesn’t get lumpy. Well, what does it mean? In baking, lumpy means that there are hard lumps in the mixture that are not evenly mixed. This usually occurs in the stirring process. The causes are varied, ranging from incorrect ingredients to improper stirring method.
Kneading is the process of mixing ingredients by stirring and pulling the mixture by hand. Kneaded is the stage where the dough finally has an intact shape and a fine texture. The process of kneading until smooth can take 5-7 minutes. Besides using hands, this process can also be done by using a dough hook.
7. Kneaded and Smooth
‘Kneaded and smooth’ means that the dough is perfectly mixed to the point it doesn’t stick to the hand or container. Kneading process is considered successful if the dough becomes really “smooth”, which means that the dough doesn’t feel sticky in hand, feels soft and chewy when pinched or hit, and will stretch like rubber when pulled from two sides.
In baking, there is also a term known as waterbath. This process is usually done to melt chocolate. Steaming through waterbath is cooking with water as a conduit of heat, so the food does not come in direct contact with fire. The trick in this method is to put the container containing the mixture on top of another container filled with hot water.
Those are common baking terms that you need to know. Are you ready to make your own cake? With Pondan, you can make anything you want. Simply choose: brownies, pancake, sponge cake, or soes cake? It’s all here and easy to make. Come check out all our recipes on baking and cakes in this page!