07 Feb ALL ABOUT BAKING – DRY HEAT COOKING METHOD
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “baking”? Well, not to mention bread, cakes, cookies or other yummy chicken baked dishes. It is probably the process or cooking method, right? You may often think that you need an oven to do the baking, but that is not so. As a matter of fact, check out some of the details about the dry heat cooking method, baking, which i give here.
Introduction to Baking
Above all, baking is a process in which you use prolonged heat to cook food, within some cooking equipment like the Oven. Meanwhile, there was also a time when it was done with the help of hot ashes or even hot stones, as well. Though it started traditionally as homemaker’s occupation, it was further commercialised, and they started to use machines in order to automate baking. For one thing, there are now loads of bakeries around the world, known for their world-renowned signature baked dishes. In fact, you can also see that the masonry oven (the brick or stone oven) resembles an old smoke pit.
A Short History
If you want to know more about the origin of baking in particular, go back to ancient times, and you will see mention of people collecting wild grass grains to soak them in water and mixing it all together and mashing it to form something like a batter. To enumerate, you could pour this batter on to a hot flat rock and cook to form something similar to bread. Meanwhile, in due time, with the advent of fire people also started to roast this batter on an open fire. Now, if you date back to 6500 years, you will see that the world’s first oven originated in Croatia in 2014. Besides, ancient Greeks started to bake bread in 600 B.C, while in Ancient Rome; this cooking method began to make waves in 700 B.C.
The Dry Heat Cooking Method behind Baking
It is the best dry heat cooking method used to bake bread, cakes, cookies, even baked meat/poultry/seafood casseroles or food items that need even heat to cook it throughout. That is to say, baking distributes the heat evenly and helps to prepare the food items thoroughly and consistently throughout. For this, you actually need a closed-off space for heating. Moreover, the fuel for this purpose is from wood, coal, electricity or even gas.
Alternatively, for commercial baking, they make use of thermal or convection method. You can also use a Dutch oven to bake. In some parts of Asia, they also use steaming baskets to get the baking effect for dishes
How Baking Developed
We have already said how baking has been commercialised over a period. As the first step to this, you see that fermentation was introduced and this helped bread loaves to be lighter, naturally inviting wider appreciation. This further developed by introducing interesting flavours of bread. While, earlier barley was used more often, many adopted wheat as an alternative mainly because of its better response to the fermentation process. Then, by 2600 BCE, Egyptians started to use leavening agents to bake loaves of bread. The first oven that came to existence in Egypt is a cylindrical vessel made of Nile clay.
How to go about Baking?
So, now that you know a bit about the origin of baking would you not like to know, how to go about it? First things first, take the ingredients you want, and you would need a baking pan or pie dish as the recipe calls for, which you have to place in a pre-heated oven. It is best to line the baking pan with a parchment paper as it helps to remove the baked food quickly from the container; also, it helps to cook the food through consistently, as it helps the heat to distribute evenly.
Tips to follow while baking
Meanwhile, here are some regular tips to follow for you during this process:
• Why you should sieve dry ingredients together? This helps to add more air and volume to the flour.
• Then there is folding in, which is a process of blending the dry ingredients with stiff wet ingredients such as egg whites or cream and so on. Use a spatula or spoon for this. Do not over mix as it helps to make the mixture lighter
• For a recipe that calls for whipping your egg whites, it is best to separate the yolk from the white, first.
• Make sure to pre-heat the oven before starting with the baking process
• Check the oven temperature and make sure to make modifications to the suggested baking time and temperature, if required
• How do you know if your cake is baked through? You can use the usual poke the cake with a fork or toothpick to see if it comes out clean, method
• In baking, whatever the recipe, it is important to measure ingredients correctly and follow instructions as suggested. Modifications you can do based on your knowledge of the baking process and recipe involved
Foods that taste best when baked
At the same time, here I will mention some of the most regular food items or ingredients that go into some of the baked items. Bread, one of the most common thing that smells great when baked, need ingredients such as flour (rice, wheat, oats, corn, rye and other grains), the leavening agent primarily, and finally water, as suggested. Adding salt to taste helps to enhance the taste. Now, in cakes, the other additions include egg, milk, fat, sugar, different flavours and so. You can also bake fish, meat or other poultry items with fat and suggested seasonings to get some yummy dishes. So now that you know the basics about baking. Let us get Baking!