Baking is one of the most delicate culinary arts, which requires careful and precise measurements, ingredients, cooking temperatures, and techniques. Although the fine balancing act of baking is intimidating to some, any home cook can become a master baker with the right ingredients and baking supplies, a little patience, and reliable recipes.
What Is Baking?
Baking is a method of cooking that uses dry heat in an enclosed space. Typically done in an oven, baking occurs when heat makes contact with dough or batter and causes the starches in the dish to change form. This results in the development of a firm, browned surface due to the Maillard reaction, and a soft inside as a result of moisture getting trapped within the baked good. An enclosed space is necessary for baking in order to uniformly distribute heat, resulting in evenly cooked baked goods.
Bread and other baked goods are deeply ingrained in just about every culture, religion, and region of the world. These significant cultural symbols have been the subject of lore, nursery rhymes, and religious texts for thousands of years. Therefore, baking is an essential part of human history and a culinary art form as old as humankind itself.
5 Different Types of Baking
Oven Baking: The most common form of baking, relying on an oven to trap heat in an enclosed space with the dough or batter.
- Steam Baking: A common form of baking in the UK, steaming entraps heat using a small amount of water in a tight-fitting lid and pan to cook baked goods from crumpets to cakes.
- Hot Stone Baking: A method of baking that uses a hot stone to evenly distribute high heat into breads and other baked goods.
- Hot Ash Baking: A primitive form of baking over a bed of fiery ash, typically used to cook flat breads and cakes.
- Grill Baking: A hybrid method of cooking that begins on the grill and is finished in the oven—or vice versa—to infuse baked goods with a slightly smoked or charred flavor.
Essential Baking Tools
Stocking up on baking equipment may be a costly endeavor at the start, but can potentially result in an infinite number of baked goods down the line. These essential tools will help transform a kitchen into a well-equipped home bakery in no time.
- Kitchen Scale: When baking, using precise measurements is essential. A kitchen scale will guarantee the weight of ingredients is just right.
- Oven Thermometer: Ovens can be unreliable when it comes to temperature precision. Use an oven thermometer to guarantee the appliance has hit the exact degree required for a recipe.
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer: Whether a cook opts for a work-intensive hand mixer or a more expensive stand mixer fitted with various attachments (from paddles, whisks, and dough hooks), a good mixer is necessary to the baking process.
- Cake Pans: Invest in a heavy duty 9- by 13-inch baking pan as well as two or three circular cake pans that can handle all of your sheet cakes, layer cakes, and celebratory desserts.
So, these were some of the benefits that you must know related to baking. And with the above section you are even clear with the types of tools you must require for baking.