Baking

Butter
– Frozen butter is best for making pie dough. Grate it (note courtesy of Ben’s mom)

Fat
– Oil makes a moister baked product
– Butter makes a drier baked product

Methods & Troubleshooting
Whisk dry ingredients to blend thoroughly
Stir (a wooden spatula works very well) upon adding wet ingredients. If you are baking non-batter goods – e,g. cinnamon buns, and you carry on whisking, your dough breaks up into little pieces and bakes hard with a crusty, broken texture instead of a fluffy one.

Pizza
– For a chewy crust, add semolina – use up to and no more than 25% of your total amount of pizza dough (flour) in semolina. Semolina absorbs liquid in its rest period. Too much creates a drier crust that’s hard to chew on.
– For a crispy crust, brush oil along the base of your baking dish and on top of your pizza base. Great for thin crust pizzas.
– For a crisp(ier) cheddar crust, roll our your pizza dough super thin, stretch it, sprinkle grated cheese generously over the surface of the dough, and fold (or put a second layer of) dough over top. Makes great bubbles and a firm, crisp base!

Proofing bread
– For a milkier taste in fermentation, proof at room temperature.
– For a slightly sour taste in fermentation, proof in the fridge.
– As a general rule of thumb, the longer the fermentation process, the greater the sour profile of your breads will taste

Shelf-Life
– Fats extend shelf life
– Pre-soaked nuts and seeds extend shelf life
– Dairy ingredients extends shelf life

Sugar
– Sugar is a wet ingredient (note courtesy of Nathan B). You can mix it in with dry ingredients, but it is useful to know that it is a wet ingredient, in recipes such as apple butters since it takes time to boil off the excess liquid (aka you do not need to add extra water to the recipe)

Yeast
– Proof instant yeast (even though you can mix it directly into dry ingredients) as it creates a higher rise (aka greater ‘poof’ value in breads).
– 1/3 – 3/4 tsp per 2 cups of flour (longer rising time for the former, but helps develop flavor. You don’t want too much yeast, otherwise this will affect flavour)

 

Grace’s Basic Bread Dough Recipe for 1 loaf:
– 1/4 cup – 2/3 cup warm water (shower temperature)  –> 1/2 – 2/3
– 1/3 – 2/3 tsp yeast –> 1/2 tbsp yeast
– up to 2 cups flour –> 3 cup flour
– 1 scant tsp salt- -> 1/2 tbsp salt
(opt. pinch of sugar for yeast to ‘eat’)

Additions:
– 1/2 tbsp sweetener –> 3 tbsp sweetener
– 1-3 tbsp flavored oil
– 1/4 cup oil/butter

Knead 5-9 min by hand.

Bake at 375 for 40-45min.

(Heat up a dutch oven, bake loaf covered for 20 min, then continue baking for the remaining time).

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