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Old 08-11-2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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Stupid baking questions

i'm sure most of you already know this but i've never read the answer to this question that has been bothering me for ages, so i thought this is the best place to ask:

i know baking is very specific and must be accurate when it comes to measurements etc...but what happens if you don't have the baking pan size specified? is there some mathematical formula to follow in order to convert oven temperature to the appropriate one for that size? is that the temperature that we change or is it the amount of baking time? which kind of baking pans is the best? ceramic? aluminium? glass? or does it depend on what kind of baking product it is?

i hope somebody can answer these questions for me...the cookbooks i have don't say anything, and i really don't know any other professional baker...

thanks!

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Old 08-11-2006, 02:17 PM   #2
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hi Try looking in the Cake Doctor cook book . Also A Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen, if you have a Borders book store near by, just go to the cokking section and pick up the book and settle into one of their chairs and read away, I do it all the time I am stimped on something.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
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thanks elf! are those american books? we do have borders in the uk but sometimes american books don't reach us here. will check amazon website. thanks again!
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:48 PM   #4
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elf, i found a cake mix doctor in amazon...is this the one you mean? by ann byrn
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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I would look at the book before you buy on line to make sure that it has the info you neeed. The book I was talking about is the Cake mix Doctor by Anne Byrn ISBN 0-7611-1790. I would, before I bought anything look in Borders or any other book store you have there. She dose have a handy conversion table in the back for weights and measures and also a heat table Good Luck
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:28 PM   #6
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I keep hearing that baking is requires exact measurements. But my youngest daughter and I tend to throw together cookie recipes, pie crusts, and even cakes and such without recipes, knowing the basic idea of what we want, then winging it. More often than not, the recipes turn out very good. And where lisa is concerned, especially with her cookies, they frequently come out amazingly good. The only down side is that it can be difficult to repeat an amazing recipe if it isn't carefully written down.

For instance, I took Audeo's Banana Bread recipe and altered it last night, out of necessity. I had three, large and ripe bannanas that needed to be used before they went bad. And I started making the recipe. About half-way through, I went to the fridge to get the sour cream, or yogurt (I don't remember which off the top of my head) and found that we were fresh out. So I added 2 tbs. of baking powder and a touch of concentrated butterscotch flavoring. I also increased the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup. The result was very good bannana bread that was consumed by members of my family before It was even cold. It wasn't better than Audeo's original recipe, but it was just as good. And breads, I never measure anything for my breads and they come out very good as well.

I will say that you need to learn the basic principles of making doughs, cookie dooughs, batters and what not from a recipe. But once you have the basics down, feel free to experiment, substitute, and change things, including temperatures and such. Then you can adapt when you need to.

I kow several people on this site who do the same thing as I do. Once you get comfortable with baking, it's no more difficult than making a good sauce on top of the stove.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:30 PM   #7
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Red face Stupid questions

There are no stupid questions --- maybe some dumb answers though. This may help--- the size of pan you use determines the length of time in baking, smaller-(longer time, larger shorter cooking time. I use glass, ceramic, stainless steel, cast iron - each hold heat differently. Shouldn't put glass in oven above 350' Hope this little bit helps --- Barb L.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:46 PM   #8
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This is one of my infamous - basically no need to recreate the wheel moments ... no need to buy books ... just check the Baking911 site Pan-Subs page here! It gives you info on subs for size, materials, temp adjustments, etc.

In fact - Baking911.com is a good general reference for most basic baking questions.

If you have a copy of Joy of Cooking ... there is a very good explanation of how different baking pans (bright shiney aluminum, dull aluminum, dark aluminum or steel, glass, etc.) affact the color, texture and baking times. But, I think that is all covered on the Baking911 site, too.

If you are an Alton Brown fan, and know who Shirley Corriher is, she is a consultant on Baking911.

Like Barb said - there are no dumb questions ... but you might get some mighty stange answers from time to time that have little, if anything, to do with your question.
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Old 08-12-2006, 03:16 AM   #9
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thanks for all the info...just got the joy of cooking book yesterday after someone from another thread highly recommended it (and i was toying with the idea for months anyway), so i will look into that section, Michael. and check out that baking911 too, thanks. like in everything else, i see that all one needs is just a little bit more courage to go beyond the rules. i've done all sorts of baking but because i mostly do a recipe i'm interested in only once, especially in baking (i still have a whole lot of desserts to try), i've never taken that next step to experimenting with a "familiar" recipe because almost nothing is really "familiar".
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #10
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I also use Baking911.com . It is a great site with tons of answers to basic questions.
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