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Old 02-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #21
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I hope you're reading this Dawg.......yet another reason we don't bake.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:11 PM   #22
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I hope you're reading this Dawg.......yet another reason we don't bake.
:roflmao: Oh yeah, Kayelle!!!
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #23
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For cake or any recipe that calls for all purpose flour, I do sift it, even if the recipe doesn't say to. I put all the dry ingredients together and sift. That's it! I don't measure any of it again. And I don't weigh it either. The only reason I sift is because it is something my mother taught me to do. And I have never done differently.

There is a thread that is active right now regarding corn bread. I put the sugar, corm meal, baking powder and flour all together in the sifter after I have measured it out according to American measurements. Then I sift it all together on a piece of wax paper and use the paper as a funnel when adding to the wet ingredients. I do the same for when I am making a cake.

We use the scoop and scrape method here in the States. That is, scoop up the dry ingredient and then with the back of a knife, scrape off the top of the cup until it is all level. Since you sift in England, then I say stick with it. Dump the dry ingredient into your sifter, then add other ingredients in the same manner. Even if it is a spoonful of an ingredient. Scoop and scrape off the excess until it is level in the spoon. Add to your sifter along with your other ingredients. When all you dry ingredients are in the sifter, then sift them all together. American standard recipes do not call for weighing.

Does this answer your questions? If not, keep asking and I will try to make it clearer.
A belated thank you, Addie.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:25 AM   #24
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Well, you guys will know from last weeks posts started by me that buying a set of Cups ( shiny ones!! ) was exactly what I did. Found a set in town. I don't know if that thread is still available but i got a lot of support and advice which was great. Glad I'm not the only one figuring it out though
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:18 AM   #25
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I still say that baking isn't as fussy as many people think. I made banana bread for a pot luck yesterday. The recipe called for baking soda and buttermilk. After I had combined all of the dry ingredients, I realized that I had no buttermilk. I didn't want to add baking powder as a replacement as the alkali flavors would be too strong. So to the 1 tsp. of baking soda already mixed in, I added 1 tsp. cream of tartar, obviously not the same as the recipe posted in this thread for home-made baking powder. But the banana bread came out spectacular, with a wonderful loft, and intense, banana flavor.

I broke all the rules, and still came out with a wonderful end result. I do this kind of thing all the time, playing fast and loose with my pastries, cakes, quickbreads, cookies, etc. Once you know how the various ingredients play with each other, you can almost throw away the recipe books and still come up with great results.

For me, recipes are something to get me in the ballpark. Once I'm in, improvisation is how I play the game.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:09 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I still say that baking isn't as fussy as many people think. I made banana bread for a pot luck yesterday. The recipe called for baking soda and buttermilk. After I had combined all of the dry ingredients, I realized that I had no buttermilk. I didn't want to add baking powder as a replacement as the alkali flavors would be too strong. So to the 1 tsp. of baking soda already mixed in, I added 1 tsp. cream of tartar, obviously not the same as the recipe posted in this thread for home-made baking powder. But the banana bread came out spectacular, with a wonderful loft, and intense, banana flavor.

I broke all the rules, and still came out with a wonderful end result. I do this kind of thing all the time, playing fast and loose with my pastries, cakes, quickbreads, cookies, etc. Once you know how the various ingredients play with each other, you can almost throw away the recipe books and still come up with great results.

For me, recipes are something to get me in the ballpark. Once I'm in, improvisation is how I play the game.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I agree that baking isn't as fussy as it seems. It's just that when you've spent a lifetime with one method it 's hard to pick up another (eg me and the weighing or cup thing).

I'm writing this while the FN is burbling in the back ground and as I was reading about your banana bread I realised that the presenter was demonstrating....banana bread. Eek!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:04 PM   #27
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I agree that baking isn't as fussy as it seems. It's just that when you've spent a lifetime with one method it 's hard to pick up another (eg me and the weighing or cup thing).

I'm writing this while the FN is burbling in the back ground and as I was reading about your banana bread I realised that the presenter was demonstrating....banana bread. Eek!
I'm coming from the other perspective. I spent my life using cups for measure, and I've moved to Australia where everything is either metric..._or_ cups and tablespoons that are different volumes than American cups and tablespoons. I had to buy measuring cups and spoons from Amazon in order to keep baking using my own recipes. My husband was a little miffed at the shipping costs but he agreed the baked goods I churn out have paid for themselves.

And while it's not as fussy as it seems, small changes can have big consequences. I just helped someone figure out why their favorite family cake recipe was sinking in the middle when they baked it. This was a recipe they'd been battling with for over a decade. Someone along the line had (apparently) switched the measures for baking soda and baking powder. This was a fairly small mistake (one extra teaspoon of baking soda, total) but it just happens that a single teaspoon was enough to make a problem. We swapped the ingredients the other way and the cake baked up with a slightly domed top, instead of a sunken pit in the middle, and with generally the same texture and flavor.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:27 AM   #28
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If you look at the Nestle Toll house cookie recipe, you will notice that it calls for baking soda. There are no acidic ingredients in the recipe. The baking soda is used simply to add flavor, rather than act as a leavening agent. That's why these cookies are so flat and chewy. If you replace the baking soda with baking powder, and add a tbs. of water, leaving all the other ingredients the same, then the cookies become more cake-like, and softer.

I noticed that in chocolate mayonnaise cakes, teh same thing happens. Though this cake has no walnuts in it, it tastes like it does, because of the baking soda in the recipe.

For me, recipes are a starting point, especially if I've never made something before. Then, it's my job to become creative, and see what I can do to either improve it, or tailor it to a specific purpose.

That way of cooking has taught me lot. Sometimes I fail, but more often than not, I get pretty close to what I want to achieve, and frequently, my efforts are dead on.

Don't be afraid of baking. Treat it as a school lab. Experiment. See how things work. It's really pretty fun stuff.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Oldvine View Post
I'm not sure you can simply pump up a cake to make it more soft and swollen by adding more leavening agents. Different recipes create different results. A sponge cake would be fluffier than a pound cake or carrot cake. I don't do many fluffy/swollen cakes so can't offer a good suggestion. I'm sure some one will be able to help you here.
Also, a liquid measure cup is different from a dry measure cup and is some recipes, the difference might be critical.
Too much raising agent and your cake will rise spectacularly.... and then collapse! Stick to the recipe as it's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:50 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
If you look at the Nestle Toll house cookie recipe, you will notice that it calls for baking soda. There are no acidic ingredients in the recipe. The baking soda is used simply to add flavor, rather than act as a leavening agent. That's why these cookies are so flat and chewy. If you replace the baking soda with baking powder, and add a tbs. of water, leaving all the other ingredients the same, then the cookies become more cake-like, and softer.

I noticed that in chocolate mayonnaise cakes, teh same thing happens. Though this cake has no walnuts in it, it tastes like it does, because of the baking soda in the recipe.

For me, recipes are a starting point, especially if I've never made something before. Then, it's my job to become creative, and see what I can do to either improve it, or tailor it to a specific purpose.

That way of cooking has taught me lot. Sometimes I fail, but more often than not, I get pretty close to what I want to achieve, and frequently, my efforts are dead on.

Don't be afraid of baking. Treat it as a school lab. Experiment. See how things work. It's really pretty fun stuff.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
If you get too creative with baking powder or baking soda your cake will have a nasty bitter after taste. There's a well-known self-raising flour on my side of the Pond which always makes cakes taste nasty due to too much bicarbonate of soda in the raising agent mix. Bleuch!
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