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Old 03-23-2018, 03:26 PM   #1
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Why - do I have to follow directions?

Why do I have to mix my cooking the way the directions say to do it?
For the most part I have gone step by step and just dump it all in the pot and cook it and haven't noticed any difference.
A good example is bread I just put all ingredients in start the mixer and it comes out just fine.
I have also herd of layering it when it is all cooked it is all mixed up.

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Old 03-23-2018, 03:38 PM   #2
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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Well, if you are 18, or in some counties 21, you have legal right to mix your ingredients in any order you choose. In some counties even teenagers have the right to mix ingredients in the order they choose, especially in home schooling counties. These counties are cookbook free. Another freedom in this country. That was just me kidding around.

Did you have a specific recipe in mind? There are dump cake recipes, where you take a cake mix, add a stick of butter and dump in a baking pan, then dump some pie filling over the top. Bake it and serve it by the spoonful over some ice cream.

Ingredients combine differently depending on the order. So let's say you want to make some puff pastry, it's just butter and flour and salt and water, depending on how you combine it, you could instead take those same ingredients and make some toast with butter on it. It's all in the way you combine them. That is why the order is important.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
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Simon, I have no experience with bread, and as little as possible with baking in general. If I did, I would assume a recipe written by a professional baker would know more than I did, and would follow it exactly. Just me maybe.

On the other hand, I take liberties with directions for savory recipes because I have lots of experience over the years, and can get away with it without a disaster.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:07 PM   #5
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My son is 32, he had an answer for you. He said, take some flour in a bowl, add some water, then add some cheese, then add some tomato sauce, some spices, a little sausage, cook it up and call it pizza.
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:55 PM   #6
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Yes some things need to be made in order like puff pastry or Crescent rolls.
But spaghetti or chilly or stroganoff. Throw it in the pot and cook it. Not to brag but those three turn out very good.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:20 PM   #7
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Yes some things need to be made in order like puff pastry or Crescent rolls.
But spaghetti or chilly or stroganoff. Throw it in the pot and cook it. Not to brag but those three turn out very good.
There are a few meals that are dump and cook. But your spaghetti can get pretty mushy if that pasta is thrown in at the beginning, and in a stroganoff, if you add the sour cream early on, it might break. Crock pot meals can be set it and forget it, mostly meats, then add veggies later. Here is one you might like if that is how you like to cook.

Take 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water in a casserole 9x11 inch pan. Stir in chopped celery, a little chopped onion, some chopped peppers, a can of cream of something soup (I usually use mushroom), then top it off with pieces of chicken, thighs or legs or all the parts with the skin. Cover in foil and bake for an hour, remove the foil then bake until the chicken is browned. The rice is delicious and the chicken is great.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Semon View Post
Yes some things need to be made in order like puff pastry or Crescent rolls.
But spaghetti or chilly or stroganoff... Throw it in the pot and cook it. Not to brag but those three turn out very good.
Hi, Semon. Cooking and baking are very different things... bread products need to be followed very closely (I'm not a baker....), but it's a different story when it comes to casserole meals. I guess I'm not really sure what you mean.

There are some meals that can be 'thrown in the pot' as you said. Anything with a pasta base such as spaghetti or stroganoff, I'd cook the pasta separately, but I'm glad to hear those dishes turned out very good for you.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:55 AM   #9
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Yes some things need to be made in order like puff pastry or Crescent rolls.
But spaghetti or chilly or stroganoff. Throw it in the pot and cook it. Not to brag but those three turn out very good.
There are certain steps that add to the flavor like browning the meat first for your chili or Stroganoff. If you are making stock, roasting bones and vegetables first, before "Throwing it in the pot and cooking it.", will result in a much better color and taste.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:31 AM   #10
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Yes some things need to be made in order like puff pastry or Crescent rolls.
But spaghetti or chilly or stroganoff. Throw it in the pot and cook it. Not to brag but those three turn out very good.
Maybe so, but some steps are procedures to produce the best possible results..Like browning meats, or softening onions and garlic in butter or olive oil when beginning a dish..this will help intensify flavors..
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:46 AM   #11
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Maillard reaction is important for flavours.

When it comes to cake, it becomes fluffier if you cream sugar and butter or whisk eggs and sugar until pale.

And also if you just dump everything in, how do you know it doesn't make a difference??
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:12 PM   #12
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I should have been a little plainer in what I said.
I do brown the meat first in a sauce and I do cook the pasta separately although I did have to do all of it in one pot a time or two it came out pasta separately it was a little starchy but not bad. I am not a chef but a lot of what I have cooked is as good as some of the restaurants I have eaten at.
I did not want to start a big debate or controversy it was just a question. Why I asked was in several places I read how to make bread it said ad all ingredients in order of instructions, I dump all the ingredients in the mixer turn it on let it rise take it out let it rise again bake it. It comes out as good as any I have eaten. I also have gone by the instructions step by step and it came out just as good.
Now if I have stepped on some toes or hurt your sense of order I’m sorry.
The worst part of reading what someone has written is that you don’t know if the writer is mad, joking or just wondering about a simple point.
Personally I am very seldom dead serious. As far as I am concerned cooking and baking should be fun.
So I will bid you a good fair well and thanks for the answers this group has left on any of the questions I have asked, Have fun and enjoy what you do.

Thanks Lee
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:51 PM   #13
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I should have been a little plainer in what I said.
I do brown the meat first in a sauce and I do cook the pasta separately although I did have to do all of it in one pot a time or two it came out pasta separately it was a little starchy but not bad. I am not a chef but a lot of what I have cooked is as good as some of the restaurants I have eaten at.
I did not want to start a big debate or controversy it was just a question. Why I asked was in several places I read how to make bread it said ad all ingredients in order of instructions, I dump all the ingredients in the mixer turn it on let it rise take it out let it rise again bake it. It comes out as good as any I have eaten. I also have gone by the instructions step by step and it came out just as good.
Now if I have stepped on some toes or hurt your sense of order I’m sorry.
The worst part of reading what someone has written is that you don’t know if the writer is mad, joking or just wondering about a simple point.

Personally I am very seldom dead serious. As far as I am concerned cooking and baking should be fun.
So I will bid you a good fair well and thanks for the answers this group has left on any of the questions I have asked, Have fun and enjoy what you do.

Thanks Lee
I'm sorry that you seem to be upset, although I'm not sure why. This site is called "Discuss Cooking" so that's what we do.
I wish you'd stick around as you're welcomed here.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:20 PM   #14
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No I'm not upset and I do enjoy the answers I just didn't want people to take what I said wrong way. There is very little I take with out a smile unless it is a direct slam.
So lets keep it on the light side and enjoy it.
With a lot of LOL's
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:16 PM   #15
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...in several places I read how to make bread it said ad all ingredients in order of instructions, I dump all the ingredients in the mixer turn it on let it rise take it out let it rise again bake it. It comes out as good as any I have eaten. I also have gone by the instructions step by step and it came out just as good...
"Order of ingredients" is important when making bread in a bread machine if you are using the time delayed cycle. With some bread machines, you can set the ingredients into the mixing bowl, set delay start, and let the machine start the process hours later. If the yeast comes in contact with the liquids, it can start to activate. I know my bread machine calls for the liquid first, lots of other "stuff", and yeast last and on top.

I've never used the timed delay cycle. Still, I tend to do a mise en place and line my ingredients up in order. Not for any end result purpose, just because I confuse easily. There was this time I confused my plain flour bowl for white bread with the flour-baking powder-etc bowl for banana nut bread. Didn't realize my mistake until I had dumped the banana bread flour into the bread machine and was half-done adding the plain flour to my bowl of creamed butter-sugar. *sigh* Two breads dumped.
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:20 AM   #16
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Why I asked was in several places I read how to make bread it said ad all ingredients in order of instructions, I dump all the ingredients in the mixer turn it on let it rise take it out let it rise again bake it. It comes out as good as any I have eaten. I also have gone by the instructions step by step and it came out just as good.

Thanks Lee
Even an occasional dabbler in baking like I am makes some breads which require a lot more attention to a recipe than dumping the ingredients in the mixer and turning it on.

When I make my ciabatta, I start the night before with a poolish and let it ferment overnight. Then the next day, all remaining ingredients except the salt go in the mixer with the poolish, mix, then rest for 1/2 hour for the autolyse. Finally add the salt and knead for 8-10 minutes, rest, fold, rest, fold, rest, shape loaves, rise, bake. Any significant deviation and you won't get the same result.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:55 AM   #17
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Why do I have to mix my cooking the way the directions say to do it?
For the most part I have gone step by step and just dump it all in the pot and cook it and haven't noticed any difference.
A good example is bread I just put all ingredients in start the mixer and it comes out just fine.
I have also herd of layering it when it is all cooked it is all mixed up.
I was t a baker at all until I got a bread machine. The first several loaves I made using the it’s automation to knead, rise, and bake the bread. For these loaves, I followed the manufacturer’s recommendations and recipes explicitly. When I graduated to using the “dough” cycle, I still tended to heed the order of ingredients in recipes. Then I started making more complicated breads, and I started using poor Hubert like a stand mixer.

If you’re a casual baker that only makes basic loaves, then dump and bake is an acceptable method. But the more elaborate breads almost alway have an ingredient order for a reason. First one I can think of is autolyse. Mixing the flour and water first and resting it for 30-60 minutes allows the dough to fully hydrate before adding the other ingredients. Fat is usually added during the second knead, again because of hydration reasons. And eggs are sometimes incorporate one by one (I don’t know the science behind that, to be honest) then there’s the whole world of preferment.

Many people here have given you some great examples of when ingredient order is important.
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:58 PM   #18
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JustJoel What you said makes sense along with what the others said also.
As far as bread goes I do just basic and just for me so if it turns out bad it's oh well start over. If I ever get into fancy baking I will go by the instructions. About the fanciest I get is crescent rolls.
It did make an interesting post and thanks to all that came back on it and I hope there were others that enjoyed it.

Thanks Lee
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:38 AM   #19
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JustJoel What you said makes sense along with what the others said also.
As far as bread goes I do just basic and just for me so if it turns out bad it's oh well start over. If I ever get into fancy baking I will go by the instructions. About the fanciest I get is crescent rolls.
It did make an interesting post and thanks to all that came back on it and I hope there were others that enjoyed it.

Thanks Lee
I’ve always thought of cooking as an improv show, and baking as a scripted drama.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:05 PM   #20
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I’ve always thought of cooking as an improv show, and baking as a scripted drama.
You can improvise to an extent in baking, once you understand the rules.
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