Key behind mastering a baking art.
Do you know the key behind mastering a fine art like baking in a baking school? It’s the numbers and the ingredients. Yes, it requires a perfect numerical balance with the right quantity of ingredients, and you can master baking in no time.
Especially if you are new to baking, I would suggest you narrow down your list with the most specific ingredients you will need to bake. Instead of bringing the list of baking ingredients and storing them in your kitchen which will only consume that extra space without much use.
So what would you like to go with?
The first one of course. So let us go through the following list organized by category, such as flour, leavening, sugar, salt, and so on. These are the basic components of your baking pantry. As your baking experience grows, you’ll begin to define what’s most important to you.
All-purpose Flour is the most common flour used in baking school is all-purpose flour, commonly known as plain flour. It is the flour to invest in if you just have one flour in your pantry. It is used in the majority of my recipes, be it black forest cake, puff pastry, handmade croissants, or vanilla sablés. You can also use it to make this no-knead cinnamon raisin bread.
All-purpose flour can be bleached or unbleached and the bleaching process not only changes the color of the flour but also alters its pH. Bleached flour is more acidic than unbleached flour. Many people might be unaware of the fact that all-purpose flour in North America has a protein content of around 10 % and this varies depending on the brand, grain, and country of origin.
Whole wheat flour is one of the different types of flour we use in our recipes at Baking School. It is also known as wholemeal flour and is made by grinding the whole grain, so there’s more fiber in whole wheat flour than in regular plain flour.
Cake flour is a finer flour with lower protein content and higher carbohydrate content. This type of flour will produce a more delicate and tender crumb and provide your cake with a smoother mouthfeel and less gluten formation. Too much gluten would make for a very tough cake. Cake flour has a protein content of 7 to 9%, which is less in comparison to pastry flour.
When it comes to Pastry flour is probably the most central ingredient in any baker’s pantry. On the flour spectrum, pastry flour falls somewhere between all-purpose and cake flour. It can be used for many types of pie crusts and is great for any type of baked good. It has a little less protein than all-purpose flour, but more protein than cake flour. Because of its fine texture and high starch content, it helps to keep your pie crust light and flaky.
While any-old flour will do for some baking, Bread Flour makes a difference. Made from hard red spring wheat and with two to three times more protein than all-purpose, bread flour has a high gluten content that gives structure to baked goods. Due to its high protein content, it adds structure and creates air pockets to let gas escape while baking, trapping all the delicious flavor.
Self-raising flour– It is highly popular in Great Britain. It has baking powder and salt already added to it, so when you bake with self-raising flour, you don’t have to add any chemical leaveners or any salt. If you don’t have access to it, you can make your self-raising flour: for 1 cup of self-raising flour, blend 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt (or ½ kosher salt)
You might be wondering, “do I need to buy another bag of flour for this new recipe?” Well, you only need to know about alternative flours and how to choose the right one for any recipe. These alternative flours aren’t as widely utilized in baking recipes, I recommend buying them in small quantities from your local store. Or you can easily invest in a 5-kilo bag of all-purpose flour because you will use it in almost every recipe you make!
Fats used in baking schools
Vegetable oil with a neutral flavor that can be used in recipes as well as to grease baking pans.
Butter- It reacts with leaveners to make pancakes and biscuits fluffier and more tender. Look for shelf-stable powdered buttermilk if you don’t want to keep it in the fridge all the time.
It is a solid vegetable fat used by some cooks either to replace butter or in combination with butter to make tender baked goods like pie crusts. Butter is mostly fat, but also has about 15 percent water, as well as milk solids. Shortening has a higher melting point compared to butter, so cookies made with shortening tend to keep their shape better.
You can tell when a cake or biscuit is light and fluffy because tiny gas bubbles have made it rise. These bubbles are created by leaveners, which cause chemical reactions in baked goods that fill them with air. There are two kinds: Chemical and Biological.
Sodium Bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, is a chemical leavening — when activated by heat, it produces gas bubbles that cause baked goods to rise. Baking soda works best alongside acid ingredients, like yogurt or buttermilk.
Baking Powder is a leavener used in baking. Baking Powder contains Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), but it already includes the acidifying agent, so it only needs a liquid to become activated. It can also be called double-acting baking powder because it releases one burst of gas when liquid is added, and another when exposed to heat.
Yeast is one of the two main leaveners in bread and pastries; chemical leaveners, such as baking soda, are the other. Yeast and chemical agents rely on different mechanisms for making things rise, so the two substances aren’t interchangeable. Without yeast, bread wouldn’t have its airy crumb. We’ve got all you need to know about working with yeast.
Cake or compressed yeast is the oldest strain used in baking. It’s more perishable than dry or instant yeast, but also produces a greater amount of leavening gas.
Sourdough starters are living yeasts that are responsible for the distinctive flavor of sourdough bread. They can be maintained and replenished indefinitely to ensure a consistent flavor.
Milk is one of the most multiskilled ingredients in the kitchen. Used in baking, it’s a wonderful tenderizer and provides tons of moisture. It also adds some fat, depending on the percentage of fat in the product you use. Most cooks prefer whole milk (at 3.25 % fat), but any type will be fine. Just keep in mind that using fat-free milk means using less fat in your recipe, which can affect perceived moistness and texture.
Buttermilk is particularly well-suited to baked goods because of its acidity. It’s slightly acidic, so it reacts with baking soda to lift baked goods like cornbread and biscuits creating a better texture and more even color. Recipes often call for buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream, which all contain tartaric acid. These ingredients reduce gluten-formation when the batter is mixed, resulting in softer bread and cakes.
Granulated Sugar– The most common ingredient in baking is granulated sugar. This kind of sugar has been stripped of its natural molasses, but it when baked into a recipe is still able to caramelize, creating colors and flavors you won’t get from any other sweetener.
Confectioners’ sugar is ground into ultra-fine particles and combined with starch so it doesn’t cake up in its package. Use in all sorts of frostings and icings, or a quick dusting to make everything a little prettier.
Brown sugar has a small amount of molasses added, which gives it its soft, moist texture and deep caramel-like flavor. It comes in light, medium, and dark forms, but you can use them interchangeably in most recipes
From vanilla beans to vanilla sugar, there are many types of vanilla you can use in your baking, each with its unique flavor and properties.
To create a flavorful baked treat, key ingredients should be selected with care and thought. Not all vanilla beans are created equal and each type has a purpose.
Vanilla beans and any other flavor extracts should be stored at room temperature in sealed containers. For baking items that don’t call for vanilla, but you want to add a bit of extra flavor, try using vanilla beans to infuse their flavor into things like granulated sugar, butter, etc. Coffee flavor can be added to baking recipes via ground coffee (coffee grinds), espresso powder, or brewed coffee or espresso.
Chocolate, cocoa nibs, and chocolate chips are the star ingredients of baking school. Remember that there are different types of chocolate that you can bake with. Choose properly and study the labels to ensure you’re using the best chocolate in your baking! Store chocolate in an airtight container in a cool, dry location away from heat sources and the sun.
The Fun Stuff
Baking school is not only about getting to know the ingredients but also helps you bake better and easier.
Would you like to pursue a career in the exciting bakery industry? There’s no need to hunt down ingredient measurements anymore! With their particular courses in certification and training to give industrial exposure, Chef IBCA is one of the finest institutes for Bakery School in Delhi. Whether you’re interested in becoming a pastry chef or starting your own bakery business, this is the ideal place to begin.