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Baked Goodies 

Baking food involves the use of the dry heat in an oven. The temperature range for baking is 130°C (266°F) to 235°C (455°F). Baking is most commonly used with cakes, breads and pastries. It is similar to roasting, but there is no liquid involved.

Foods Suitable for Baking include:

  • pastry

  • bread

  • biscuits

  • cakes

  • puddings

  • confectionery

  • fish

  • meats

  • vegetables

  • poultry

Foods suitable for baking

Fish, meats, poultry, vegetables, eggs and fruit are used in many baked products such as pies, pasties, flans and quiche.

Rules for Successful Baking

  1. Set the oven temperature in advance and make sure that the temperature is correct before placing food in the oven. This will ensure steady baking and will set the shape and help the food to rise.

  2. The position of the food in the oven will effect the temperature of the food so remember to place the food carefully.

  3. Keep a check on the temperature of the oven during cooking. You should check that the food is not cooking to quickly or too slowly.

  4. Handle the product with care - this is especially important with baking so that the quality is not affected.

  5. Test the product to see if it is done BEFORE you remove it from the oven.

Blind Baking

Bake Blind 

A process of cooking pie crusts and pastry shells before adding the fillings, sometimes referred to as “baking empty” or “cooking empty.” Some pie fillings, quiche ingredients, or other similar added foods may not take as much time to cook as the crust or as the pie or a tart, so the crust is baked before the filling is added to give the crust an even consistency and a golden brown appearance. Some fillings can make the crust soggy if they are added to a raw crust, or some ingredients may curdle if baked with the crust, and there are many fillings that do not require any cooking. Precooking a crust can also help in controlling any shrinking that may occur during the baking process.

Prior to blind baking the shell, pie weights should be placed around the bottom of the formed shell to keep it from puffing up, curling or the sides from crumbling inward. The shell should then be covered with foil or parchment paper to keep the weights from baking into the dough. The pie weights can consist of commercially produced strings of linked steel beads or household supplies of dry beans or rice. The weights and foil or paper are removed approximately 5 minutes before the baking time is finished to allow for the bottom and the crust to fully finish baking.

Blind Baking Steps

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  1. Before a shell is blind-baked, the bottom of the dough is pricked all over with the tines of a fork; this prevents the dough from puffing up as it bakes.

  2. The pie dough is then lined with parchment paper and topped with pie weights (the weights can be bundled in cheesecloth secured with kitchen twine).

  3. A foil ring can be used to shield the pie rim if it darkens too quickly. Press foil into an empty pie plate to shape; trim outer edge, and cut out center, making a ring that’s about 5 cm wide. Bake as indicated in the recipe. Let cool completely before filling.


Blind Baking Step 1

Step 1Before a shell is blind-baked, the bottom of the dough is pricked all over with the tines of a fork; this prevents the dough from puffing up as it bakes.

Blind Baking Step 2

Step 2The pie dough is then lined with parchment paper and topped with pie weights (the weights can be bundled in cheesecloth secured with kitchen twine).

Blind Baking Step 3

Step 3A foil ring can be used to shield the pie rim if it darkens too quickly. Press foil into an empty pie plate to shape; trim outer edge, and cut out center, making a ring that’s about 5 cm wide. Bake as indicated in the recipe. Let cool completely before filling.


Problems may occur with baked products if:

  • the recipe is not followed correctly

  • the oven is not preheated

  • the temperature setting is incorrect

  • the thermostat is faulty

  • the cooking time is incorrect.

  • the oven door is opened too early

  • the oven door doesn’t properly seal

  • the oven door is slammed during cooking

  • the power fails

Moisture

In some cases, increased moisture within the oven can prevent food from drying out. It is a good idea to increase the moisture in the oven for some foods, such as breads and fruit cakes, as this will make them bigger and softer. Some ovens have automatic steam injectors, otherwise a pan of water can be placed in the oven to achieve the same effect. Covering foods with foil also prevents moisture loss.

Some foods, such as baked egg custard, créme caramel and pats, are placed in a bain-marie during baking. This slows down the cooking process and controls the heat so that the proteins contained in the product set firmly.

Some items such as lamb cutlets are cooked in a sealed and buttered greaseproof paper or alfoil bags. The term for cooking this way is ‘en papillote’. With this method the cutlet is cooked more by steaming as the hot oven produces steam within the bag.

Temperature Ranges

Different preparations require different temperatures for baking.
Low Baked Products.
Meringues 130°C (266°F)
Egg custard 165°C (329°F)
Cabinet pudding 170°C (338°F)
Ratafia biscuits 180°C (356°F)
High Baked Products.
Genoese sponge 195°C (383°F)
Pudding soufflé 200°C (392°F)
Soufflés 210°C (410°F)
Vol-au-vents 215°C (419°F)
Croissants 220°C (428°F)
Bread rolls 230°C (446°F)
Savarins 235°C (455°F)

Category: Cooking Methods

Sub Category: Baking

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Word Count: 1558

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