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Flour Baking Glossary

The Basics for Baking with Home Milled Flour

The art of baking is a time honored tradition. From creating a fresh loaf of bread to a dazzling dessert, there are new recipes and techniques being shared by bakers around the world every day. With so much information, it can be difficult for new cooks to learn all the terminology. Royal Lee Organics has made a baking glossary to make cooking a little bit easier. We cover everything from the basics to more advanced ideas, making this great for first time bakers and more experienced chefs in need of a refresher course.

Even if you haven’t baked before, you’ll now be able to try out new and delicious recipes thanks to our handy guide. Royal Lee Organics has healthy recipes using flour made with the Lee Household Flour Mill right in your own home. Try a gluten-free pasta for the whole family or make cupcakes your kids will love.

For more information on Intelligent, Healthful Living™ by baking with home milled flour, contact Royal Lee Organics today.

Baking

Definition of Baking

A way to cook food with the gradual transfer of heat using ovens or other heat sources. The most common baked good are breads, pastries, and other flour-based foods.

Batter

Batter Definition

A liquid mixture made from ground or milled flour and wet ingredients including water, milk, cream, and even beer. Other dry ingredients may be added to the flour for additional flavoring. Adding more dry ingredients results in a “heavy” batter while having more liquid creates a “thin” batter.

Beat

Mixing rapidly, making a smooth and light blend of ingredients, incorporating as much air as possible. 

Beating

Beating Definition

Ingredients are mixed together with either a whisk or electric mixer. Air is exposed to the mixture this way, resulting in more volume in the final product. When hand beating with a whisk, always tip or angle the bowl to bring in more air (electric mixers will do this automatically).

Blanch

Blanch Definition

An ingredient is placed into boiling water, removed, and then put into cold water right away. The cold water stops the cooking process while making the food softer and easier to use in baking. This also preserves the flavor of fruits and vegetables.

Blend

Blend Definition

An electric blender or hand mixer is used to uniformly combine multiple ingredients, wet, dry, or both. The blended food should have a consistent texture when finished.

Boil

Definition of Boil

Water is heating until it begins to bubble at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Other liquids boil at different temperatures, depending on the amount and substance.

Broil

To cook with direct, intense heat either on a grill or stove. 

Caramelize

Definition of Caramelize

Sugar is heated until it becomes brown. This chemical reaction causes the taste of the sugar to change. Different sugars caramelize at different temperatures.

Chop

Definition of Chop

Cutting up dry ingredients for easier use or portions in a recipe.

Combine

Definition of Combine

The mixing of two or more ingredients together to create a mixture. This can be accomplished by using a food processor, electric blender or by hand.

Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

Confectioners’ Sugar

Also called icing sugar, this baking ingredient consists of finely ground sugar. There are different degrees of fineness, indicated by the amount of Xs on the label. Finer powders contain more Xs, ranging from XXX to 10X. This ingredient is commonly used as a finishing touch on sweets and baked goods.

Convection Oven

Definition of a Convection Oven

An oven which uses fans to evenly distribute heat during the baking or cooking process. Air circulation allows for faster cooking times at lower temperatures.

Cooling

Definition of Cooling

Letting a baked food naturally cool, either on a counter, cooling rack, or window sill. Rather than chilling the food artificially in a refrigerator, the process allows food to come to room temperature.

Cream

What is Cream

A smooth mixture which usually consists of eggs, butter/margarine, and sugar. The thick white liquid can be eaten to complement desserts or used as an ingredient.

Cut In

Definition of Cut In

Butter, margarine, and other cold ingredients are cut into small cubes and then combined with flour and sugar. Unlike beating or creaming, the mixture should not be smooth or airy but crumbly. Knives or a blender are used to cut and combine the ingredients

Dash

Definition of Dash Portion

A specific measurement, less than 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Dice

To cut food into equally-sized cubes. 

Dissolve

Definition of Dissolve

Any dry ingredient is added to any liquid ingredient and mixed until it completely disappears.

Dough

Dough is a Mixture of Flour and a Liquid

Dough is any mixture of flour with liquid, usually water, resulting in a paste. Dough is most often used for baking bread, pastry, and baked goods. The texture and taste of the dough depends on the type of flour used and yeast or leavening ingredients add additional flavor.

Drizzle

Definition of Drizzle

Once your baked dessert is finished, adding some glaze or icing is done in a drizzle pattern. This means letting the icing drip from the end of a spoon or fork. More artistic bakers can make creative designs as they drizzle.

Dry Ingredients

Dry Baking Ingredients

Any recipe ingredient which does not involve liquid. This commonly includes flour, sugar, yeast, salt, spices and herbs. Occasionally, recipes will specify to mix or combine dry ingredients first before adding any wet or liquid ingredients.This helps make the baking process easier.

Dry Measuring Cups

Dry Measuring Cups

These measuring cups are intended only for dry ingredients. Sizes usually include ¼ cup, 1/3 cup, ½ cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup. Unlike liquid measurements, it is important to level and settle dry ingredients for accurate amounts. Most recipes will specify whether dry ingredients should be packed into the measuring cup or may remain loose.

Dusting

Definition of Dusting

Dry ingredients like powdered sugar are lightly sprinkled over baked goods. A recipe may also call for a countertop or pan to be lightly dusted with flour before mixing or rolling.

Egg Wash

Egg Wash Definition

An egg wash is created by whisking egg whites and yolks with a small amount of water or milk. This “wash” is the applied the surface of baked goods and pastries to add a golden brown coloring to the crust.

Fermentation

Fermentation Baking Definition

Although there are many types of fermentation, when it comes to baking fermentation refers to the sugar in yeast becomes carbon dioxide and alcohol in yeast. After the dough is mixed together, let it sit. The dough will begin to rise (also known as leavening) as the fermentation process takes place. The process can last a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the requirements of the recipe. The result of fermentation is bigger bread after baking.

Fluff

To remove any lumps without crushing the texture. 

Fold In

Fold In Cooking Definition

One of many ways to mix ingredients together involves folding your mixtures together without stirring. The process starts when a delicate mixture (such as dry powdered sugar) is added on top of the heavier (usually wet) mixture. Using a rubber spatula, “cut” into the mixture to bring the heavier materials to the top of the bowl while pressing the lighter stuff down, as if you are folding one over the other. This process adds air into the mix and allows you to combine heavy mixes with more delicate ones.

Glaze

Glaze Frosting Baking

Glazing is after the baking process by coating your baked goods with icing, jam, or jelly using a food brush.

Grease

To put butter or non-stick cooking spray on pan, preventing food from sticking. 

Knead

Kneading Dough

Kneading involves pressing and folding dough over with your hands to create the right texture for your recipe. You take sections of dough and literally fold them over in halves until the dough reaches the desired consistency or shape. This is a great way to get a workout while making healthy, homemade bread! You’ll want the dough to feel smooth and become elastic.

Leavening

Leavening Definition

Dough is risen using yeast, eggs, and baking powder or soda.

Measuring Cup

Measuring Cups

There are two main types of measuring cups in baking: glass and plastic. A glass measuring cup is used for wet or liquid ingredients and is often clear. Markings on the side of the glass allow you to pour the exact amount you need for a recipe. Plastic cups are intended for dry ingredients and are usually set sizes, including ¼ cup, 1/3 cup, ½ cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup. While plastic and glass cups contain the same measurements, the volume can differ between dry and wet ingredients, necessitating the need for both in baking.

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Spoon Definition

Similar to measuring cups, these spoons are ideal for measuring out small amounts of ingredients, wet or dry. Most measuring spoons are available as a set including at least one teaspoon and tablespoon.

Melt

Melting Definition

When an ingredient needs to be melted, this means you heat it until it becomes liquid. There are chocolates made specifically for being melted for use in recipes while butters and sugars are commonly melted as well.

Mixing

Mixing Ingredients

When two or more ingredients are combined, this is known as mixing. A common misconception is all mixing involves stirring the ingredients together. There are many different ways to mix ingredients, depending on what is called for in the recipe.

No-Knead

No Knead Baking Techique

A way of baking bread through an extended fermentation rather than kneading dough. The end result will be bread with very little yeast.

Parbake

Baking something partially, not the full amount. Storing dough or bread is done by parbaking, then rapidly cooled and frozen. 

Poach

To cook food in the required amount of liquid, just below boiling point. 

Proof

Proof Baking Definition

Part of fermentation, proofing is the final shape dough takes when rising. Placing dough into a shaped contained during fermentation will indicate the final appearance of the baked dough, such as folded croissants. The word is often interchangeable with fermentation in recipes.

Punch Down

Punch Down Baking Definition

After the dough has risen, gently use your fists to punch the dough down and remove any bubbles which have formed under the dough. Start in the center and work your way to evenly distribute pressure throughout the entire dough.

Puree

Cooked food that has been blended and creamed together, with a texture similar to mashed potatoes. 

Rolling

Rolling Pin is Used to Flatten Dough

Using a rolling pin, dough is flattened and shaped for use as pie crust, cookies, or pizza. Start out with the dough in a ball and flatten with your hands. Take the rolling pin and begin to flatten the dough from the center moving out. Keep pressure even to get the shape you’re after.

Salt

Salt Baking Ingredient

Including table salt, salts are common ingredients in all manner of baking. Various types add different textures and tastes to recipes.

Sauté

Sauté Definition

Ingredients are cooked with either oil or fat to improve taste or texture. Vegetables may be sautéed in a pan before being added to part of a larger piece, such as a quiche.

Score

Cutting narrow grooves halfway through the food's surface. 

Scratch Baking

Scratch Baking Definition

Scratch baking is based off recipes rather than pre-measured, store-bought packages. The idea is you are baking from scratch by mixing all your ingredients yourself and controlling your recipe from start to finish.

Sift

Using a sifter, breaking up clumps of dry ingredients such as flour. 

Simmer

To cook in a hot liquid, kept just below boiling point, but higher than poaching temperature. 

Sprinkle

Sprinkle Definition

Adding dry ingredients, such as powdered sugar or salt, to the top of a baked good in limited amounts. Usually no more than a pinch is used at one time.

Stir

Stir Definition

Combining two or more ingredients, dry or wet, while using a whisk or utensil to mix them together. Electric mixers may be used for a more consistent mixture or a faster process.

Temperature

Definition of Temperature

Throughout baking, there are many different temperatures to follow. Some ingredients must be kept cool for as long as possible while ovens are preheated. Most American recipes will use Fahrenheit, though it is always worth double-checking international recipes.

Texture

Texture Definition

The outer appearance of baked goods, texture will indicate when an item is finished.

Toast

To heat and lightly brown, adding a golden color. 

Unleavened

Unleavened Definition

Any baked good which does not rise with yeast, eggs, and baking powder or soda. Matzo, tortillas, and roti are all examples of popular unleavened breads. Unleavened baked goods appear flat compared to their leavened counterparts.

Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients for Baking

Any liquid called for by a recipe, from water and milk to melted chocolate and caramelized sugar.

Wet Measuring (Liquid Measure)

Liquid Measure Definition

Usually made of clear glass or plastic, liquid measures contain markings on the outside for easier measuring. Always use a level surface for the measuring cup while pouring to get accurate results.

Whip Beating

Whip Beating Definition

A whisk is used to bring air into a liquid mixture while also increasing the volume.

Whisk

A cooking tool in blending ingredients, incorporating air into the mixture, resulting in a smooth texture. 

Yeast

Yeast Definition

Saccharomyces cerevisae is a single-cell fungus which creates baker’s yeast. This ingredient is used in baking to ferment sugar and leaven bread, cakes, and other foods.

Yield

Definition of Yield

The amount of food created by using a specific recipe. You can modify the yield by adjusting the measurements of our ingredients to create more or less.

Zest

A food in ingredient created by grating or scraping off fine pieces from the outer skin, typically from lemons, oranges, limes, or citrons.