A white flour, generally a combination of soft and hard wheats, or medium-protein wheats. It works well for all types of baked products, including yeast breads, cakes, cookies, and quick breads. All-purpose flour usually is sold presifted. It is available bleached and unbleached. Either is suitable for home baking and can be used interchangeably.
A creamy mixture made of ground blanched almonds and sugar. For the best baking results, use an almond paste without syrup or liquid glucose. Almond paste is used as a filling in pastries, cakes, and confections.
A coverless glass or ceramic vessel used for cooking in the oven. A baking dish can be substituted for a metal baking pan of the same size. For baked items, such as breads and cakes, the oven temperature will need to be lowered 25 degrees to prevent over browning of the food.
A coverless metal vessel used for cooking in the oven. Baking pans vary in size and may be round, square, rectangular, or a special shape, such as a heart. The sides of the pan are 3/4 inch high or more.
A heavy, thick plate of beige or brown stone that can be placed in the oven to replicate the baking qualities of brick-floored commercial bread ovens. Baking stones can be round or rectangular and can be left in the oven when not in use.
A cereal grain, has a mild, starchy flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Pearl barley, the most popular form used for cooking, has the outer hull removed and has been polished or “pearled.” It is sold in regular and quick-cooking forms. Store barley in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
A mixture usually made with flour and a liquid, such as milk or fruit juice. It also may include egg, sugar, butter, shortening, cooking oil, leavening, or flavorings. Batters can vary in consistency from thin enough to pour to thick enough to drop from a spoon.
To make a mixture smooth by briskly whipping or stirring it with a spoon, fork, wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer.
To combine two or more ingredients until smooth and uniform in texture, flavor, and color; done by hand or with an electric blender or mixer.
To cook food in liquid at a temperature that causes bubbles to form in the liquid and rise in a steady pattern, breaking on the surface. A rolling boil is when liquid is boiling so vigorously the bubbles can’t be stirred down.
The type of flour recommended for bread recipes, made from hard wheat. It has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour. Gluten, a protein, provides structure and height to breads, making bread flour well suited for the task. Store bread flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 5 months, or freeze it for up to a year.
A parched, cracked wheat product, made by soaking, cooking, and drying whole wheat kernels. Part of the bran is removed and what remains of the hard kernels is cracked into small pieces. Bulgur has a delicate, nutty flavor. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months, or freeze it for up to a year.
Cake flour is made from soft wheat and produces a tender, delicate crumb. Many bakers use it for angel food and chiffon cakes.
To substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour: Use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour per 1 cup all-purpose flour. Sift cake flour before measuring to lighten it to avoid adding too much.
To heat and stir sugar until it melts and browns. Caramelized, or burnt, sugar is used in dessert recipes such as flan, candy-coated nuts, and burnt-sugar cake and frosting.