Baking Glossary

ABSOPRTION- A taking in or preparation, by molecular and or physical action. The property of flour to absorb and hold liquid.

ACIDITY– sourness or tartness in food product, the condition indicating excess fermentation in yeast dough. Also a factor used with soda to generate co2 for leavening of cake.

AREATION-The treatment of dough or batter by charging with gas to produce a volume increase.

ALBUMEN- Egg white.

ALMOND PASTE-Almonds ground to a paste with sugar.

BACTERIA- Microscopic organisms various species of which are considered in fermentation and spoilage of food.

BAKE-To cook or roast by dry heat in a closed place such as oven.

BAKING POWDER– A chemical leavening agent composed of soda dry acids and corn starch; when wet and heated carbon dioxide is given off to raise the batter during baking.

BARS-Sweet biscuits made in oblong or rectangular shape.

BATTER-A homogeneous mixture of ingredients with liquid to make a mass that is of soft elastic character.

BLEEDING-Term applied to dough that has been cut and left unsealed at the cut thus permitting the escape of leavening gas.

BOIL-To bubble, emitting vapor, when heat is applied 100C or 212F.

BOLTING-Sifting of ground grain to remove the bran and coarse particles.

BOILED ICING-Icing made by boiling sugar and H2O to thread state albumen with additional beating.

BOWL KNIFE-Spatula or flexible dull edged knife used for scraping batter or dough from bowl sides.

BREAD DOUGH-Unbaked mass of ingredients used for making bread.

BREAD FAULTS-Deviations from standards of perfection used to determine wrong factors in the bread production method.

BUNS-Small shapes of bread dough slightly sweetened and flavored.

BUTTER HORNS-Basic sweet dough cut and shaped like horns.

BUTTER CREAM FROSTING-Rich uncooked frosting containing powdered sugar butter and other shortening and whipped to a plastic conditions.

BUTTER SPONGE-Cake made from sponge cake batter to which shortening has been added.

BUTTER SCOTCH-A flavor product by the use of butter and brown sugar.

BLEACHED FLOUR-The term refers to flour that has been treated by a chemical to remove its natural color and make it white.

CAKE-A product obtained by baking a leavened and shortened batter containing flour, sugar, egg, milk, liquid, flavoring, shortening   and leavening agent.

CAKE FAULT-Deviations from the standards of perfection for the type of cake.

CARAMELIZED SUGAR-Dry sugar heated with constant stirring until melted and dark in colors, used for flavoring and color.

CARBOHYDRATES- Sugars and starches derived chiefly from fruits and vegetables sources that contain set amount of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

CARBONATED AMMONIA-Leavening agent made from ammonia and carbonic acid.

CARDOMOM-Seed of a spice plant used for flavorings.

CASEIN-The principle nitrogenous or protein part of milk.

CINNAMON-The aromatic bark of trees of the laurel family, ground and used as flavorings.

CITRON-The sweetened rind of fruit.

CLEAR FLOUR-Lower grade and high ash content flour remaining after the patent flour has been separated.

COCOA-A powder made from chocolate from which part of the cocoa butter has been extracted.

COCONUT-The inside meat of the coconut shredded or grated.

COFFEE CAKE-Sweet yeast leavened dough made in various shapes with filling/topping.

COLOURS-Shapes produced by the use of dyes.

COMPOUNDS-In the big industries certain mixtures of fats and oils.

CONGEALING POINT-Temperature at which a liquid changes to plastic or a solid.

CORN MEAL-Coarse meal made by grinding corn.

COTTAGE CHEESE-The drained curd of soured or coagulated creamy pressed and mixed until smooth.

CREAM-The fat portion of cows milk also used for pies and fillings.

CREAM PIES-One –crust pies having cream filling usually topped with whipped cream or margarine.

CREAM PUFFS-Baked puffs of cream puff dough that are hollow usually filled with whipped cream or cooked puffs.

CRESCENT ROLLS-Hard crusted rolls shaped into crescent often with seeds on top.

CRIPPLE-A mis-shapen, burnt or otherwise undesirable unit.

CRULLERS-Long twisted baking powder dough nuts.

CRUSTING-Formation of dry crust on surface of doughnuts due to evaporation of water from the surface.

CUPCAKES-Small cups of layer cake batter baked in muffin pans.

CURRANT-The acidulous berry of a shrub, usually dried.

CUSTARD-A sweetened mixture of eggs and milk that is baked or cooked oven hot water.

DANISH PASTRY-Flaky yeast dough having butter or shortening rolled into it.

DATES-The fruits of a species of palm.

DATES FILLING-A cooked blend of dates, water and sugar.

DIASTASE-An enzyme possessing the power to convert starches into dextrose and maltose.

DISSOLVED-To bring a solid in a solvent.

DIVIDER-A machine used to cut into a desired or weight.

DOCKING-Punching a no of vertical impressions in dough with a smooth stick about the size of a pencil or smaller.

DOUGH-The thickened mass of combined ingredients for bread rolls and biscuits but usually applied to bread.

DOUGH CONDITIONER-A chemical product added to alter flour in its properties to hold gas.

DRY FRUITS-Fruits from which most of the moisture have been removed by drying.

DRY MILK-Milk from which the water has been removed by drying.

DRY YEAST-Dehydrated form of yeast.

ÉCLAIR-A long thin shell of the same paste as cream puffs.

EMULSIFICATION-The process of blending together fat and water solutions of the ingredients to produce a stable mixture that will not separate on standing.

ENRICHED BREAD-Bread made from enriched flour and containing prescribed amounts of vitamins and minerals.

ENZYMES-A substance produced by living organisms that has the power to bring about changes in organic materials.

EVAPORATED MILK-Unsweetened canned milk from which water has been removed before canning.

EXTRACT-Essence of fruits of species used for flavorings.

FERMENTATION-The chemical changes of an organism compound due to action of living organisms.

FILLINGS-Sweet creams, jams, etc placed between baked layers in cakes or shaped into yeast raised products.

FINGER ROLLS-A bun about 5in. long and 1in. wide.

FLAVOUR-An emulsion, extract, or spice used to produce a pleasant taste.

FLOUR-Finely ground meal of grain.

FLOUR EXTRACTION-Term referring to the proportion of the wheat that becomes flour.

FLUFF-A mass of beaten egg white air and crushed fruit.  

FOAM- Mass of beaten egg and sugar as in sponge cake before the flour is added.

FONDANT-Low moisture content sugar syrup containing a small quantity of sugar that has been rapidly cooled so that the sugar crystals are mall in size.

FRENCH BREAD-Unsweetened crusty bread, baked in narrow strip and containing little or no shortening.

FRUIT CAKE-A long knife with a pointed blade used in cutting cakes, dough and nuts.

FRYING-Cooking in deep fat.

GERM-That part of the seed from which plant grows.

GINGER-The spicy root of a tropical plant used for flavoring.

GLACE-Sugar so treated as to resemble ice.

GLIADIN-One of the two proteins comprising gluten that provides elasticity.

GLUCOSE-A simply sugar made by action of acid on starch.

GLUTENIN-One of the two proteins comprising gluten, which gives strength.

GRAHAM FLOUR-Finely ground whole-wheat flour.

GREASING-Spreading a film of fat on a surface.

HARDNESS OF WATER-A measure of minerals salts in greater amounts than found in soft water.

Bakery related FAQs 

  1. What do you understand by the term ‘syneresis’in relation to bread?

Ans. ‘Syneresis’ is the name given to a particular physical change that takes place in starch, gels etc., as they age .It is this change that brings about the staling of bread that is a day or two old, a sensation suggesting that bread contain less moisture. This change in starch is known as ‘syneresis’.It is affected by conditions of humidity and temperature which bread is stored.


  1. Why is salt used in bread making?

Salt is used because (a)Of its beneficial influence on flavour (b)It strengthens and stabilizes gluten thus giving bulk to the loaf (c)It prevents excessive action of yeast (d)It hampers the action of harmful bacteria which could spoil the flavour.


  1. Why is bread dough knocked back once, sometimes twice during fermentation?

When dough is knocked back, fresh supply of oxygen is given to the yeast, enabling it to work more vigorously and the excess of CO2 is driven off. During knocking back, the films of gluten are sub-divided and thus better distributed through the dough. It also helps to relax the strained gluten strands. The texture of bread is improved when the dough is knocked back.


  1. What happens to cake batters when put into the oven?

As soon as the oven door is closed on the cakes, the heat commences to melt the fat from the outside of the cake towards the inside. If the raising agent is present, CO2 is evolved. As the temperature continues to rise, some of the starch cells begin to gelatinize. A skin forms on the top and begins to color rapidly due to the Caramalization of sugar. The batter now begins to rise. Egg coagulates and becomes firm. Gluten strands are strengthened. The entire product sets cooked to a firm sponge. Check for a cooked cake-press the top lightly if it springs back, it is done.



  1.  Why is dough covered with a wet cloth?

The temperature of dough is usually higher than the air that surrounds it. A wet cloth aids in steadying the temperature and thus stabilizes the fermentation. If left uncovered, the dough will warm. If left uncovered, the dough will warm the air immediately in contact with it causing it to expand and rise. As this air rises, a current of fresh air comes in contact with the surface of the dough and dries it. A Skin is formed on the dough that leaves unsightly patches when baked.


  1. Why should all materials used in cake making be approximately the same temperature?

By keeping all materials at similar temperature better aeration takes place, better and more through amalgamation is possible.Consequently, cakes will have a better appearance, volume and texture, Batters made with ingredients of different temperature become tough and undersized.


  1. Why do cake batters sometimes ‘curdle’?

Cake batters ‘curdle’ when the fat separates from the water in the mixture and breaks the emulsion. It can occur due to hasty preparation and quick addition of eggs or if hard fat is used or too many eggs are used or fat contains too much water.


  1. Why do cakes sometimes sink in the center?

Cakes tend to sink in the middle because of:

*Too much handling during baking.

*Too much baking powder used.

*Too much fat and sugar (in relation to flour)

*If it is removed from the oven before it is cooked (center is in a liquid state or a semi-liquid state)

  1. why do cherries and the other such like fruits tend to sink in a fruitcake?

To prevent cherries from sinking in a fruitcake, make sure that they are dry. Remove any excess syrup by drying thoroughly. Coat the cherries and the other fruits with flour to prevent them from sinking. Fruits could also sink if the batter is too light and cannot support the fruit and also if the flour is too weak (low gluten content).


  1. Why is puff pastry allowed to stand for half-hour after cutting and before baking?

After a lot of rolling and flooding during manufacture, it is obvious that there will still be considerable strength in the gluten as well as elasticity. This elasticity will cause the paste to draw up if it not allowed a good rest before cooking. If it immediately baked, the heat would soften it because of its decreased resistance to the pull exerted by the gluten and mis-shapen.In some cases the filling could ooze out.


  1. Why is lemon juice or cream of tartar is added to flour while making puff pastry?

An acid medium is added to puff pastry because: 1) The acid makes the gluten in flour more pliable and extensible and improves the ability to retain steam. 2) Acid refuses the pH and thus aid the pastry in acquiring greater volume and the layers become more numerous, thinner and better baked.


  1. Why should the dough and fat be of approximately the same consistency whilst baking puff pastry?

Dough and fat should be of the same consistency because, if not. when rolling, whichever is soften will be rolled much thinner, but if they are both same, dough and fat will be rolled to a similar extent and thickness?


  1. What factors control the volume of choux pastry?

Egg albumin is extensible and will be inflated by the internal pressure of the gases, air and steam. Thus the pastry increases in volume and expansion causes when egg albumin fiber loses their extensibility and gas holding power. Thus the volume of choux pastry will depend only slightly upon the strength of the gluten in flour; but largely on the gas holding power of egg protein (albumin).   


  1. Why are stale egg whites recommended for the making of meringues?

Stale eggs whites have less water due to evaporation hence they whip better. However, old egg whites should not be used. By stale egg whites, we mean fresh eggs exposed to air upon being broken and separated.


  1. Why do Swiss rolls crack when rolled?

Swiss rolls sometimes crack when being rolled?

1) To little eggs, hence less moisture, hence pliable.

2) Uneven spreading of butters thus having thick and thin regions that crack.

3) Warped baking sheet

4) Wrong baking sheet

5) Too hard flour

6) Too much mixture placed on tray, hence too thick a cake.